Russia & Eastern Europe


The Washington DC area is a major magnet for Russian History and East European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies in the United States, and the Georgetown University History Department is at its epicenter.  Our location in the capital might seem to imply only a contemporary orientation.  In fact, Georgetown is one of the few departments of history in the U.S. with comprehensive strengths in the Muscovite, Imperial, and Soviet periods of Russian History, as well as a strong focus on the early modern Poland-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

David Goldfrank specializes in medieval and early modern Russia.   His interests range from close readings of sacred texts to broad perspectives on foreign policy. 

The imperial period is represented by Greg Afinogenov. His interests include Russian relations with China and Inner Asia, diplomatic history, and the history of knowledge, science, and information.

The modern period is represented by Michael David-Fox. David-Fox works in the revolutionary and Soviet periods, and he regularly teaches a colloquium on major approaches to modern Russian and Soviet history. To listen to Professor David-Fox's interview on the New Books in History Network about his book "Crossing Borders," please click here.

Georgetown's professors have the distinction of having co-authored a major textbook - an innovative approach to Russian history following the fall of the Soviet Union (Evtuhov, Goldfrank, Hughes and Stites, A History of Russia: Peoples, Legends, Events, Forces.  Houghton-Mifflin Co., 2004).

Georgetown is the home of a major journal in the field, Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History, which offers graduate students the rare opportunity to serve as editorial assistants and learn about scholarly publishing from the inside.

All of us are deeply committed to graduate mentoring, and graduate students quickly become a part of our vibrant community.  The History Department takes language study very seriously.  Colloquia (reading, written reports, interpretation, discussion) and research seminars are conducted using primary and secondary sources in the relevant original languages.  Distinguished graduate students, the Davis Fellows, have the opportunity to offer small upper-level undergraduate classes in their field of study.  Our PhDs have published books with major presses and articles in influential journals.

Since 2012, the Russian and East European field has overseen the Jacques Rossi Gulag Research Fund, which supports conferences, speakers, and grants to students at all levels pursuing research projects related to the history of the Gulag in the Soviet Union.

The Richard Stites Memorial Lecture Series is founded as a living memorial to Richard Stites (1931-2010), a giant in the field of Russian history who taught at Georgetown from 1977 until his death.  Every other year a distinguished scholar will deliver the lecture to celebrate scholarship in the tradition of Richard Stites in the fields of history, Russian studies, cultural history, and the history of popular culture.

Contribute to the Richard Stites Memorial Lecture Fund.  After clicking the link, select "Other" and write "Richard Stites Fund" in the box.  Donors may also call Georgetown's Gift Processing department directly to make a gift by phone at 1-202-687-1789.

Georgetown University's Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, founded in 1959, oversees one of the top MA programs of its kind in the country.  CERES provides a library, lectures, luncheon discussions, and numerous contact with internationally known scholars in several disciplines: literature, culture, economics, and politics of the broad post-Communist world.  The language departments offer courses in Russian, Polish, Turkish, Persian, and Ukrainian (as well as French, German, Latin, and many others).

Washington, DC has become one of the premier centers of Russian Studies in the United States.  Georgetown hosts the Russian History Seminar of Washington DC , which brings together scholars and graduate students in fields related to Russian, Soviet, and Eurasian history and culture.  Created in spring 2004, and drawing regular participants from around the region, the Russian History Seminar has rapidly become one of the most dynamic gatherings of its kind in the country.  In addition to Georgetown University's faculty across many disciplines in Russian and East European Studies and its own library resources,  the Washington, DC location affords students the opportunity to conduct research in the Library of Congress, the National Archives, and the Holocaust Museum Library and Holocaust Museum archival collections, all of which house sources.  The Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies of the Wilson Center regularly holds symposia and lectures by distinguished scholars and policy figures on matters pertaining to the area.

For a list of Faculty in this Field of Study, click here

For a list of PhD Candidates in this Field of Study, click here


Related Faculty

Harley Balzer (PhD, University of Pennsylvania, 1980; professor emeritus)
History of Russian and Soviet higher education, the professions, and engineering; post-Soviet higher education and Russian politics

Dennis J. Deletant (PhD, University of London 1975, Ion Ratiu Visiting Professor of Romanian Studies, Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies). Romanian and East European History, police states, historians and the nation-state, the Holocaust in Romania

Charles E. King  (PhD University of Oxford, 1995; professor).
History of Caucasus; Ukraine; Moldova; Eastern Europe.
Nationalism, social violence, ethnic conflict.

Kathleen E. Smith (PhD, UC Berkeley, 1994, Professor, Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies). Comparative politics of the former Soviet Union and Central Europe, memory politics, Soviet history

For more information regarding graduate studies in Russian and Eastern European History at Georgetown, please contact Professor Michael David-Fox (faculty area representative to the Graduate Studies Committee).

In addition, we encourage you to contact current graduate students for their perspectives on the program; they will also be glad to answer any questions you may have. The following student has agreed to serve as contact.

Yelizaveta Raykhlina