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.