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.


September 2017

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


Carlotta Chenoweth spent the summer of 2016 conducting research in Moscow and St. Petersburg for her dissertation, “The Illiterate Text: Soviet Literature and the Aesthetics of Literacy, 1918-1928,” thanks to a Russian Studies Grant. In Fall 2016, she is a Digital Humanities Fellow for the course “Avant-Gardes and Émigrés: Digital Humanities Lab.” She was a Nina Berberova Fellow in 2015-2016.


Anya Corke recently completed the STARTALK Summer Institute for proficiency-based pedagogy. She presented on “Chess as the Ultimate Mozgovaia Igra: Echoes of Bely’s Petersburg in Nabokov’s Zashchita Luzhina” at NESEEES in Spring 2016. She co-organized a mini-conference of six panels on the theme of “Ecology in Russian Culture” to take place at the 2016 ASEEES Convention. Anya is also serving as the 2016-2017 Arts and Culture Fellow for Graduate Student Life at the McDougal Center.


Dasha Ezerova received the Russian Studies Program Dissertation Grant that sponsored her advanced archival research in Russia this summer. Her report on the 26th Open Russian Film Festival KINOTAVR was published in the July issue of KinoKultura. Her review of Helena and Margaret B. Goscilo’s Fade From Red: The Cold War Ex-Enemy in Russian and American Film 1990-2005 will appear in the September issue of Studies in Russian and Soviet Cinema. She is currently working on an article dedicated to transnational connections in late 19th-century Russian art.


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.


Nick Kupensky received a Holodomor Research and Education Consortium grant to conduct archival research in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, for his article “Margaret Bourke-White and the Ukrainian Famine: The Scenarios to Eyes on Russia (1933). His article on the life and work of the Carpatho-Rusyn emigre writer Emil Kubek recently appeared in the National Czech & Slovak Museum’s journal Slovo in the summer of 2016.


Isabel Lane recently attended “The Nuclear Proliferation International History Project (NPIHP)’s 2015 Nuclear History Boot Camp,” sponsored by the Wilson Center. 


Jacob Lassin was a 2015-2016 Ronald Muirhead Byrnes Fellow. His article “The Digital City in Post-Soviet Identity Formation: The Case of OurBaku.com” was published in Digital Icons 13 (Spring 2015). He also recently completed the Mellon Foundation Graduate Concentration in the Digital Humanities.


Amanda Lerner recently completed the STARTALK Summer Institute on proficiency-based pedagogy for teachers of Russian through the National Security Language Initiative and Middlebury College. Her article, “Deconstructing Claims to (Jewish) Victimhood,” appeared in the recently published volume Watersheds: Poetics and Politics of the Danube River (Academic Studies Press). She will also be a fellow in the upcoming Modern Language Association’s Connected Academics Proseminar.


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


Mihaela Mihailova’s chapter, ”Latvian Animation: Landscapes of Resistance,” is included in the volume Animated Landscapes: History, Form, and Function (ed. Chris Pallant, Bloomsbury, 2015). Her article “Collaboration without Representation: Labor Issues in Motion Capture” was published in animation: an interdisciplinary journal 11, no. 1 (March 2016). Her translation of Mikhail Iampolski’s article “Point–Pathos–Totality” appears in Sergei M. Eisenstein: Notes for a General History of Cinema (eds. Naum Kleiman and Antonio Somaini, Amsterdam University Press, 2016).


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.


Viktoria Paranyuk was awarded the Russian Studies Program Dissertation Grant for the summer of 2016.


Megan Race received a John F. Enders grant, which funded her dissertation research on George Balanchine at the New York Public Library and Harvard University’s Houghton Library in 2015. 


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


Aura Young is currently on a Beinecke Library fellowship, researching her dissertation on breastfeeding and maternity in the works of Tolstoy. She will present a portion of her work at an upcoming Tolstoy conference.



September 2016

Anna Aydinyan (Ph.D. 2012) is happy to be  joining the faculty of Kenyon College as a tenure-track Assistant Professor of Russian Language and Literature in the fall of 2017, where she is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor. She has previously taught at Trinity College and the University of Pennsylvania. 


Fabrizio Fenghi (Ph.D. 2016) completed his dissertation “Another Russia: Counter-Culture, National-Bolshevism, and the Search for a Post-Soviet Identity” in July 2016, under the supervision of Marijeta Bozovic and Katerina Clark, and is starting a new position as a tenure-track Assistant Professor of Slavic Studies at Brown University this fall.


Zakhar Ishov (Ph.D. 2016) completed his Ph.D. degree in May 2016, in Russian Literature with a minor in Italian Literature, for the dissertation “Joseph Brodsky and Italy” under the guidance of Tomas Venclova. Zakhar is excited to start his new one-year-post-doc position Teach@Tuebingen in October 2016.


Cassio de Oliveira (Ph.D. 2014) is excited to start in a new position in September 2016 as a tenure-track Assistant Professor of Russian in the Department of World Languages and Literatures at Portland State University.


Rita Safariants (Ph.D. 2012) is pleased to join the faculty of St. Olaf College as a tenure-track Assistant Professor of Russian Language and Area Studies in the fall of 2017. She is currently an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Russian at Bowdoin College, having previously taught at Vassar College.

Vadim Shneyder (Ph.D. 2015) recently completed his first year as a tenure-track assistant professor of Russian in the Department of Slavic, East European and Eurasian Languages and Cultures at UCLA.


Raisa Sidenova (Ph.D. 2016) completed her dissertation “From Pravda to Vérité: Soviet Documentary Film and Television, 1950-1985” in August 2016, under the supervision of John MacKay and Charles Musser.


Roman Utkin (Ph.D. 2015) joined the faculty of Davidson College as a tenure-track Assistant Professor of Russian Studies in 2015. He is a founding member of Q*ASEEES, Society for the Promotion of LGBTQ Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies.