Mátyás Erdélyi

Year of Enrollment: 

My research explores the making of a ‘productivist’ middle-class and their battle for social legitimation, intellectual authority, and middle-class identity in the Habsburg Monarchy between the 1867 Ausgleich and the aftermath of the Great War. In this study I analyze who became engaged in the battle for social recognition, what their motivations (scientific, social, economic) were, and what themes and social issues they considered important in their professional and private endeavors. A special emphasis is put on the relation between the educational system, with its inherent role in the knowledge production of specialized disciplines, and the economic and social modernization of the Dualist Monarchy. Here, my approach focuses on how educational change (e.g. the rise of professional education) could be interpreted from the perspective of its social effects or even in terms of economic causes. My research also includes the analysis of various types of white-collar work in early urban capitalism, especially from the perspective of how the struggles around class, status, and power were represented and negotiated in the public sphere and in related scientific endeavors by our protagonists. In this vein, selected case studies deal with the practices of accounting, banking, insurance business, engineering, and transportation.

I am currently a young research fellow at CEFRES in Prague.


2013-: PhD in Comparative History at Central European University.

2010-2012: MA in Comparative History at Central European University.

2005-2010: MA in Sociology at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest.

Selected Publications

“A History of the Great Influenza Pandemics: Death, Panic and Hysteria, 1830 – 1920, by Mark Honigsbaum”, European Review of History 22, no. 3 (2015), 508-509.

“Névmagyarosítás és magyarság: gondolatok a névmagyarosítás dualizmuskori megítéléséről” [Name changes and the social recognition of non-Magyars: reflections on the reception of the Magyarization of foreign names in Dualist Hungary], in Slávka Otčenášová and Csaba Zahorán (eds.), Keressünk közös nyelvet a közös múlthoz. Szlovák és magyar történészek fiatal nemzedékének párbeszéde [Looking for a common language to our common past. Dialogues among the young generation of Slovak and Hungarian historians], Košice, Filozofická fakulta UPJŠ, 2012, 42-46.

“Cities in Modernity. Representations and Productions of Metropolitan Space, 1840–1930 by Richard Dennis,” Korall, 47 (2012), 192-196. [In Hungarian]

“In the Shadow of the longue-durée. Braudel and Veyne,” in …de van benne rendszer. Tanulmányok az Eötvös Collegium Filozófia műhelye fennállásának 15. évfordulójára, Budapest: Eötvös Collegium, 2012, 22-33.

“A szabadság fogalma Sartre A lét és a semmi című munkájában” [The Concept of Liberty in Sartre’s Being and Nothingness], ELPIS 10 (2012), 72-99.


Hungarian (mother tongue); French (fluent); English (fluent); German (reading); Czech (beginner)