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Russian and Eurasian Studies Program

Khaldei Collection
Khaldei Collection
Colgate has a unique tie to the life and work of the famous Soviet photographer Yevgeny Khaldei, whose images of WWII and its aftermath defined that history for generations of viewers.
Welcoming the REST Program in Style
Welcoming the REST Program in Style
Colgate inaugurates the Russian and Eurasian Studies program with baklava and balaclavas. Welcoming the REST Program in Style
Educational Experiences
Educational Experiences
Togbor Wentum '13 accompanied Professor Nancy Ries on a project for the Open Societies Foundation in the summer of 2011.
Nancy Ries on the Odessa Steps in Ukraine. Meet our Russian and Eurasian studies faculty.
Russian and Eurasian Studies focuses on the region extending from European Russia and Eastern Europe to Central Asia, the Caucasus, Siberia, and the Russian far east. Courses explore language, literature and the arts, history, politics, ethnic relations, social conditions, and the environment.

About Russian and Eurasian Studies

The Russian and Eurasian studies (REST) program is unusual in the wide range of its faculty, from seven different fields in the social sciences and humanities. At the same time, we are small enough to know and work closely with our students. We encourage you to get involved with REST as early in your time at Colgate as possible.

Our interdisciplinary curriculum culminates in a senior seminar, which lets you explore a thesis or advanced research topic in a collaborative environment. Students often double major, combining Russian and Eurasian studies with a cognate major or minor in history, political science, international relations, economics, sociology, history, Jewish studies, or environmental studies.

Students who wish to immerse themselves in the Russian language are encouraged to spend a semester in Russia studying on one of our faculty-approved programs, like the Bard-Smolny Program in Saint Petersburg. Contact the off-campus study office for more information.

Studying in Russian and Eurasian Studies

Russian and Eurasian Studies offers a major and a minor. Interested students should start Russian language (REST 121) as soon as possible. The major includes five semesters of language, with the possibility of a semester abroad. Courses at the 200-level emphasize critical analysis, research, and writing skills. Courses at the 200-, and even more at the 300-level, focus on the culture, history, politics, and geography of the region. A senior seminar consolidates learning and provides a venue for original research. We are privileged to draw on faculty with appointments in anthropology, art and art history, geography, history, political science, peace and conflict studies, and Jewish studies, as well as Russian language and literature.

Success after Colgate

Colgate alumni who majored in Russian and Eurasian studies are pursuing careers in a variety of fields. Check out just a few of the possibilities out there for our majors. READ MORE

Program Contacts

Director: Jessica Graybill

Administrative Assistant: Tracy Piatti (
Office: 216 Ho Science Center
Phone: 315-228-7534

Intern: Alexandra Galkina (
Office: Lawrence Hall
Phone: 315-228-6183

Program News

New director of the Russian and Eurasian Studies Program
REST has a new director this year: geography professor Jessica Graybill. Jessica is back from a year in Vladivostok, during which she managed to publish three new articles, “Teaching energy geographies via videography” in the Journal of Geography in Higher Education, and (with William Meyer) “Suburban Bias” in Urban Geography, as well as a multiauthored book, Cities of the World, Sixth Edition (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield).

She has also been part of teams that have received two big grants, one for 450,000 euros entitled “ASUS: Arctic Sustainability: A Synthesis of Knowledge” and the second, from $450,000, called ARCTIC BASE: Building Coastal Resilience in the Russian Arctic Research Coordination Network.” In addition, she’s now associate editor of Costal Geography.
Recognition of Alice Nakhimovsky's book, Dear Mendl, Dear Reyzl
Outgoing director Alice Nakhimovsky’s 2014 book, Dear Mendl, Dear Reyzl (with Roberta Newman; Indiana University Press) was the subject of a number of public readings and events The Russian National Library put up an exhibition about the book in August 2015 (learn more). The other, American, focus of the book was of interest to the Tenement Museum in New York City, which invited the two authors to speak on June 17, 2015, as part of KulturFest New York City. The National Library exhibition was written up in the Russian press, and was also the focus of an interview on Finnish TV (in Russian, not Finnish).
Roundup: Updates from our faculty
Ian Helfant now has a joint appointment in Environmental Studies. His course, “Hunting, Eating, and Vegetarianism,” is a Sophomore Residential Seminar. Joining REST in a joint position is Carolyn Guile from Art History, who has a special interest in Poland. She has a new book out (Remarks on Architecture: The Vitruvian Tradition in Enlightenment Poland, Penn State University Press, 2015). And there were some promotions: Carolyn Guile is now Associate Professor; Alice Nakhimovsky is Distinguished Professor of Jewish Studies. Nancy Ries is in Berlin for the academic year. REST faculty continue to do many things in the university at large: Jessica Graybill runs the First Year Seminar and Global Engagements programs, and Kira Stevens continues as Director of the Division of Social Sciences.

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