European and Russian Studies

The MacMillan Center
242 Luce Hall, 203.432.3107

Edyta Bojanowska (Slavic Languages and Literatures)

Director of Graduate Studies
Marci Shore (, 203.432.6792)

Professors Bruce Ackerman (Law), Julia Adams (Sociology), Lauren Benton (History; Law), Dirk Bergemann (Economics; Computer Science), R. Howard Bloch (French), Edyta Bojanowska (Slavic Languages and Literatures), David Bromwich (English), Paul Bushkovitch (History), Francesco Casetti (Humanities; Film and Media Studies), Katerina Clark (Comparative Literature; Slavic Languages and Literatures), Carolyn Dean (History; French), Carlos Eire (History; Religious Studies), Paul Franks (Philosophy; Judaic Studies; Religious Studies), Paul Freedman (History), Bryan Garsten (Political Science; Humanities), John Geanakoplos (Economics), Harvey Goldblatt (Slavic Languages and Literatures), Bruce Gordon (Divinity; History), Philip Gorski (Sociology), Timothy Guinnane (Economics), Alice Kaplan (French), Paul Kennedy (History), John MacKay (Slavic Languages and Literatures; Film and Media Studies), Lawrence Manley (English), Ivan Marcus (History; Religious Studies), Millicent Marcus (Italian Studies), Isabela Mares (Political Science), Stefanie Markovits (English), John Merriman (History), Alan Mikhail (History), Samuel Moyn (Law; History), William Nordhaus (Economics; School of the Environment), Paul North (German), Mark 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), Jesús Velasco (Spanish and Portuguese), Miroslav Volf (Divinity), Kirk Wetters (German), James Whitman (Law), Fabrizio Zilibotti (Economics)

Associate Professors Jennifer Allen (History), Paola Bertucci (History), Molly Brunson (Slavic Languages and Literatures), Marcela Echeverri (History), Emily Erikson (Sociology), Isaac Nakhimovsky (History; Humanities), Ayesha Ramachandran (Comparative Literature), William Rankin (History), Marci Shore (History)

Assistant Professors Sergei Antonov (History), Marijeta Bozovic (Slavic Languages and Literatures; Film and Media Studies; Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies), Jinyi Chu (Slavic Languages and Literatures), Marcel Elias (English), José-Antonio Espín-Sánchez (Economics), Cormac O’Dea (Economics), Samuel Hodgkin (Comparative Literature), Giulia Oskian (Political Science), Carolyn Roberts (African American Studies; History; History of Science and Medicine)

Lecturers Paris Aslanidis (Hellenic Studies; Political Science), George Syrimis (Hellenic Studies; Religious Studies)

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

The European Studies Council at the MacMillan Center promotes innovative research on Europe’s past and present in the context of regional and global interactions. The council collaborates with schools and departments throughout Yale to support faculty, students, and visiting scholars by sharing their interdisciplinary expertise on European affairs with the broader public. The council aims to foster a wider understanding of Europe as both a place and an idea, reflecting the evolving nature of the region and its network of connections throughout the world. 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 (E&RS). This M.A. program is unusual in its embrace of all of Europe, east as well as west. The program allows students to choose a regional focus while also ensuring familiarity with those parts of Europe outside of that focus. As an interdisciplinary program, the E&RS M.A. allows for concentration in a variety of humanities (languages, literatures, history, art, music) and social science (political science, economics, sociology, anthropology) disciplines, as well as law. The program is suited both to students who wish to pursue further academic studies and to students interested in pursuing careers in policy, journalism, teaching, human rights, development, and NGOs.

Fields of Study

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

Special Requirements for the M.A. Degree

All students must complete sixteen graduate-level term courses (or their equivalent) related to European and Russian studies. When applying to the program, students will specify either Russia and Eastern Europe, or Western and Central Europe, as an area of primary concentration. For students focusing on Russia and East Europe, two of the sixteen required courses (excluding language courses) must concern the nations of Western and Central Europe. For those focusing on Western and Central Europe, two courses must concern Russia and Eastern Europe. Students are further required to take at least one course in at least three of the four broadly-defined fields of study relevant to the program: history (including history of art, history of science, and history of music), literature, social sciences, and law. Additionally, in their first year, students must enroll in one course focusing on methodology in a chosen discipline (e.g., history, comparative literature, sociology, anthropology, political science). 

Only one of the sixteen graduate-level term courses may be taken for audit. Courses graded Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory cannot be counted toward the sixteen-course requirement of the program. All students must meet the minimum Graduate School grade requirement of an overall grade average of High Pass, including a grade of Honors in at least one one-credit graduate course (for students enrolled in one-year programs), or in at least two one-credit graduate courses (for students enrolled in two-year programs).

As a requirement for graduation, all students must demonstrate at least L4 proficiency in two modern European languages other than English. These two languages must include at least one directly related to their area of concentration—i.e. students focusing on Russia and Eastern Europe will need to demonstrate knowledge of Russian or an East European language; those focusing on Western and Central Europe will need to demonstrate knowledge of one of the appropriate regional languages.

A maximum of four of the sixteen courses required for completion of the degree may consist of language courses, even though these courses have undergraduate course numbers and undergraduate grading modes. In order to count towards the degree, these language classes must be taken for a grade, not for audit. Further undergraduate-level language classes, beyond these four, can be taken for credit or audited, but will not count towards the sixteen courses required for graduation. Graduate-level seminars taught in language departments are unaffected by this four-course maximum; these are counted as regular graduate courses.

Students already possessing language skills must arrange to receive certification of proficiency by the relevant language department. Most often this involves completing a placement or proficiency examination; in some cases, the director of graduate studies may certify native language skills. Because each language department administers these exams in its own way, students must make arrangements individually with the appropriate departments. 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 who have met the European language proficiency degree requirement may study a non-European language provided the courses are approved by the DGS.

As part of the program’s commitment to outreach, each MA student is required to lead at least one seminar or give one lecture on his/her topic of interest to local secondary school students. This can be arranged through Yale’s Office of New Haven Affairs public school partnerships, or depending on the topic, through the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies curriculum development program.

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 the Environment, and the School of Public Health. Application for admission must be made to both the Graduate School and the desired professional school, with notation made on each application that the applicant would like 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 topic must be approved by the DGS and the thesis advised by a faculty member with expertise in the chosen topic. M.A. students must register for E&RS 950, which may not be taken for audit and is counted toward the sixteen required courses. For the purposes of preparatory research, students may register for one additional independent study with their potential adviser in a semester prior to taking E&RS 950. The master’s thesis must be submitted in accordance with departmental guidelines; it is due in two copies in the student’s second year on a date in early April 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 618a / RUSS 670a, Empire in Russian CultureEdyta Bojanowska

Interdisciplinary exploration of Russia’s modern imperial culture, especially of the nineteenth century. How did this culture reflect, shape, and challenge imperial reality? How did the multiethnic and multiconfessional empire figure in negotiations of Russian national identity? Other topics include versions of Russian and Soviet Orientalism and colonialism, representations of peripheral regions, relations between ethnic groups, and the role of gender and race in Russia’s imperial imagination. Materials combine fiction, poetry, travel writing, painting, and film, with readings in postcolonial studies, history, political science, and anthropology. Most readings are assigned in translation, although students with a knowledge of Russian are encouraged to read the primary texts in the original; the language of seminar discussions will be English. Students with an interest in comparative studies of empire are welcome.
Th 1:30pm-3:20pm

E&RS 629a / CPLT 689a / RSEE 613a / RUSS 613a / SLAV 613a, Art and Resistance in Belarus, Russia, and UkraineStaff

This interdisciplinary seminar is devoted to the study of protest art as part of the struggle of society against authoritarianism and totalitarianism. It focuses on the example of the Soviet and post-Soviet transformation of Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine. The period under discussion begins after the death of Stalin in 1953 and ends with the art of protest against the modern post-Soviet dictatorships of Alexander Lukashenka in Belarus and Vladimir Putin in Russia, the protest art of the Ukrainian Maidan, and the anti-war movement of artists against the Russian-Ukrainian war. The course begins by looking at the influence of the “Khrushchev Thaw” on literature and cinema, which opened the way for protest art to a wide Soviet audience. We explore different approaches to protest art in conditions of political unfreedom: “nonconformism,” “dissidence,” “mimicry,” “rebellion.” The course investigates the existential conflict of artistic freedom and the political machine of authoritarianism. These themes are explored at different levels through specific examples from the works and biographies of artists. Students immerse themselves in works of different genres: films, songs, performances, plays, and literary works.
Th 3:30pm-5:20pm

E&RS 940a or b, Independent StudyStaff

By arrangement with faculty.

E&RS 950b, Master’s ThesisStaff

By arrangement with faculty.