János Bak

Professor Emeritus
Position (magyar): 
Emeritus professzor
Department of Medieval Studies
MA (August 1950), Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest (History, sociology), Thesis: The Ungarische Sozialistische Arbeiterpartei, 1880-1890 (in Hungarian), Supervisor: E. Andics.
Dr. phil. (July 1960), Georg-August University, Göttingen (History, sociology, East European studies), Dissertation: Königtum und Stände in Ungarn im 14.-16. Jahrhundert, Supervisor: P. E. Schramm
Postdoctoral studies, St. Antony’s College, Oxford (British Council Fellow)
Academic/Professional Experience and Achievements: 


2004 Professor Emeritus, Central European University Budapest, Dept. of Medieval Studies

1995-2004 Professor, Central European University Budapest, Dept. of Medieval Studies

1994 Distinguished Visiting Professor, Rutgers University, New Brunswick NJ

1990-94 Sr. Consultant, Institute for the History of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, Hungarian Academy of Sciences

1990 Professor Emeritus, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C., Dept. of History

1968-90 Professor (till 1972? Assoc. Prof.) University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C., Dept. of History

1966-68 Visiting Assoc. Prof., U. of Delaware, Newark DE, Dept. of History

1964-68 Wissenschaftlicher Assistent, Dept. of East European History, Phillips-Universität, Marburg

1958-63 [part-time] Fellow and Co-editor of Review/Études, Imre Nagy Institue for Political Science, Brussels

1954-56 Assistant Prof., Academy of Commerce, Budapest

1952-54 Teacher, Secondary school, Budapest

1950-52 National service, Hungarian Peoples’ Army


Major fellowships, grants:

  • 1998-2010 several research grants from the Hungarian Research Fund (OTKA) and CEU
  • 1989 Izaak Killam Senior Fellow, UBC
  • 1984 Jean Monnet Fellow, Istituto Universitario Europeo, Fiesole
  • 1968-90 several research grants from Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the U. S. Endowment for the Humanities, and UBC

  • 1962-64 DFG research fellow
  • 1960-62 British Council Scholar, St. Antony’s College, Oxford
  • 1956-60 Doctoral scholarship, Göttingen


Memberships, honors:

  • 2010 Imre Nagy Order, Hungarian Government

  • 2007 CARA award for excellence in teaching, Medieval Academy of America
  • 2002 Corr. Fellow, Royal Historical Society (UK)
  • 1999 Hon. Member, Canadian Association of Medievalists
  • 1998 Hon. Member, Russian Association of Medievalists
  • 1992 György Ránki Prize of the Hungarian Historical Association
  • 1990 Memorial Medal “Imre Nagy”, President of the Hungarian Republic

CEU Workshops organized by Janos M. Bak
  • March 2006: Uses and Abuses of the Middle Ages 19th-21st c. (with an exhibition at the Galeria Centralis), co-organisers: Gabor Klaniczay
  • July 2003: Uses and Abuses of the Middle Ages, co-organizers: Gabor Klaniczay, Jozsef Laszlovszky
  • May 2003: 6th Annual International Congress of the Mediterranean Studies Association, partner: Mediterranean Studies Association (field trip to: Visegrad, and to the Hungarian Parlament, Budapest)
    Hungarian Parlament, Budapest
  • February 2002: Religion and Rulership, partner: International Association for the Study of Rulersihp MAJESTAS
  • December 2001: Studies on the Tripartitum, Sarvar
  • November 1998: Current State and Problems of Slavic Studies in Central Europe, Prague, co-organizer: VladimirVavrinek
  • November 1998: Nobility in Central Europe III
  • April 1998: Aspects of Courtly Culture in Late Medieval Europe, co-organizer: Marianne Saghy
  • February 1998: Nobility in Central Europe II (with a field trip to Pomaz and Visegrad)
  • October 1996: Medieval  Nobility in Central Europe (Conference in memory of Erik Fügedi)
  • June 1996: The Year of 1000 A.D.
  • April 1993: Ethnicity-Concepts and Conflicts in Medieval Central Europe (field trip to Zsambek, Budajeno, Dömös, Szentendre)

CEU SUN course organized by Janos M. Bak
  • July 17 - 10 August, 2000: Issues on Resources in Central Europe for Research on the Middle Ages (field trips to Western Hungary, Cracow and its surrounding area, to Central Bohemia, Krems and Vienna)
Academic/research topics: 
History of ideas and institutions
medieval rulership
social history of nobility
Language proficiencies (spoken): 

Theses supervised by János Bak

Grand Duke Vytautas - Establishing Vytautas the Great
Thesis author: Mickūnaitė, Giedré
Year of enrollment: 2007/2008
Enmity, Dispute and Noble Community in the Late Medieval Kingdom of Poland in the Fifteenth and Early Sixteenth Centuries. Evidence from the Rus' Palatinate.
Thesis author: Yuriy Zazulyak
Year of enrollment: 2001/2002
The Tocco of the Greek Realm 14th and 15th c.
Thesis author: Zečević, Nada
Year of enrollment: 1999/2000
Medieval Nobility in Central Europe: The Himfi Family
Thesis author: Popa-Gorjanu, Cosmin
Year of enrollment: 1999/2000
Saqlabi Servants in Islamic Spain and North Africa in the Early Middle Ages
Thesis author: Mishin, Dmitrij
Year of enrollment: 1995/1996
The Fate of the Croatian Noble Families in the Face of Ottoman Advance
Thesis author: Jurković, Ivan
Year of enrollment: 1995/1996
The Šubići of Bribir (A Case Study of a Croatian Medieval Kindred)
Thesis author: Karbić, Damir
Year of enrollment: 1994/1995