About

Who we are

The Medieval Central Europe Research Network (MECERN) is a semi-formal interdisciplinary network of scholars, students and interested others, fostering research, and spreading knowledge of medieval Central Europe.  It was created at Central European University (CEU) in Budapest, Hungary in 2014 building on the renown and expertise of the CEU Department of Medieval Studies and its founding members.  Currently MECERN has over 250 registered members.  While many are based in Central Europe, MECERN has members throughout the world.

What we do

MECERN aims to keep its members working on any aspect of the history and culture of medieval Central Europe informed on research projects, publications, meetings, and resources.  MECERN provides a platform for collaboration and presentation of research results.   

In collaboration with the host university, MECERN organises biennial conferences with broadly themed agendas.   

  1. Budapest, March 2014, hosted by the Department of Medieval Studies at CEU. “A forgotten region? East Central Europe in the Global Middle Ages”.
  2. Olomouc, April 2016, hosted jointly by the Palacký University and the University of Ostrava. “Unity and Diversity of Medieval Central Europe: Cohesive and Disruptive Forces”.
  3. Zagreb, April 2018, hosted by the University of Zagreb and the Croatian Institute of History. “Between Three Seas: Borders, Migrations, Connections”.
  4. Gdansk, April 2021 – postponed from April 2020, hosted by the University of Gdansk, on the theme of “Networks – Cooperation – Rivalry”.
  5. Bratislava, planned for 2023 to be hosted by the Comenius University.

Based on the contributions to these conferences MECERN has published two thematic volumes:

  • Medieval East Central Europe in a Comparative Perspective: From Frontier Zones to Lands in Focus edited by Gerhard Jaritz and Katalin Szende (London: Routledge, 2016)
  • The Medieval Networks in East Central Europe: Commerce, Contacts, Communication edited by Balazs Nagy, András Vadas and Felicitas Schmieder (London: Routledge, 2018).

MECERN members are collaborating to edit the Oxford Handbook of Medieval Central Europe. The Handbook will be a research companion that will serve as the starting point for new in-depth studies of medieval Central Europe. It will contain a comprehensive and critical review of regional resources and results of modern research centred on the Kingdoms of Hungary, Poland and Bohemia and their surrounding areas (“from the Baltic to the Adriatic”) with which these kingdoms had lively interactions. The volume will include chapters on spatial organization, elites, religious practices, economic cooperation and everyday life, intellectual and artistic expressions.  Edited by Daniel Ziemann (CEU) and Nada Zečević (Goldsmiths, University of London), the Handbook will be launched in 2021.

MECERN reaches out to a wider public to disseminate knowledge about medieval Central Europe.  This is done through 

  • Organizing live or online lectures for the general public and MECERN members on issues related to medieval Central Europe
  • Organizing summer schools in cooperation with MECERN members for students and junior faculty members from the region or from outside Central Europe. 
  • Offering short thematic certificate courses on a fee-paying basis for journalists, tour-guides, other professionals.
  • Building and maintaining the joint CEU-ELTE Medieval Library which is a key asset to all researchers working in the region.