European and Russian Studies

The MacMillan Center
332 Luce Hall, 203.432.3423

Edyta Bojanowska (Slavic Languages & Literatures)

Acting Chair [F]
Julia Adams (Sociology)

Director of Graduate Studies
Bruce Gordon (Divinity; History; 334 Luce, 203.432.3423)

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

Associate Professors Molly Brunson (Slavic Languages & Literatures), Emily Erikson (Sociology), Karuna Mantena (Political Science), Ayesha Ramachandran (Comparative Literature), Marci Shore (History)

Assistant Professors Jennifer Allen (History), Sergei Antonov (History), Marijeta Bozovic (Slavic Languages & Literatures), José-Antonio Espín-Sánchez (Economics), Isaac Nakhimovsky (History), Giulia Oskian (Political Science)

Lecturer Paris Aslanidis (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), George Syrimis (Hellenic Studies), 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 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 511a / GLBL 693a, United States and Russian Relations since the End of the Cold WarThomas Graham

This course examines the factors—political, socioeconomic, and ideological—that have shaped U.S.-Russian relations since the end of the Cold War, as well as specific issues in bilateral relations, including arms control, counterterrorism, energy, and regional affairs. The goal is to understand the way each country constructs relations with the other to advance its own national interests, and the implications of U.S.-Russian relations for global affairs.
M 1:30pm-3:20pm

E&RS 512b / GLBL 797, Case Studies in Russian Foreign PolicyStaff

This course examines a number of key Russian foreign policy issues from the past two hundred years. Through the examination of case studies, the course seeks to understand the permanent and contingent factors that have shaped Russia’s strategic thinking and decision-making and to trace evolution of that thinking up to the present day. The cases studies include the Congress of Vienna and the creation of the Holy Alliance; the conquest of Central Asia; the penetration of Manchuria; the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and the start of the Second World War; the Cuban Missile Crisis; the Prague Spring; the Afghanistan war; German reunification; Sino-Russian partnership; the post-Soviet space; and the Ukraine crisis.
M 1:30pm-3:20pm

E&RS 531a / ANTH 430a / ANTH 630a / RUSS 430a / RUSS 630a, Post-Pravda: Truth, Falsehood, and Media in (post-)Socialism and BeyondDominic Martin

Following the election of Donald Trump, Brexit, and the Cambridge Analytica-Facebook scandal, it has been declared that Euro-America has entered a 'post-truth' era. Academics, politicians and the media use this term, often connecting it to Russia, without explicit formulation of what it is or might be. This upper-level seminar discusses recent social scientific work in socialist and postsocialist countries to outline a coherent conceptual and empirical picture of a 'post-truth' situation. The works under discussion theorize the relationship between power and knowledge in socialism and postsocialism through the discursive productions of journalists, bloggers, actors, secret policemen, musicians, politicians, and others. Mapping the intricacies of knowledge, personhood, and expression within socialism and postsocialism, these authors present broader arguments about the epistemic roots of the collapse of state socialism in Eastern Europe and Russia and the rise of authoritarian populism. The seminar considers how socialist and postsocialist uses of media and linguistic productions foreshadowed, and latterly have come to intersect with, the production and consumption of media and information in Europe and the United States.
T 9:25am-11:15am

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

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 or b, Independent StudyStaff

By arrangement with faculty.

E&RS 950a or b, Master’s ThesisStaff

By arrangement with faculty.