Jan Hennings' work has focused on Russian-European diplomatic encounters in the early modern period. He is interested in the connections between ritual and politics in early modern societies, particularly in cross-cultural contexts. He has used the evolution of Russian diplomatic culture in the second half of the seventeenth and the early eighteenth centuries as a basis for exploring how seemingly circumstantial aspects of diplomacy - ceremonial formalities, protocol, and etiquette - shaped foreign relations and how ritual impacted on concrete action in early modern political life. His current project shifts the focus to include diplomatic exchanges between the Russian and Ottoman empires, concentrating on the first Russian resident embassy in Constantinople at the beginning of the eighteenth century.
Before moving to Budapest, he had held a Junior Research Fellowship at St John's College Oxford and taught history as a Visiting Assistant Professor and Gerda Henkel Fellow at Sabanci University in Istanbul. At CEU, he offers courses centred around comparative approaches to the history of diplomacy and early modern empires as well as on broader topics on European history, Russia and the Ottoman world. He is an associate editor of the Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas and serves on the editorial board of Diplomatica: A Journal of Diplomacy and Society. He also coordinates CEU's Early Modern Studies consortium.
Jan Hennings would welcome enquiries from prospective students interested in working on:
- Early modern Europe
- Muscovy and Imperial Russia
- History of diplomacy and international relations
- Russian-Ottoman relations
- Travel literature and cultural encounter
Russia and Courtly Europe: Ritual and the Culture of Diplomacy, 1648-1725. New Studies in European History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016. Reissued in paperback, 2018).
Practices of Diplomacy in the Early Modern World c. 1410-1800. Routledge Research in Early Modern History (London and New York: Routledge, 2017. Reissued in paperback, 2019). Co-edited with T. Sowerby.
'Andrew Marvell in Russia: Secretaries, Rhetoric, and Public Diplomacy', Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, 50 (2020). In press. Co-authored with E. Holberton.
‘Information and Confusion: Russian Resident Diplomacy and Peter A. Tolstoi’s Arrival in the Ottoman Empire (1702–1703)’, International History Review, 41 (2019), 1003-1019.
‘Textual Ambassadors and Ambassadorial Texts: Literary Representation and Diplomatic Practice in George Turberville’s and Thomas Randolph’s accounts of Russia (1568-9)’, in T. Sowerby, J. Craigwood, (eds.), Cultures of Diplomacy and Literary Writing in the Early Modern World (Oxford, 2019), 175-189.
‘Balance of Power und Theatrum Praecedentiae: Russland im Spiegel der Zeremonialliteratur des 17. und 18. Jahrhunderts’, in I. Schwarcz (ed.), Die Flucht des Thronfolgers Aleksej: Krise in der „Balance of Power“ und den österreichisch-russischen Beziehungen am Anfang des 18. Jahrhunderts (Berlin, Vienna, 2019), 11-24.
ESSA Book Prize 2017 'for most outstanding recent scholarly monograph on pre-modern Slavdom', awarded by the Early Slavic Studies Association | ASEEES for Russia and Courtly Europe
Hedwig Hintze Prize 2012. Best dissertation award of the German Historical Association
Fritz Theodor Epstein Prize 2012. Best dissertation award of the Association of Historians of Eastern European History (Germany)
Junge Akademie at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (BBAW) and the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, Elected Member, 2016-21
Gerda Henkel Foundation, Research Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor, Sabanci University Istanbul, 2013-15
St John's College (University of Oxford), Junior Research Fellow, 2009-13
MA theses by students who have worked with Jan as supervisor or co-supervisor include:
- 'Ceremonial Representation in Cross-Confessional Diplomacy: The Ottoman Embassy of a Christian Ambassador to Moscow in 1621', Maria Telegina
- 'Diplomatic Intermediaries During Rákóczi’s War of Independence, 1703–1711', Ewelina Sikora
- 'Official Physicians Within the Medical Landscape of the Russian Empire (1760s)', Kateryna Pasichnyk
- 'The Temperance Movement: Alcohol and Politics in Fin-de-Siècle Russia', Anna Smelova
- 'Mapping a City in Motion: European Visitors' Perceptions of Edirne During the Reign of Mehmet IV', Nicholas Crummey
- 'Austro-Hungarian Consuls in Late Ottoman Kosovo (1867-1913)', Sven Mörsdorf (current)
- 'The Role of Sixteenth-Century Travel Literature Collectors in Constructing the Image of the Ottomans: Francesco Sansovino and Richard Hakluyt', Oana Avram (current)
- 'Ethnic Charitiy Associations in Fin-de-Siècle Saint-Petersburg: Categories of Difference in Change', Kseniya Venediktova (current)
- 'Implementations of the Concept of “Russianness” into European Cultural and Social Constructs Through the Exhibitions of Vasily Vereshchagin', Lydia Kotlyar (current)
- 'Russian Muslims and the Bureaucracy of the Hajj in Russian-Ottoman Contexts at the Turn of the Twentieth Century', Ulzhan Rojik (current)
- 'Muscovite Diplomacy and the 1682 Moscow Uprising', Konstantin Meftakhudinov
'Table Set for Diplomats: Food, Drink, and Politics in Polish-Lithuanian Diplomatic Relations, 1674–1696', Ewelina Sikora (current)
Courses taught in previous years:
- The Perfect Ambassador? International Relations and the Origins of Diplomacy, 1500-1800
- Global Comparisons: Russia and the Ottoman Empire, 1453-1839 (together with Tijana Krstic)
- Grand Debates in Russian and Eurasian History (together with Charles Shaw)
- Interdisciplinary Methods of Comparative History
- Barbarians, Infidels, and Noble Savages: Stereotypes and Inter-cultural Perception in the Early Modern Period and Beyond