Mátyás Mervay is pursuing a Ph.D in History from New York University. Mátyás has received an HIF scholarship to assist him in completing this program.
Mátyás Mervay is an international scholar. Growing up in Hungary, he started his collegiate career earning a Bachelor’s degree in History at the Eötvös Lóránd University, During the completion of his degree, Mátyás was given the opportunity to spending three months in Moscow on a language exchange program. His curiosity and “wanderlust” inspired him to expand his horizons even further, and so, upon earning his Bachelor’s degree, Mátyás moved to Tianjin, a northern Port city of China. Mátyás was able to apply his knowledge of Mandarin and eventually obtained a Master’s degree in Modern Chinese History at Nankai University.
While in Tianjin, Mátyás worked on researches that connected Hungary and Hungarians not only to China, but to global history. He developed this interest towards global interactions and transnational history, writing his thesis on Austro-Hungarian prisoners of war in China during World War One. This topic was a previously “unknown chapter of Chinese – Central European connections” and one might say even marginal story, much interesting it is. But it opened up a host of new perspectives and potential research directions for Mátyás.
He decided to apply for a Ph.D program, and hopes to propose a hypothetical triangle of network between North America, Central Europe and the Far East. He is trying to figure this out now as a Ph.D student at New York University.
“New York University and of course the City proved to be an excellent choice: both being equally inspiring, multicultural communities that keep on providing me with new impulses both for my researches and my intellectual development… In New York, where almost everybody is coming from somewhere abroad or has a story of immigration in the family, I experienced the multi-cultural diversity and I’ve always felt welcomed.”
While at NYU, Mátyás will complete a research project on a topic related to Hungary. Specifically, he hopes to show examples of friendly relations between Americans and Hungarians through his research on those diplomats, businessmen and philanthropists who participated in any way in the relief actions to help soldiers in the Far East.
Looking forward, Mátyás hopes to continue his career in academia. He would like to go on with his researches and he is excited about the teaching opportunities during this program. After graduation, he would be glad to get a tenure-track position either in the U.S. or in a European university. “I think that the years that I’ll spend in America will shape me and will enrich my experiences in a way that could help me to understand global relations better,” says Mátyás.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity and glad the HIF granted me this scholarship that will definitely provide me with the financial assistance in my first year after moving to a new country. Apart from building up my new life here with my wife, I will be able to participate in scholarly activities and do the researches needed for my dissertation and other related projects.”