Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies

Katya Hokanson, Program Director
114 Friendly Hall

The Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies Program is devoted to the study of the peoples living in the eastern third of Europe, throughout the northern steppes of Central Asia, and across Siberia to the Pacific Ocean. Settled over a territory that spans half the earth’s time zones, these peoples have created a complex mosaic of cultures, expressed in literature and art as well as in institutions and social forms. Over the centuries, these lands have come under the sway of several great world-historical civilizations and empires: the Byzantine, Mongolian, Ottoman Turkish, Holy Roman, Austro-Hungarian, Russian, and Soviet. These lands have felt the influence of Orthodox Christianity, Catholicism, Protestantism, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and Communism. At the intersection of many powerful forces, these lands experience the historical drama of what some call "modernization" with its challenge to customary ways of life. Yet, after centuries of massive transplantation and transformation, national and ethnic heritages survive. Customary ways and native self-consciousness, more diverse than anywhere else on the globe, express themselves with new vigor.

REEES offers a bachelor of arts degree (BA) and a minor.

Fields of Concentration

The program offers the following concentrations for the undergraduate major and minor:

  • Russian language, literature, and culture (humanities emphasis/field of concentration)
  • Russian and East European history, politics, and society (social science emphasis/field of concentration)

Courses with these focus areas are offered by the program and such participating departments as anthropology, geography, history, political science, religious studies and sociology. Any course taken that includes instruction on one of these focus areas and has at least 40 percent Russian, East European, former Soviet Eurasian, or Slavic content, including independent research undertaken by the student, may be applied to the field of concentration requirement with administrative approval.

Students can view sample programs of study in the various concentrations on the program website. 

The major requires 36 graded credits; courses must be passed with grades of C– or better. Credits used to fulfill the language requirement (students must complete three years of Russian or show they have attained third-year proficiency) may not be applied to the 36-credit requirement.

The minor requires 24 graded credits; courses must be passed with a grade of C– or better, and also requires third-year proficiency. Courses taken to fulfill the language requirement may not be used to fulfill the 24-credit requirement.

Overseas Study

Qualified students of Russian may spend a summer, semester, or academic year studying the language.  While study in Russia is not currently supported, a direct exchange program with the University of Latvia is available, as well as Russian language study programs organized by SRAS in Armenia, Georgia, Latvia and Kyrgyzstan. American Councils offers Russian language programs in Kazakhstan, Armenia, and Georgia.  Opportunities also exist for study in the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland. Limited fellowship aid is available for these programs.

Students in University of Oregon overseas study programs enroll in courses with subject codes that are unique to individual programs. Special course numbers are reserved for overseas study. See International Affairs in the Academic Resources section of this catalog. Students interested in study in the Commonwealth of Independent States or in Eastern Europe should write or call the Overseas Program Coordinator, Office of International Affairs, 5209 University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon 97403-5209; 541-346-3206.

Students may also wish to study Russian domestically at Middlebury College or the University of California, Los Angeles.  Students with advanced proficiency are encouraged to apply for relevant internships and career development opportunities, such as working at Lesnoe Ozero, Concordia Language Villages' summer Russian immersion program for children ages 7-18

Cultural Programs

The program sponsors lectures, panel discussions, symposiums, films, plays, exhibitions, concerts, and festivals. These presentations involve scholars from other institutions in the United States and Europe as well as specialists at the university. In addition, the program faculty engages in outreach activities with local schools, community groups, and other organizations. Students in the program typically run a REEES club, focusing on cultural activities and the practice of Russian language skills.

Visiting Faculty Members

The program sponsors extended stays by visiting Fulbright and International Research and Exchange Board scholars from Russia and Eastern Europe.


The University of Oregon’s library has more than 130,000 volumes in Russian and other Slavic and East European languages, more than 60,000 on Russia and Eastern Europe in Western languages; and subscribes to more than 100 serial titles. The library also has a large collection of Russian and East European films. The bulk of the collection is in the humanities and social sciences.

Facilities at the well-known Yamada Language Center enhance the learning of Slavic and East European languages. For more information, visit the website.


Heghine Hakobyan, instructor (Slavic librarian). BA, 1983, Kurgan College of Culture and Enlightenment; MA, 1988, Tyuman State; MLIS, 2003, City University of New York, Queens College. (2007)

Katya E. Hokanson, professor (Russian literature, travel literature, cultural studies). B.A., 1984, Williams; M.A., 1988, Ph.D., 1994, Stanford. (1995)

Susanna Soojung Lim, associate professor (19th- and 20th-century Russian literature). BA, 1996, MA, 1998, Korea; MA, 1999, PhD, 2006, California, Los Angeles. (2007)

Julia Nemirovskaya, senior instructor (Russian literature and theater). MA, 1986, PhD, 1991, Moscow State. (2002)

Jenifer Presto, associate professor (Russian literature, modernism, environmental criticism). A.B., 1985, Smith; M.A., 1988, Middlebury; M.A., 1989, Ph.D., 1996, Wisconsin, Madison. (2003)

Lara Ravitch, Senior Instructor (Russian language). B.A., 1998, Connecticut College; M.A., 2002, Monterey (Middlebury) Institute of International Studies. (2012)

The date in parentheses at the end of each entry is the first year on the University of Oregon faculty.


Roy Bing Chan, East Asian languages and literatures (Chinese literature)

Miriam Chorley-Schulz, German and Scandinavian (Jewish studies, Yiddish studies, Holocaust studies)

Julie Hessler, history (20th-century Russia, Europe)

Ryan Tucker Jones, history (Russian and environmental history)

Mikhail Myagkov, political science (comparative politics, formal political theory)

Stephen J. Shoemaker, religious studies (history of Eastern Christianity)


Amanda Bird, courtesy instructor (folklore, translation, Persian literature). BA, 1994, Baylor; MA, 2006, Oregon. (2013)

Alexander Kashirin, courtesy professor. BA, 2002, Eastern New Mexico University; MA, 2005, Oregon; Ph.D., 2010, Oregon. (2003)

Tamara Morris, courtesy professor (Russian language, culture of “Old Believers”). Baccalaureate, D. Banzarov; MA, 1984, Kransoyarsky State Pedagogical Institute; PhD, 1986, Institute of Russian Language. (2013)


Esther Jacobson-Tepfer, history of art and architecture

R. Alan Kimball, history (modern Russia)

Yelaina Kripkov, Russian Language

Steven Shankman, English (comparative literature, Russian novel)

Carol T. Silverman, anthropology (performance, eastern Europe, gender)

Sherwin Simmons, history of art and architecture

Ronald Wixman, geography 

Cynthia Vakareliyska, linguistics


John E. Bonine, law

Lisa Wolverton, history