Blinken OSA offers postgraduate academic courses and specializations to Central European University (CEU) students, organized in cooperation with the departments of Legal Studies and History, and also for CEU's annual Summer University (SUN).
The regular courses seek to address a broad spectrum of archival matters concerning the historian’s craft, truth and objectivity, documentary works, or evidentiary, legal and cinematic archival practices related to human rights. Some of them require an active, hands-on approach to materials curated by Blinken OSA. The SUN courses have so far been conceived around access to information and archives, as well as managing, automating and accessing modern archives, and the challenges posed by electronic records and digital documents. Blinken OSA participates in the Open Learning Initiative for asylum seekers and refugees, and strives to build academic partnership with CEU’s Digital Humanities Initiative and the Center for Media, Data and Society. It provides introductory sessions on information retrieval and practical examination of sources from its archival holdings, and Research Data Management consultation services for CEU students.

Our Courses

  • Archival and Documentary Practices
    Open Learning Initiative, Weekend Program (OLIve-WP)

    The Open Learning Initiative (OLIve) at Central European University focuses on opening access to higher education for refugees and asylum seekers. This course aims at familiarizing participants with the possibilities of using a contemporary archive for documenting and understanding various stages of the global refugee experience through a set of hands-on, practice oriented sessions. It will seek to introduce and discuss 20th century examples of forced displacement and migration through archival documents and projects, and explore ways of documenting and publishing personal memories of the participating students’ current experiences.

    Using Blinken OSA as a model, the course will bring the structure, databases, catalogs, and documents of a modern archive closer to the students and give specific and practical examples on how to trace and research primary archival and other relevant sources, as well as evaluate the findings. Thus, the course will provide students with basic research and analytical skills, which will come in handy should they wish and have the opportunity to pursue further academic careers.  Course description and syllabus

  • Archives and Evidentiary Practices Specialization
    Instructors: István Rév, Iván Székely, Csaba Szilágyi, András Mink

    The Archives and Evidentiary Practices Specialization is initiated by OSA and organized jointly with the Department of Legal Studies and the Department of History at the Central European University for the first time in AY 2016/17. The aim of the specialization is to provide students with theoretical grounding and practical skills in working and pursuing research in a contemporary and innovative archive. The knowledge and skills acquired during this program will open up for them additional avenues of pursuing a career not only in their chosen field but also in archives, libraries, and museums or in the multidisciplinary arena of the digital humanities. The detailed description of the specialization is available here. More information: Csaba Szilágyi at szilagyc@ceu.edu

  • Archives, Evidence and Human Rights
    Instructors: Iván Székely, Csaba Szilagyi, András Mink

    This course aims at looking at the roles and uses of human rights documentation in the context of preserving recorded memory and the history of human rights. Establishing facts by forensic methods, producing impeccable evidence to convict perpetrators, or understanding the roots of conflicts and working toward dialog and reconciliation are just a few areas where the availability of reliable records and archival activism can make a huge difference. Course description and Syllabus

  • Archival Practice
    Instructors: Csaba Szilágyi, Iván Székely, and OSA staff

    The second part of the Archives and Evidentiary Practices Specialization includes a supervised practice in the archives’ professional activities. Students will spend 30 hours at Blinken OSA to familiarize themselves with the various stages of the archival workflow and the ‘invisible’ processes of creating the archives. It is conceived as a guided individual discovery of the archives under the supervision of assigned staff members, from the processing area to the AV studio, and from the electronic catalogs to the digital repository. The full program of the Archival Practice is available here.

  • Advanced Coursework
    Instructors: Csaba Szilágyi, Iván Székely, and OSA staff

    The third part of the Archives and Evidentiary Practices Specialization is the Advanced Coursework, which brings in current archival theory and thinking in order to structure and contextualize students’ experience gained as researchers and practitioners in the first two chapters of the specialization. During the Advanced Coursework, students will attend online lectures, seminars and class discussions. In order not to disconnect completely from the archival setting, case studies selected from the 25-year practice of Blinken OSA will be explored and there will be two workshops when students will again have the chance to do hands-on exercises on primary source documents. The detailed syllabus of the Advanced Coursework is available here.

  • Human Rights and Documentary Cinema
    Instructors: Oksana Sarkisova, Rénata Uitz

    By introducing ten recent well-crafted and engaging documentary films, this course addresses questions concerning the possibilities of cinematic investigation and advocacy with regard to politically and economically contextualized human rights abuses.

Previous courses:

  • "Though this be madness, yet there is method in it": Cold War fantasies
    Instructors: István Rév, Ioana Macrea-Toma

    This course approaches post-World War II history through the lens of Cold War social science on both sides of the ideological divide, their interdependencies and mutual influences on each other. Using unique, up-till-now barely used archival sources, the course will explore how the social sciences contributed to the emergence of the fantasy of past, present and future that guided both the programs of the sciences and perceptions of the world. The course is accompanied by a series of fortnightly public film screenings, Cold War Fantasies: Film Laboratory at OSA, taking place September - December 2013.

  • The Archives of Living and the Dead Things
    Instructors: István Rév, Ioana Macrea-Toma, Simina Bădică
    This experimental seminar seeks to explore ways for dealing with the past through a theoretical and empirical interaction with the archives (plus libraries and museums), understood as complex transformative devices, due to their inscriptive materialities and practices. Objects, infrastructures, collecting and collections, relations and classifications, are not just privileged topoi of material history, but methodological and also epistemic entry points in the reconstruction of complex and meaningful worlds.

Central European University Summer University Courses