The European Studies Council formulates and implements new curricular and research programs reflective of current developments in Europe. The geographical scope of the council’s activities extends from Ireland to the lands of the former Soviet Union. Its definition represents a concept of Europe that transcends the conventional divisions into Western, Central, and Eastern Europe, and is understood to include the Balkans and Russia. In 2010, the U.S. Department of Education again designated the council a National Resource Center under its HEA Title VI program.
The European Studies Council builds on existing programmatic strengths at Yale, while serving as a catalyst for the development of new initiatives. Yale’s current resources in European Studies are vast and include the activities of many members of the faculty who have teaching and research specialties in the area. Such departments as Comparative Literature, Economics, History, History of Art, Political Science, Slavic Languages and Literatures, and Sociology regularly offer courses with a European focus. These are complemented by the rich offerings and faculty strength of the French, German, Italian, and Spanish and Portuguese language and literature departments, as well as the European resources available in the professional schools and other programs, such as Film Studies. By coordinating Yale’s existing resources, including those in the professional schools, encouraging individual and group research, and promoting an integrated comparative curriculum and degree programs, the council strongly supports the disciplinary and interdisciplinary study of European regions and their interactions. The council is also home to special programs in European Union Studies; Baltic Studies; the Hellenic Studies program, which offers instruction in Modern Greek language, literature, history, and culture; and Early Modern Studies, wiche encompases British Historical Studies, Transitions to Modernity, and the Transatlantic Political Cultures Working Group.
In addition to the M.A. degree program, the council offers students in the University’s doctoral and other professional degree programs the chance to obtain a Certificate in European Studies, by fulfilling a supplementary curriculum. The undergraduate major in Russian and East European Studies is administered by the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures.
The European and Russian Studies (E&RS) MA degree program is particularly appropriate for students seeking to improve their preparation for PhD programs in the social sciences and humanities, or those hoping to enter public policy programs with a focus on European issues.
The benefits provided to the Yale community by the European Studies Council include not only its status as an HEA Title VI National Resource Center, but also its affiliation with interuniversity and international organizations that can offer specialized training programs and research grants for graduate students, support conferences among European and American scholars, and subsidize European visitors to Yale. The Fox International Fellowship Program, for example, offers generous fellowship support to qualified students who undertake research at specified institutions in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Russia. Furthermore, the council supplements the regular Yale curriculum with lectures and seminars by eminent European and American scholars, diplomats, and political officials. Each year, the European Commission sponsors a European Union Fellow at Yale. The European Union visiting fellow during the 2012-13 academic year is Ewoud Sakkers, a member of the European Commission.
Given the special objective of the European Studies Council to encourage research and discussion on projects of a pan-European nature or those involving comparison among several countries, the faculty are available to supervise work on European economic, political, and cultural integration. Specific studies might focus on such themes as labor migration and the issue of immigration in general; the problems of socialist or center parties in countries with or without Communist experiences; the common tendencies in various national literatures or art; or common problems in the relations between European countries and other parts of the world.