Pasts, Inc. Center for Historical Studies was established in 2002 as a core of a transnational, interdisciplinary, intercultural network of scholars. Its mission has been to bridge teaching and research and as such, to contribute to the training and career development of emerging scholars, in connection with specific research projects. As an interface between the university and the external research environment, Pasts, Inc., performs an important function as a vehicle for the academic socialization of PhD students and recent graduates. It serves as the academic gateway to Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe and the place to generate research on these areas comparatively, from a global and transnational perspective, mostly in relation to Western Europe, but also with references to the Mediterranean, to Central Asia and to the Middle East.
Pasts fosters research in the comparative history of Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe, in a curriculum and a research agenda that is committed to interdisciplinarity, transcends spatial and temporal boundaries, and challenges canons by means of thorough empirical inquiry and cutting-edge methodological and theoretical reflection. In chronological term, the majority of the research projects launched or hosted by the Center tackle various aspects of the modern history of these regions; special attention is nevertheless devoted to the history of the twentieth century, a particularly formative period marked by complex processes of social and political transformation, with long-term consequences.
In order to pursue its scholarly agenda, the Center initiates, supports, and hosts a variety of research, educational, and training activities, as well as publications. The research projects hosted by the Center relate directly to elements of the teaching program and student research of the History Department, several related CEU units, and external partners. The Center also hosts a peer-reviewed journal entitled East-Central Europe, published by Brill, Leiden. It supports other publishing projects as well, the most important of which being two book series: Pasts Incorporated. CEU Studies in the Humanities, published by the CEU Press; and Central and Eastern Europe. Regional Perspectives in Global Context, published by Brill, Leiden. In addition, the Centre publishes various e-publications which provide an insight into faculty and student research at the department. To stimulate academic exchange, the Center also hosts visiting scholars funded mainly or totally by third parties.
The Center produces a high quality research results, attracting and managing large-scale research projects, and providing representation for CEU in a wide range of academic networks. The work of the CEU-based faculty at the Center is exclusively voluntary, while the budget of the center is invested in the advanced training of doctoral students and in facilitating faculty research and publications.