Migration, Exile, and Diaspora in Historical Perspective - Annual Undergraduate Conference

Since 2015, the Department of History and the Department of Medieval Studies at Central European University in Budapest have been organizing an annual undergraduate conference in August each year. The aim of the conference is to bring together talented undergraduate students from across the world and to introduce them to the academic environment at CEU. Every year, the conference has a different theme, although it is broad enough to enable a large variety of topics across time. 

“The twenty-first century will be the century of the migrant.” Thomas Nail’s statement in his recent inspiring study The Figure of the Migrant (2015) speaks about the present and the future. To gain a deeper and more informed understanding of this hallmark process of our times and counteract biases inferred by short-term interests, however, it is important to consider the history of migration. It goes back to the earliest periods of human history and has been a constitutive element of it ever since. It has taken a wide variety of forms from expulsion and eviction through economic and cultural mobility to colonization and conquest. It has had a decisive and transformative impact on society, economy, law, landscape, and culture for all parties involved.

Our conference aims at examining the main reasons, the push and pull factors that drove individuals, families, smaller or bigger communities, ethnic and religious groups to seek out for new abodes temporarily or in the long run. We invite speakers to address the issue of migration, exile, and diaspora in all periods of history, and with the methods of all branches and disciplines of the humanities and social sciences, including but not restricted to archaeology, art history, historical geography, social, political, religious, intellectual, and cultural history. Presentations should preferably go beyond being merely descriptive: individual case studies can still address the complexity of factors that impacted these communities, or apply a comparative perspective on the topic. Papers discussing the impact of migration and dislocation on various aspects of life of these groups, as well as on their place of origin and the host societies, are also welcome.



  • the language of the conference and the papers is English
  • proposals should not exceed 250 words
  • all applications must be submitted through the conference website: https://history.ceu.edu/application-form
  • Late applications will be considered on a case by case basis

Paper Requirements:

  • papers should be 2000 to max. 3000 words long
  • at the conference participants will present a 10-12 minute summary of their papers in thematic panels.


  • A fee of 75 Euro applies to all accepted participants. It includes:
  • Three nights’ accommodation in single rooms in the CEU Residence Center
  • Breakfast
  • Coffee breaks and receptions
  • Guided tour
  • 72 hour public transport pass 
  • Free Wi-Fi


Departments of History and Medieval Studies

Supporting CEU units:

For inquiries, please e-mail us at undergraduateconference2019@ceu.edu