Yale University.Calendar.Directories.

Councils, Committee, and Institute

Committee on Canadian Studies

Building on three centuries of close ties with Canada, Yale continues to play a significant role in the development of Canadian Studies in the United States and has graduated the second-highest number of Canadians among American universities. The Committee on Canadian Studies annually brings a distinguished Canadian academician to the campus as the Bicentennial Visiting Professor, due to a generous gift from the Canadian government to Yale University in 1976. In addition, the committee offers a number of dynamic conferences, film screenings, and special courses, such as a comparative Canadian and Australian history offering.

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Council on African Studies

African studies at Yale began in the late eighteenth century with study of African languages. Yale was one of the first universities to incorporate African studies into its mainstream curriculum prior to World War II. Today, the council serves as a National Resource Center for African Studies as well as one of the key U.S. sites for the study of Africa. As the home for the undergraduate major, M.A. in African Studies, Graduate Certificate of Concentration in African Studies, and the Program in African Languages—including programs in Swahili, Yorùbá, and Zulu—the Council on African Studies is an interdisciplinary humanities and social sciences program that nurtures a community of Africanist scholars and provides training to individuals who are specializing in African topics.

Students enter the B.A. and M.A. programs with a variety of experiences and backgrounds, and find the curriculum to be an excellent first step toward an academic career or an important supplement to professional training in politics, policy, medicine, public health, or environmental and nongovernmental advocacy work. An important component of the program is its multinational as well as multidisciplinary approach. Students’ interests reflect this diversity, as they focus not only on particular regional zones in Southern, Western, Eastern, or North Africa but on particular thematic topics whose disciplinary homes range from political science to arts and literature, anthropology, economics, and the study of religion.

The Council on African Studies has recently launched a revitalization plan to expand its capacity to develop relevant research, learning, and collaborative opportunities at Yale. This renewed focus has emerged at a time when rigorous analysis of contemporary African realities is urgently needed and ripe for innovation. In this revitalizing milieu, the council’s faculty and students are debating and devising novel approaches to the social, political, and cultural dynamics of twenty-first-century Africa.

Annual council events range from general faculty, staff, and student-run events, including the weekly brown bag lunch seminars (a graduate student-run weekly series designed to provide an informal environment in which students, staff, and faculty at all levels at Yale and in the community can present work-in-progress), to the Spring Skit Night sponsored by the Program in African Languages, to conferences and roundtable discussions. Most events are open to the public.

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Council on East Asian Studies

The formal study of East Asia at Yale dates back to 1878. Since then, for more than a century, East Asian Studies has expanded and evolved into a comprehensive program of study that plays an essential role in the University. Founded in 1961, the Council on East Asian Studies (CEAS) promotes education about East Asia both in the Yale curricula and through lectures, workshops, conferences, film series, cultural events, and educational activities open to faculty, students, K–16 educators, and the general public. CEAS coordinates more than one hundred activities each year, providing an important forum for academic exploration and support related to the study of China, Japan, Korea, and transnational issues in East Asia.

With more than thirty core faculty and more than twenty language instructors, East Asian Studies remains one of Yale’s most extensive area studies programs, with faculty members teaching across departments in the social sciences and humanities. National interest and University commitment have contributed to expanded course offerings and rising student enrollments. Approximately 150 courses on East Asia are offered each year.

As part of the University’s continuing mission to offer programs with an international vision and richness, an undergraduate major and a master’s degree program are offered at Yale in East Asian Studies. The interdisciplinary emphasis of CEAS encourages collaborative linkages across fields and departments and contributes to diversity across the curricula and in the classroom. Study and research in East Asian Studies at Yale are supported by one of the finest library collections in the country. The Chinese, Japanese, and Korean language print resources in the library constitute one of the oldest and largest collections found outside of East Asia.

CEAS is committed to providing leadership in the study and understanding of East Asia on campus and in the region through support of educational and outreach activities with emphasis on joint endeavors across institutions both domestically and internationally. CEAS has been designated as a National Resource Center for the study of East Asian languages and cultures by the U.S. Department of Education.

During the 2014–2015 academic year, CEAS will welcome to campus visiting scholars and postdoctoral associates to conduct research on such topics as the formation of modern Japanese identity within international racial discourse; contemporary architecture and urbanism in Asia; the nexus of empire, environment, and market in Qing China and its impact on border ecologies; the intersection of culture and politics as reflected in the historical collective memories of China’s “educated youth” generation; the effect that medical interpretations of disease in prewar Japan had on public health legislation and social stratification; the early history of the English East India Company and its decision to deal in artwork; the significance of architectural regionality and religious architecture in Jincheng, Shanxi Province, China; and the emergence of urban societies of the bronze age in ancient Central Asia. CEAS visiting scholars and postdoctoral associates will offer such courses as Cultural Spectacles in East Asia (S. Brownell); Women, Gender, and the Body in China (S. Brownell); Civilization in Meiji Japan (K. Hasegawa); South Korean Urbanism (S. Paek); China’s Environmental History since 1600 (J. Schlesinger); and Collective Memories in East Asia (B. Xu).

In addition to a full calendar of lectures, films, and cultural events, CEAS will sponsor numerous workshops and conferences in 2014–2015. In the fall, David Der-wei Wang (Harvard University) will deliver the 55th Annual Edward H. Hume Memorial Lecture; Timon Screech (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London) will give the 16th Annual John W. Hall Lecture in Japanese Studies; and journalist Michael Forsythe (New York Times) will speak as a Poynter Fellow in Journalism. In the spring, Peter Kornicki (Cambridge University) will be the McClellan Visiting Fellow in Japanese Studies, a program inaugurated in 2000 in honor of Edwin McClellan, Sterling Professor Emeritus of Japanese Literature. Workshops in 2014–2015 include Creating Submissions for the Online Journal Visualizing Asia (organized by Peter Perdue, History) and Transnational Migrations and Modernities: Japan and Brazil (organized by Seth Jacobowitz, East Asian Languages & Literatures). CEAS looks forward to collaborating again with the Yale-China Association and New Haven Museum to coordinate cultural outreach programming for Lunarfest 2015. CEAS will continue to partner with the New Haven Public Schools and other schools systems in the greater New Haven area to provide enrichment programming for both teachers and students related to East Asia. And it will coordinate once again with the Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office in New York to sponsor a Taiwanese History Film Series in fall 2014 and with the National Film Center in Tokyo to host a special series on Japanese crime films in spring 2015. CEAS will also support a special 2015 exhibition, Samurai and the Culture of Japan’s Great Peace, at the Peabody Museum and a conference and exhibition at the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Treasures from Japan.

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European Studies Council

The European Studies Council, which has been a National Resource Center for European Studies for several years, formulates and implements new curricular and research programs on European politics, culture, economy, society, and history. The council builds on existing programmatic strengths at Yale, while serving as a catalyst for the development of new initiatives. It supports individual and group research projects, conferences, film series, symposia, workshops, courses, and community outreach as they relate to the study of Eastern and Western Europe. European Studies offers an undergraduate major in Russian and East European Studies administered by the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, and a master’s degree program in European and Russian Studies. The council strongly supports the interdisciplinary study of Western Europe, as well as Russia and Eastern Europe, and their interaction. Additionally, the council offers students in the University’s graduate and professional degree programs the opportunity to obtain a Graduate Certificate of Concentration in European Studies. European Studies is also the home of active programs in Baltic Studies, British Studies, European Union Studies, and Hellenic Studies, which offers instruction in modern Greek language, literature, and culture. The council sponsors a dynamic cultural initiative in Polish, as well as the Center for Historical Enquiry and the Social Sciences (CHESS) and other topic-specific Reading Groups.

The M.A. program is unusual in its embrace of the entire spectrum of European nations and cultures. Students develop a national or thematic focus geared to their interests and language skills relating to East or West Europe, while also acquainting themselves with the traditions and issues associated with the other parts of Europe. In this way, the program translates the political realities and challenges of the post-Cold War era into a flexible and challenging academic experience. M.A. students have the opportunity to gain insight into such diverse topics as labor migration within Europe, the changing role of socialist parties, transnational tendencies in literature and the arts, and Europe’s relations with other world regions. Areas of special focus include the European Union, Poland, Greece, the Balkans, and the states of the former Soviet Union.

In October 2014 the council will cohost a conference sponsored by the History Project, an initiative at the Joint Center for History and Economics, based at Harvard and Cambridge. A film conference honoring the most famous living Polish filmmaker, entitled Andrzej Wajda: Film and Theatre Landscapes, is planned for November. The European Cinema Committee will organize a film conference in December focused on 1981–82, a particularly important time in the history of Europe, when events occurred that ultimately led to significant shifts in the European geopolitical complexion. In April 2015 the Council will cohost two conferences, Mediterranean Crossings and Rethinking Early Modern Russia. A conference on economic history, titled Doing Business with Strangers, and a conference hosted jointly by CHESS and École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), will follow in May. Throughout the year the council will also host colloquia series on British Historical Studies, Modern Europe, Modern Britain, and the Russia-East Europe Reading Group.

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Jackson Institute for Global Affairs

The Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, established in 2010, builds on the work of the previous International Affairs Council (IAC) as an interdisciplinary site for innovative teaching. The programmatic interests of the Jackson Institute center on development; strategy and security; global health policy; and the teaching of global issues.

The Jackson Institute houses many important intellectual initiatives, as well as the MacMillan Center’s largest teaching programs, the Master of Arts (M.A.) and the Master of Advanced Study (M.A.S.) in Global Affairs and the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Global Affairs.

The M.A. Program in Global Affairs, which enrolls some fifty to sixty students, prepares students to impact the global community through an academically rigorous yet flexible interdisciplinary program. Students take three core courses and then pursue an individualized course of study. The Jackson Institute also offers three Graduate Certificates of Concentration, open to most graduate and professional students at Yale, in International Security Studies, Global Health, and Development Studies.

The M.A.S. is a one year program for midcareer professionals. Created in 2013, the program is small by design, with only a few admitted students each year. It is aimed at professionals with extensive experience in a field of global affairs such as, but not limited to, international security, diplomacy, and development.

At the undergraduate level, the Jackson Institute is the site of the Global Affairs major. This interdisciplinary major is intended for students who want to better understand and eventually influence the world around them.

Each year the Jackson Institute hosts a group of Senior Fellows, practitioners in international affairs who teach courses and mentor students.

The Jackson Institute Career Services office is a resource for the entire University community, helping Yale students find internships and career placements in public service and other areas of international affairs.

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Council on Latin American and Iberian Studies

Established in 1962, the Council on Latin American and Iberian Studies (CLAIS) continues a long tradition of Yale collaborations in Latin America, Spain, and Portugal. The council offers an undergraduate major in Latin American Studies and a Graduate Certificate of Concentration in Latin American and Iberian Studies for graduate and professional students at Yale. It has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as one of twenty National Resource Centers for Latin American and Caribbean Studies. The council works to strengthen intellectual exchange and innovation through a broad array of courses, cultural events, scholarly lectures, international conferences, and academic research. More than eighty-five Yale faculty conduct research and/or teach courses with substantial Latin American content. Recent years have seen increased collaboration with other Yale departments and professional schools in the areas of forestry and environmental studies, global health, nursing, medicine, law, and human rights. CLAIS offers travel fellowships to undergraduate and graduate students, hosts visiting scholars, and supports faculty curriculum development. CLAIS sponsors an intensive Nahuatl language course in the summer and supports the development of new resources for language teaching in Spanish, Portuguese, Nahuatl, and Quechua. CLAIS promotes linkages with other U.S., Latin American, and Iberian institutions to bolster cooperation and understanding of these interconnected regions. Through a comprehensive outreach program, the council works with local, regional, and national K–16 educators and students and members of Latino community organizations, cultural centers, business, and media to develop and implement programs, services, and resources designed to advance understanding of issues pertaining to Latin America and Iberia.

In 2014–15 council events will include a yearlong interdisciplinary lecture series; three conferences, New Histories of the Cuban Revolution, Reperiodizing Latin America’s Nineteenth Century, and Globalization and Latin American Literature Today: Belief, Aesthetics, and the Literary Marketplace; and two workshops, Rethinking Gender and Sexual Violence in Conflict, and Socialization and Organized Political Violence. The council will also sponsor cultural events, including the New England Festival of Ibero American Cinema, a Latin American Theater Series, and a concert of Latin American music by La Voz de Tres. Most CLAIS events are open to the public.

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Council on Middle East Studies

As globally significant developments in the Middle East unfold daily, the Council on Middle East Studies (CMES) continues its role as an academic platform in which students and faculty can debate the myriad contemporary, historical, political, and cultural issues of relevance to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and beyond. As a National Resource Center for Middle East Studies (funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s HEA Title VI), CMES serves as a central resource for the Yale community, the region, and the nation on issues pertaining to MENA. More than fifty Yale faculty members in a wide range of departments and professional schools teach more than 175 Middle East-related courses, including in the four major Middle East languages (Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, and Turkish, to the advanced level).

The major in Modern Middle East Studies (MMES), offered for the first time in 2008–2009, will have more than thirty-five courses (not including language courses) to choose from this year. CMES also offers a Graduate Certificate in MMES for M.A. and Ph.D. students interested in a regional focus.

CMES has been pivotal in the organization of major international conferences on wide-ranging topics, such as the region’s relations with the United States, the health impacts of violent conflict in the region, changing political regimes in MENA, and Islamic attitudes toward science and technology. CMES also offers a biweekly lecture/luncheon series, a yearlong film program, and many other educational events, all free and open to the public. CMES’s initiative to promote richer understanding of contemporary issues in the Middle East is growing considerably and includes regional initiatives in Iranian Studies, Turkish Studies, and North African Studies. In addition, CMES has strong links with Yale professional schools, particularly Architecture, Divinity, Law, and Public Health. CMES also assists in the acquisition of new materials in the Near Eastern Collection at Yale’s Sterling Memorial Library.

CMES will be host to several symposia, workshops, and conferences in 2014–2015. These include cosponsoring a History of Art symposium for graduate students organized by Kishwar Rizvi, Topographies of Culture: Heritage, Art, and Urbanism in the Gulf Region, in September; and, in April, a conference-symposium, IVF: Global Histories, organized jointly with the University of Cambridge by Marcia Inhorn. In addition, CMES will host a junior scholars workshop in October for young political scientists, organized by Ellen Lust; and the Project on Middle East Political Science at George Washington University and CMES’s Program on Governance and Local Development will cohost a conference in late spring, also organized by Ellen Lust, which will seek to advance new theoretical and empirical understandings of state and nonstate interactions in the greater Middle East.

CMES will host an active visiting scholar program in 2014–2015. Scholars in residence will include visiting fellow Marco Demichelis (Catholic University of Milan), who is researching his thesis, “Al-Baqa¯ wa al-Fana¯‘ Alla¯ h fı¯ al-Kala¯ m: A Study on the Doctrine of Universal Salvation within the Debates among Mu‘tazilites and Maturidite Authors,” and postdoctoral associate and lecturer in Islamic Studies Eric van Lit (Utrecht University), who will teach the Yale College course Sufism and Ethics in the Works of al-Ghazali in the spring. In addition, the Program on Governance and Local Development will host junior Carnegie fellow and visiting associate professor Hania Sholkamy (American University in Cairo), Fulbright scholar and visiting fellow Yasmine Farouk (Cairo University), and visiting fellow Rania Al Jazairi (Centre for Women, UN-ESCWA). CMES will also cohost, with Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Hüsnüye Nese Arslan (Ufuk University) as a foreign language teaching assistant in Turkish.

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South Asian Studies Council

The South Asian Studies Council promotes the University’s teaching and scholarship on all aspects of South Asia and its diasporas. Drawing on faculty from across the University, the council’s members annually offer courses in the humanities, social sciences, professional fields, and the languages of South Asia, including Sanskrit and Hindi. In partnership with Columbia and Cornell universities, using videoconferencing technologies, Bengali, Tamil, and Tibetan are also being offered for Yale College and South Asian Studies credit.

A variety of directed independent language study programs are possible, depending on interest and availability. Dzongkha, Nepali, Punjabi, Telugu, and Urdu were among the languages taught in the past three years. The council will continue to support directed independent study of these languages and any others that students may request in 2014–2015. Travel fellowships awarded by the council allow Yale College students to engage in intensive study of languages, conduct research, undertake internships, or perform social service in South Asia. Fellowships also support graduate students in attending professional meetings and conferences to present their research on South Asia, and in traveling to South Asia for research and advanced language study.

Yale undergraduate students have the opportunity to elect South Asian Studies as a second major. The major combines the study of premodern, modern, and contemporary South Asia and emphasizes the study of South Asian languages. During 2014–2015, visiting scholars will be teaching new courses in music, literature, cinema, gender and family, politics, and religion.

Throughout the academic year the council sponsors lectures, conferences, and cultural events related to South Asia. In 2014–2015 these will include a number of performances showing and teaching the classical and modern arts of India, as well as numerous talks and special events featuring public figures, jurists, scholars, environmentalists, and creative artists. The council will host a series of presentations by postdoctoral scholars and other visitors in residence at the council, as well as the weekly South Asian Studies Colloquium. The South Asian Brown Bag series, which is coordinated by graduate students, will include distinguished visitors from India and researchers from near and far.

In addition to language pedagogy and literature workshops organized by language faculty, the council will host the seventh annual Modern South Asia Workshop for new interdisciplinary work on South Asian history, politics, society, and literatures. It will also organize the eighth annual Hindi Debate, an increasingly popular, and now intercollegiate, event featuring participants from top universities across the eastern seaboard. The year will culminate with an international conference—Guru: Mapping Spirituality in Contemporary India—which will bring together noted scholars and public intellectuals from India with eminent European and U.S.-based experts for intensive dialogue on new research and the most important research questions on modern and contemporary India. Several Yale scholars, faculty, and students will participate.

This year the South Asian Studies Council is also cosponsoring numerous other events, including a talk with the Windham Campbell Prize winners from South Asia in fall 2014, the India Constitutional Law Speaker Series at Yale Law School, and a film retrospective of the work of incoming Yale World Fellow Nandita Das. Delegations of Yale faculty, researchers, and expert staff from different parts of the University will also travel to India to participate in a growing number of collaborations between Yale and Indian counterparts, ranging across libraries and museums and the fields of art history, industrial ecology, urban studies, law, environmental studies, politics, and modern history. The South Asian Studies Council is also cosponsor of the new InterAsia Initiative, working with the Council on East Asian Studies and the Social Science Research Council, New York.

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Council on Southeast Asia Studies

Yale established its Southeast Asia Studies Program in 1947, the first area studies program in the United States to embark on the study of Southeast Asia in all disciplines. Southeast Asia Studies at Yale became an endowed program in 1961 and today helps to maintain one of the most extensive library collections in the country. Students with interests in the countries of Burma/Myanmar, Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam may turn to the Council on Southeast Asia Studies, whose mission is to promote research, education, and intellectual exchange on the politics, cultures, and economies of the region, both historical and contemporary.

In addition to teaching courses relevant to the region, faculty members of the council representing a range of academic disciplines and departments are available to advise students on their curricula and research concentrations or projects. Council faculty will this year teach courses on Eastern philosophy, peoples and cultures of modern Southeast Asia and postwar Vietnam, 1900s Southeast Asian and earliest Vietnamese history, history of Buddhist art and architecture, gamelan and world music theories, and environmental anthropology of the region. The council supports study of the region’s languages at all levels, including full-time instruction in both Indonesian and Vietnamese, as well as a variety of directed independent language study programs, depending on interest and availability, in Burmese, Khmer, Tagalog, and Thai.

Fellowships in research and language study are provided by the council to eligible Yale graduate and undergraduate students with a demonstrated commitment to the field of Southeast Asia Studies. Fellowship assistance may be awarded for predissertation or master’s thesis fieldwork, supplemental language training, or other academically relevant projects as merited.

The Council on Southeast Asia Studies helped to launch the Cambodian Genocide Project at Yale and currently supports programs of the new Indo-Pacific Art department at the Yale University Art Gallery. The council regularly cosponsors numerous activities in association with related organizations throughout the University and works with the student board of ALSEAS (Alliance for Southeast Asia Students) to coordinate support for activities of the various Southeast Asian student groups on campus.

The council continues to edit and publish its long-running Monograph Series, the first volume of which was printed in 1961. This series is comprised of books on the history, cultures, and politics of Southeast Asia, as well as economic and anthropological subjects relevant to the region.

The council coordinates and sponsors a wide variety of annual activities, including a yearlong Southeast Asia seminar series, featuring an eclectic range of speakers and topics chosen to contribute to discussions of the ongoing research and general interests of Yale students and faculty, as well as workshops, conferences, and presentations organized by subsidiary consortiums of students and faculty, such as the Yale Indonesia Forum and the Yale Vietnamese Studies Group. Throughout the year, the council also hosts special lectures, film screenings, and cultural programs. In 2014–2015, faculty of the Southeast Asia Language Studies Programs expect to host the thirteenth annual SEA Spring Cultural Festival, featuring displays and performances of regional arts, crafts, music, and dance by students and members of the local Southeast Asian community.

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