Yale University’s Slavic Department is one of the most dynamic in the United States and takes great pride in the creative and forward-thinking scholarship of its faculty and students. Our graduate program values interdisciplinary and comparative perspectives on Russian, East European, and Eurasian literatures and cultures. While maintaining a foundation in the study and teaching of language and literature, the Department sees both as embedded in a global context and a broad network of cultural production. In coursework, exams, professional training, mentoring, and intellectual life, our graduate program seeks to provide its students with the knowledge, skills, and vision to become engaged, innovative Slavists and Eurasianists for the twenty-first century.
The faculty members of the Yale Slavic Department have been recognized internationally for their teaching and research. With deep and evolving connections to comparative literature, art history, film and media studies, history and the social sciences, gender and sexuality studies, and the digital humanities, the faculty are actively engaged in integrating Slavic studies into the diverse communities and conversations of the academic and public spheres. Many opportunities for such integration within Yale are provided by the Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies Program of the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies, but also by the uniquely collaborative culture of the university’s faculty and institutions. The Slavic graduate program also benefits from the many resources of the university: from Yale’s renowned strengths in the humanities to the rich collections of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Sterling Memorial Library (and its Slavic, East European and Central Asian Collection), and the Yale University Art Gallery. Our expansive approach to Slavic studies is reflected in the impressive range of our graduate students’ research fields and dissertations, as well as the many professional achievements of our alumni.
Ph.D. Tracks and Interdisciplinary Programs
In line with our particular strengths in the interdisciplinary study of Russian culture, the Department offers a range of options for the Ph.D. degree. Our primary track is the Ph.D. in Russian literature and culture, with a strong emphasis on transnational and transmedial approaches. The Department also offers a combined degree in Slavic Languages and Literatures and Film and Media Studies. By special arrangement, the Department will consider individualized ad hoc programs with other departments. Students interested in pursuing such a degree are encouraged to speak with the Slavic Director of Graduate Studies at the time of application or early in the program.
Yale University makes available to graduate students several certificate programs, such as Women’s Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Film and Media Studies, Translation Studies, Environmental Humanities, or the MacMillan Center’s Councils on African, European, Latin American and Iberian, and Middle East Studies. Graduate students can also receive a Certificate of College Teaching Preparation or a Certificate in Second Language Acquisition. For a complete list of certificate programs, see the website for the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
Intellectual Life in the Department
Several annual programs enhance the intellectual life of the Slavic Department, including the Slavic Colloquium, which features talks by leading scholars within and adjacent to the discipline, and the Slavic Film Colloquium, which screens films and other media from Russia, Eastern Europe, and the former Soviet Union and invites speakers on topics in film and media studies. Both the Slavic Colloquium and the Slavic Film Colloquium are organized by graduate students (typically second- and third-year students), under the supervision of designated faculty members. In addition, the department supports the Slavic Graduate Student Advisory Committee in organizing varied events, including regular Russian-language and/or research workshops (kruzhki) and dissertation progress roundtables.
Beyond these regular colloquia, the Slavic Department frequently hosts interdisciplinary and international conferences and workshops. Graduate students are also active in organizing and participating in conferences and working groups that bridge departmental communities at Yale (many sponsored by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the Whitney Center for the Humanities). The nature of these events consistently changes according to the makeup of the faculty and student body. Because of this, graduate students are encouraged to bring ideas for enriching the intellectual and social life of the department to the Director of Graduate Studies and the Chair, who will, when possible, provide guidance and help facilitate the funding and organization of such events. The university and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences also provide resources for funding and encouraging intellectual life in the humanities that vary by year. Students should remain alert to these announcements as they are made.
Slavic Graduate Student Advisory Committee (SGSAC)
Every year graduate students will be asked to elect three members from their ranks to serve on the Slavic Graduate Student Advisory Committee (SGSAC). This committee is intended to facilitate consistent, open, and mutual communication between the graduate students and the faculty. The committee will nominate one of its members to attend certain parts of the department’s regular faculty meetings, at the invitation of the Chair. The committee member may be asked to convey any pressing graduate student concerns to the faculty, and will be expected to report on the faculty meeting to their student colleagues. Depending on the year, and in consultation with the Chair of the department, the committee may also oversee several departmental administrative responsibilities, including the maintenance of current funding/fellowship information, the peer mentorship program, a Russian-language and/or work-in-progress kruzhok, and dissertation progress roundtables. Other responsibilities may be added to the portfolio in consultation with the committee members and the Chair of the department.
Graduate School Policies
For more information on degree requirements, credit and degree petitions, withdrawals and leaves of absence, parental support, financial aid, and other matters, see the website of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
Applying to the Yale Slavic Department
For more information about applying for graduate study at Yale, see the website for the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Specific questions about the Slavic Department and its graduate program can be directed to the Slavic Director of Graduate Studies.