Cris Martin next to bowl of soup

"One of my favorite things to do with high school students," writes Outreach Director Cris Martin, "is to encourage them to consider history through an alternative perspective—in this case, not the American perspective but the Soviet." 

Original building, Russian Research Center

Seventy years ago today, the Russian Research Center opened its doors at Harvard University. Much has changed, yet much remains the same.

Applying for the Davis Center’s 2018–2019 Postdoctoral Fellowships? Read these tips from our staff to strengthen your application!

Anne Applebaum is author of "Red Famine"

Anne Applebaum talks about her new book, Red Famine, in which she argues that the 1932–1933 famine in the Soviet Union was part of a deliberate operation by Stalin to rid the USSR of Ukrainian opposition.

Genesis Philanthropy Group

The Davis Center and Genesis Philanthropy Group announce the launch of a series of events on Harvard's campus focused on Russian-speaking Jewry.

1917 Research Guide

With the official anniversary of the October Revolution upon us, Harvard’s libraries and archives offer endless opportunities to dig into the year 1917. 

Images from John Reed collection

Curators of an exhibit of original artifacts from the Russian Revolution speak about the individuals who witnessed these tumultuous events, and about the wealth of revolution-era materials in Harvard's own collections. 

"Gorbachev: His Life and Times" by William Taubman

Mikhail Gorbachev, revered by many in the West for his commitment to "openness" and democratizing reforms, has a more mixed reputation in Russia, where he is associated with the fall of an empire. 


The Eurovision Song Contest was created in 1956 as an opportunity to bring nations and people together in an expressly nonpolitical fashion. Sixty years later, Eurovision has been used as a political tool to reignite recent conflagration between Ukraine and Russia.

Soviet Daughter by Julia Alekseyeva

Two decades after immigrating from Kiev to Chicago, Julia Alekseyeva found her great-grandmother’s hidden memoirs of a life spanning the Soviet 20th century. With input from comics scholar Hillary Chute, she turned a lifetime of secrets into a work of art.

Zvi Gitelman and his book The New Jewish Diaspora

The vast majority of Russian-speaking Jews today live outside the former Soviet Union. We spoke with Zvi Gitelman about this population, their remarkable impact on the societies that send and receive them, and how old notions of "diaspora" and "homeland" have blurred in our globalized world.

Boris Nemtsov and Boris Yeltsin speak with President Bill Clinton.

Who was Boris Nemtsov? Who is Boris Nemtsov—and who could he have been? Writer, director, and opposition politician Vladimir Kara-Murza addresses these questions in his biopic Nemtsov, screened at the Davis Center on May 4, 2017. The film explores the life, career, and legacy through...

Serhii Plokhii and his book "The Man with the Poison Gun: A Cold War Spy Story"

In 1959, the KGB, determined to squash the movement for independence in Ukraine, sent Bogdan Stashinsky to assassinate Stepan Bandera using the most unusual of methods. Stashinsky was put on trial in what would become the most publicized assassination case of the Cold War. His story is rousingly...

fellows photos

The Davis Center is pleased to announce the results of the Fellows Program competition for 2017–2018. The postdoctoral fellows will participate in a seminar on the theme "Revolutions in Eurasia.” During the program, participants will trace the broader implications of the revolution experience in...

Shishkina-Iavein's granddaughter in front of piano

A prominent prerevolutionary women's activist, long believed to have vanished, had in fact continued practicing medicine in Russia for decades. She shared her passions—and the family archive—with her granddaughter.

To support innovative applications of technology in advancing regional studies, the Davis Center will award a prize for the best geographic information systems (GIS) project relevant to Russian, East European, and Central Asian studies.

Matryoshka dolls with Olympiada medals

Studying grammar in the classroom presents its own challenges, particularly for ambitious students who have chosen to learn Russian. But conversing intelligently about culture, geography, and literature? Now that’s a challenge of an entirely different magnitude.