European and Russian Studies

The MacMillan Center
342 Luce Hall, 203.432.3107

Edyta Bojanowska (Slavic Languages & Literatures)

Director of Graduate Studies
Bruce Gordon (Divinity; History; 333 Luce, 203.432.3107)

Professors Bruce Ackerman (Law), Julia Adams (Sociology), Rolena Adorno (Spanish & Portuguese), Dudley Andrew (Comparative Literature; Film & Media Studies), Seyla Benhabib (Political Science; Philosophy), Dirk Bergemann (Economics; Computer Science), R. Howard Bloch (French), Edyta Bojanowska (Slavic Languages & Literatures), Paul Bracken (Management; Political Science), David Bromwich (English), Paul Bushkovitch (History), David Cameron (Political Science), Francesco Casetti (Humanities; Film & Media Studies), Katerina Clark (Comparative Literature; Slavic Languages & Literatures), Carolyn Dean (History; French), Carlos Eire (History; Religious Studies), Paul Franks (Philosophy; Judaic Studies; Religious Studies), Paul Freedman (History), Bryan Garsten (Political Science), John Geanakoplos (Economics), Harvey Goldblatt (Slavic Languages & Literatures), Bruce Gordon (Divinity; History), Philip Gorski (Sociology; Religious Studies), Timothy Guinnane (Economics), Alice Kaplan (French), David Scott Kastan (English), Paul Kennedy (History), John MacKay (Slavic Languages & Literatures; Film & Media Studies), Lawrence Manley (English), Ivan Marcus (History; Religious Studies), Millicent Marcus (Italian), Isabela Mares (Political Science), Stefanie Markovits (English), Alan Mikhail (History), Samuel Moyn (Law; History), Robert Nelson (History of Art), William Nordhaus (Economics; Forestry & Environmental Studies), Paul North (German), Mark A. Peterson (History), David Quint (English; Comparative Literature), Douglas Rogers (Anthropology), Pierre Saint-Amand (French), Maurice Samuels (French), Timothy Snyder (History), Peter Swenson (Political Science), Katie Trumpener (Comparative Literature; English), Miroslav Volf (Divinity), Kirk Wetters (German), James Whitman (Law), Keith Wrightson (History), Fabrizio Zilibotti (International & Development Economics)

Associate Professors Paola Bertucci (History), Molly Brunson (Slavic Languages & Literatures), Marcela Echeverri (History), Emily Erikson (Sociology), Leslie Harkema (Spanish & Portuguese), Isaac Nakhimovsky (History; Humanities), Ayesha Ramachandran (Comparative Literature), Marci Shore (History)

Assistant Professors Jennifer Allen (History), Sergei Antonov (History), Marijeta Bozovic (Slavic Languages & Literatures; Film & Media Studies), José-Antonio Espín-Sánchez (Economics), Cormac O’Dea (Economics), Giulia Oskian (Political Science)

Lecturers Paris Aslanidis (Hellenic Studies), George Syrimis (Hellenic Studies)

Senior Lectors Irina Dolgova (Slavic Languages & Literatures), Marion Gehlker (German), Krystyna Illakowicz (Slavic Languages & Literatures), Maria Kaliambou (Hellenic Studies), Ruth Koizim (French), Constantine Muravnik (Slavic Languages & Literatures), Julia Titus (Slavic Languages & Literatures), Karen von Kunes (Slavic Languages & Literatures)

The European Studies Council promotes research programs about Europe’s culture, history, and current affairs. The geographical scope of the council’s activities extends from Ireland to Italy, and from Portugal to the lands of the former Soviet Union. The council’s definition of Europe transcends conventional divisions between Western, Central, and Eastern Europe, and includes the Balkans and Russia. The U.S. Department of Education has repeatedly designated the council a National Resource Center and a FLAS Center under its HEA Title VI program. Further information on the council and the Graduate Certificate of Concentration in European Studies is provided under Non-Degree-Granting Programs, Councils, and Research Institutes in this bulletin.

The council administers an M.A. program in European and Russian Studies. This M.A. program is unusual in its embrace of the entire spectrum of European nations and cultures. Its requirements allow students to choose a particular national or thematic focus, geared to their individual interests and language skills, but also ensure that students acquaint themselves with the traditions and issues associated with the other parts of Europe. Students specializing in Russia and Eastern Europe, for example, will concentrate their efforts in that area, but will also take courses that address Europe-wide problems or the countries of Central or Western Europe. The program is suited both to students who wish to pursue further academic studies and to students whose interests are policy-oriented.

Fields of Study

European languages and literatures; economics; history; political science; law; music; sociology and other social sciences.

Special Admissions Requirement

Individuals interested in applying for admission to the M.A. degree program must submit scores from the GRE General Test.

Special Requirements for the M.A. Degree

When applying to the program, students will specify as an area of primary concentration either (1) Russia and Eastern Europe, or (2) Central and Western Europe. All students must complete sixteen graduate-level term courses (or their equivalent) in the various fields related to European and Russian studies. E&RS 900, Europe: Who, What, When, Where?, is required in addition to the sixteen courses and should be taken in the first year of the program. E&RS 900 is taken as Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory and may not be taken for audit.

Students are required to take at least one course in at least three of the four fields relevant to the program, that is, history (including history of art, history of science, and history of music), literature, social sciences, and law. Students can fulfill this three-field requirement by taking Europe-related graduate-level courses from across the University. One of the sixteen graduate-level term courses may be taken for audit. Except for E&RS 900, any other courses graded Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory may not be counted toward the sixteen-course requirement. For students focusing on Russia and Eastern Europe, two of the sixteen required courses (excluding language courses) must concern the nations of Central and Western Europe. Conversely, for those focusing on Central and Western Europe, two courses must concern Russia and Eastern Europe.

For the purposes of this program, language courses in modern European languages count toward the sixteen required courses, even though they have undergraduate course numbers and undergraduate grade modes. If a student takes a language course to fulfill the 16-credit degree requirement, the language course may not be taken for audit. Students with previous language preparation may in certain cases receive documentation of their language proficiency on the basis of this work. By the time the degree is completed, all students must demonstrate at least L4 proficiency in two modern European languages other than English. Those wishing to focus on Russia and Eastern Europe will need to demonstrate knowledge of Russian or an Eastern European language; those focusing on Central and Western Europe will need to demonstrate knowledge of one of the appropriate languages. In all cases, students are required to demonstrate proficiency in two European languages by the end of the third term at Yale. The only exception to this rule is completion of the appropriate full sequence of Yale language classes, certified by the Yale instructor or the director of graduate studies (DGS). Students who wish to take Yale department examinations in French, German, Italian, Spanish, or other West European languages should register for a complete examination (with reading, oral, and grammar portions) with the appropriate Yale department. Students with Russian competence must receive the grade of 1+ or higher on the ACTFL/ETS Rating Scale as administered by the Slavic Languages and Literatures department at Yale, including reading, oral, and grammar portions. Students with competence in an East European language (such as Polish, Czech, Ukrainian, Hungarian, and others by special arrangement) or other European languages must take Yale department-administered examinations. Students who have met the language proficiency degree requirement may study a non-European language related to the student’s academic and professional goals if the courses are approved by the DGS.

In all cases, students will comply with the Policies and Regulations of the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, especially regarding degree requirements and academic standing.

Through agreements negotiated by the MacMillan Center, the European Studies Council offers joint master’s degrees with the Law School, the School of Management, the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, and the School of Public Health. Application for admission must be made to both the Graduate School and the applicable professional school, with notation made on each application that this is to be considered for the joint-degree program. Refer to and contact the European Studies DGS for up-to-date information.

The Master’s Thesis

A master’s thesis is required. The master’s thesis is based on research in a topic approved by the DGS and advised by a faculty member with specialized competence in the chosen topic. M.A. students must register for E&RS 950, which may count toward the sixteen required courses. E&RS 950 may not be taken for audit. Students may register for one additional independent study to prepare topics and begin research. The master’s thesis must be prepared according to department guidelines and is due in two copies in the student’s second year on an early-April date as specified by the council.

Program materials are available upon request to the European Studies Council, Yale University, PO Box 208206, New Haven CT 06520-8206.


E&RS 513a, Comparative Politics of EurasiaNavid Hassanpour

Comparative politics of democracy and dictatorship, political modernization, and development in Eurasia. Elements of political participation: electoral mobilization, turnout, and socioeconomic restructuring. Determinants of political (in)stability: institutions of electoral politics (presidential vs. parliamentary politics), party formation and alliances, breakdown of political order and civil violence, logic of autocratic and democratic durability. Readings from classics of comparative politics and microlevel studies of political modernization with an emphasis on historical and contemporary trajectories in Europe and Asia. Prerequisite: introductory comparative politics course. Open to Yale College juniors and seniors.
MW 1:30pm-2:20pm

E&RS 532a / ANTH 558a, Cold War in the First Person: Anthropology of Everyday Life under the SuperpowersDominic Martin

Thirty years after the Cold War ended, talk of a “new Cold War” has been placed on the agenda. Yet have we fully reckoned with the profound and multifarious effects that the original Cold War had on people’s lives in the twentieth century? The diplomatic histories of great men and grand strategy tend to overlook the lived dimension of the Cold War. This seminar redresses this blind spot by taking the Cold War from the first-person perspective and, through empirical case studies, looking at how the conflict manifested itself in ordinary lives across the political divide. The course examines how such taken-for-granted categories as identity, gender, family, sexuality, race, exchange, and culture were radically reformulated as Cold War worlds took shape; how everyday matters such as food, home, place, environment, and cosmos became bound up with new ideologically saturated meanings; and how the conflict gave rise to new and harrowing experiences of risk, body, emotion, death, and temporality, as well as new possibilities for political and social thought and action.
T 9:25am-11:15am

E&RS 618a / RUSS 670a, Empire in Russian CultureEdyta Bojanowska

Interdisciplinary exploration of Russia’s nineteenth-century imperial culture, history, and politics. Focus on how modern Russian culture reflected, shaped, and challenged imperial reality; on how empire figured in negotiations of Russian national identity; and on Russian versions of Orientalism and colonialism. Special emphasis on representations of peripheral regions, relations between ethnic groups, and the role of gender and race in Russia’s imperial imagination. Authors include Pushkin, Bestuzhev-Marlinsky, Lermontov, Gogol, Dostoevsky, Saltykov-Shchedrin, Leskov, Chekhov, and Tolstoy. Materials combine fiction, poetry, travel writing, journalism, and painting, with readings in postcolonial studies, history, political science, and anthropology. Students without a reading knowledge of Russian need permission of the instructor.
W 9:25am-11:15am

E&RS 630a, Eastern European Artists under State Surveillance: Politics, History, and PerformanceAniko Szucs

Central Eastern European performance and theater artists were subjected to the permanent surveillance of the dictatorial regimes’ secret police and informant networks during the decades of communism and state socialism. Art events, as nests of revolutionary ideas and active resistance, were considered especially threatening for the repressive ideological state. State security networks infiltrated the art world through their often violently recruited secret informants, who were obligated to inform the state about every detail of the art events and the community—from the most mundane, everyday interactions to the more suspicious oppositional actions and utterances. This course focuses on the last two decades of the cold war and analyzes the ways in which performance and theater artists from Poland, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Hungary, and East Germany navigated the permanent surveillance of the state security networks. After the introduction of foundational texts on the theory and history of surveillance, including Michel Foucault, Louis Althusser, and Gilles Deleuze, readings and discussions focus on the specificities of Soviet-type surveillance within the art world. We analyze both the strategies with which the repressive state apparatus aimed to discipline and control artistic expression, and the tactics with which artists subverted the policing gaze. Then we turn our focus to the present and study recent artworks that—through the recontextualization of the files excavated in the historical archives of the state security—either reconstruct the often invisible operations of the state security network or commemorate the enduring experience of living under such violently devious state control. We conclude by considering contemporary artists’ works that expose and critique the neoliberal, postcapitalist surveillance practices that threaten privacy rights globally. Although the main focus of the course is Central and Eastern Europe, we discuss the tactics of surveillance and the subversive artistic practices in a transnational, comparative context, studying artworks and surveillance files that originated in either the post-dictatorial Latin American states or the U.S. Civil Rights movement.
MW 11:35am-12:50pm

E&RS 900a, Europe: Who, What, When, Where?Staff

An interdisciplinary seminar designed to provide broad exposure to key topics in modern European studies. Special attention is given to Eastern and Western Europe as well as the humanities and social science disciplines. The seminar is framed by some key theoretical questions, including: What are Europe’s boundaries? When and where is “Europe”? Is there a narrative to European history? If so, what is it? What makes a European? The seminar also focuses on developing academic writing skills and examining research methodologies. Seminar meetings are combined with the Modern Europe in/and the World Colloquia and feature speakers from the Yale faculty and from other academic institutions. The course is required of all first-year European and Russian Studies M.A. students but is open to all graduate and professional students.
W 3:30pm-5:20pm

E&RS 940a, Independent StudyStaff

By arrangement with faculty.

E&RS 950a or b, Master’s ThesisStaff

By arrangement with faculty.