CURRENT: Celebrating 70 Years of Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard

Thursday, October 4, 2018 - 5:30pm to Friday, December 14, 2018 - 6:00pm
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CGIS South Building, Japan Friends of Harvard Concourse
1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

Since 1948, the Davis Center has served as a nexus for scholars who want to dive deep into the history, culture, politics, and art of this region. The knowledge produced in and around the Center enriches our understanding of the region’s past and present in ways that make what we read about today more comprehensible and more relevant to our lives. While the topics are diverse, a common thread—or current—connects them.

Can We Talk? Visualizing Bilateral Relations

In 1948, the year the Russian Research Center was founded at Harvard, the Soviets imposed their blockade of Berlin—one of the early major crises of the Cold War. Cooperation between the United States and the Soviet Union was understandably limited. In the seven decades since then, channels of communication have increased, though the extent of collaboration has ebbed and flowed with geopolitical tides. The aggregation of diplomatic agreements and treaties, many of which stay in force until cancelled, began in earnest during the détente of the late-1960s and 1970s, and provided a basis for regular interaction.

The collapse of the U.S.S.R. in 1991 opened the floodgates for business and official exchanges as well as agreements on science, arms control, higher education, health, and other areas of common interest. Putin’s reelection in 2012 and the Crimean annexation of 2014 with attendant sanctions have reduced these channels. Yet as this timeline reveals, globalization provides some support for the bilateral relationship, even when politics might not.

True to the spirit of the Davis Center, this timeline is a collaborative bilateral project based on an ever-expanding database that captures instances of interaction. While not yet comprehensive, it is roughly representative of the overall trends in cooperation. We welcome comments and suggestions for how to develop this project in the future.

On view through December 14, 2018.

Sponsored by the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies.

For more information, please call 617-495-4037.