Interdisciplinary Russian Studies Project launched at the MacMillan Center at Yale

A conversation with Sergei Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States since 2008, will be the first event hosted by the interdisciplinary Russian Studies Project recently launched at the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale.

The Russian Studies Project will present a multi-faceted set of events to inform and engage student and faculty interests in the nation, drawing on the enduring and new lessons of Russia history, Russian culture as depicted in film, and the ideas of contemporary thinkers focused on Russia at this pivotal time.  The project is led by Paul Bushkovitch, the Reuben Post Halleck Professor of History; Thomas Graham, senior fellow at the Jackson Institute; and John MacKay, professor of Slavic languages and literatures, and film and media studies.

“Russian studies at Yale has long been one of the leading centers for the study of Russia in the United States and a meeting place for Americans and Russians in the pursuit of mutual understanding and constructive engagement,” say the project’s organizers. “Our goal is to not only satisfy the growing interest in Russia on campus but to generate more with a range of activities that will cover political, economic, social, cultural, and other matters.”

Beginning spring 2015, the project will offer three intersecting programs under the auspices of the European Studies Council of the MacMillan Center. The organizers hope the project will become the central repository for information on Russian studies, including courses, research, events, and news for the Yale community.

The inaugural event, “A Conversation with Russian Ambassador Kislyak,” will take place at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 4 in the General Motors Room at Horchow Hall, 55 Hillhouse Ave. A Yale ID is required for entry to the lecture.

Initial funding for the Russian Studies Project was provided by the MacMillan Center, along with in-kind support from the European Studies Council and the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, which are both housed under the MacMillan Center. The project also received external funding from the Renova Group to develop more robust programing. “The additional Renova Group funding is especially useful in enabling us to engage Russian colleagues with our faculty and students on campus, and to round out the historic and contemporary elements of the programming,” note the organizers.

In addition to inviting the community to take part in the many programs and events planned for the spring semester, the project’s organizers also are seeking ideas from students and faculty that the project should explore.

The project reinforces the MacMillan Center’s role as a hub of interdisciplinary research and teaching on contemporary issues of global, institutional, and human import. The MacMillan Center draws its strength by tapping the interests and combining the intellectual resources of the Yale Faculty of Arts and Sciences and Yale’s 12 professional schools.

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