Department Statement on Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

The Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures joins colleagues at ASEEES, AATSEEL, other Slavic departments, and the global academic community, in strongly condemning Russia’s unprovoked military invasion of Ukraine.  We are appalled by mounting human losses and the suffering of civilians.  We stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine bravely defending their sovereignty and their democratically elected government.  We support all those who oppose Russia’s aggression, including the citizens of Russia who do so at great personal risk.  We call for the return of peace and safety to our colleagues, friends, and families in the region, and hope for the restoration of open dialogue, cultural links, and intellectual exchange that is vitally threatened by this global crisis.

For information about ways to help Ukraine, see the list compiled by Prof. Timothy Snyder

Resources for journalists, scholars, and the general public are also available through the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute

For President Salovey’s statement on Yale’s response to the invasion, see here.


The Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Yale University, which is one of the oldest programs of its kind in the United States, was born of the vision of two of the most remarkable figures in the University’s twentieth-century history. In 1946, William Clyde DeVane, the eminent long-term Dean of Yale College and Professor of English, established the Department at the urging of René Wellek, who was appointed Professor of Slavic and Comparative Literature that year and who was soon to emerge as one of the greatest figures in twentieth-century literary studies. Professor Wellek took over the chairmanship of the Department from Dean DeVane in 1948, and following a series of new appointments in the early 1950s, the Department began its ascent to national prominence.

The current members of the Department continue its traditions of engaging in innovative teaching and scholarship on the literatures, languages, and cultures of the Slavic peoples. The Department offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees, with several possible tracks in each, but with a primary emphasis on Russian literature and culture, and especially film.

Slavic department faculty are recognized leaders in their scholarly fields both nationally and internationally, and have established themselves as popular and influential teachers on campus. The Department’s varied course offerings are enriched by the extensive Slavic holdings in the Yale University Library system, which is one of the greatest research collections in the world.


February 2022

Congratulations to the winners of the First Russian Language Olympiad for American Students hosted by St. Petersburg State University, Russia!

news img155 students from 34 US universities and colleges competed in the 2021 Olympiad.  The Yale Slavic Department had the largest number of medalists – ten.  Four of our students won First Place in various categories: Jem Burch, Max Heimowitz, Veronika Denner, and Anne Northup.  Six students won Second Place: Andy Pantoja Valerio, Genki Ono, Renee Deminne, Elise Lieberman, Eden Gorevoy and Raisha Waller. Jack Leydiker received a special prize.  We are very proud of our excellent students!



February 2022

Anastasia Kostina, “’I want to make a film about women’: The Story of Esfir Shub’s Unrealized Feminist Manifesto” has been selected as the winner of the Jonathan Kahana Graduate Student Writing Award in Documentary Studies (awarded by the SCMS Documentary Studies Scholarly Interest Group) for 2022

Chloe Papadopoulos’s article “Speaking Silently and Overnarrating in Fyodor Dostoevsky’s ‘Krotkaia’” was published in the 2021 issue of Dostoevsky Studieshttps://dostoevsky-studies.dlls.univr.it/article/view/1009

Ana Berdinskikh received the Dorris Hastings International Distinguished Engagement Award to study BCS at the 2016 Critical Languages Institute at Arizona State University.

Anastasia Kostina’s translation of the selected writings of Esfir Shub, the first Soviet woman filmmaker, was published in the Summer 2016 issue of Feminist Media Histories, a special issue on Found Footage: Women Without a Movie Camera.

Mina Magda received an ADSEEES Travel Grant to attend the 2016 national ASEEES Convention in Washington, D.C.

Ingrid Nordgaard was an Arnold Fellow in 2015-2016. She recently published “We have been traveling for weeks now” in Palimpsest: Yale Literary and Arts Magazine, and has a forthcoming publication in September 2016, “Documenting/Performing the Wounded Body: Pain and Agency in Works by Boris Mikhailov and Petr Pavlensky” in Contemporaneity: Historical Presence in Visual Culture.

Svetlana Tcareva successfully completed an internship at the State Literary Museum in Moscow in July 2016.   

John Webley received the Kathryn Davis Fellowship for Peace to pursue advanced Russian language study at Middlebury College in the summer of 2019. From 2020-2021 he is engaged as a fellow on the Stanford U.S.-Russia Forum, as part of the Arts and Culture working group.