From the Director

As we approach the end of the semester, I'd like to share some of our accomplishments together. We kicked off the semester with a conference, supported by a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, on U.S.-Russia relations. The first part of the conference was a private dialogue between participants from the Harriman Institute and Moscow's Primakov Institute for World Economics and International Relations (IMEMO). You can read the conference memos here. The public part of the conference analyzed the fraught security relationship between Russia and the U.S. Engagement is key to The program, organized by Harriman’s Program for U.S.-Russia Relations, featured experts from both sides. The event was an important outlet for dialogue and a valuable tool for enhancing our understanding of U.S.-Russia relations.

On February 11, we hosted the second annual Edward A. Allworth Memorial Lecture, delivered by Marlene Laruelle (George Washington University) who will paint a portrait of Central Asian youth, using a compilation of sociological surveys, focus groups, and content analysis.

We had a beautiful exhibit on display through March 15, Through the Brooklyn Bridge: Here Stood Mayakovsky, curated by the State Museum of Vladimir Mayakovsky (Moscow). The exhibit is organized around the poet's journey to America in 1925, drawing on poems and photographs, including portraits of friends, colleagues, and people of art and culture Mayakovsky met during his trip. Through May 10, we have the special privilige of displaying Listen to Silence and Speak: The Leningrad Underground and Joseph Brodsky, a photography exhibit curated by Natasha Sharymova, that includes rare, and largely unseen photographs of Joseph Brodsky and friends.

Meanwhile, the Institute is in the process of tuning its strategic vision and laying the groundwork for its 75th Anniversary (2021-2022). Part of that effort is telling our story in a compelling and effective way. Together with Columbia’s Center for Oral History Research at INCITE, we completed the first stage of our ongoing oral history project, “Cold Wars and the Academy: An Oral History on Russian and Eurasian Studies—a series of interviews with some of the Institute’s key actors that have allowed us to reconstruct and examine the evolution of the Institute’s history over time. You can view the initial 26 interviews, along with videos of the project’s launch events in Paris and New York, on our new oral history website. You can also read about the project in the Fall 2018 issue of Harriman Magazine, which includes an in-depth overview of the endeavor and contributions by some of our interviewees; and in a PONARS Eurasia policy memo I co-authored with George Gavrilis, who authored the project's blueprint.

We are thrilled that our master's program (MARS-REERS) has expanded and strengthened over the past year. An astounding 11 new MARS-REERS students joined us in September. Our first 5-year BA/MA graduate, Anastasiya Moroz, finished the program in October, and we accepted two new outstanding BA/MA students who are generously funded by the U.S. Russia Foundation (USRF). With USRF funding, applications to the BA/MA program have increased dramatically. In addition, working with Harriman’s National Advisory Council under the leadership of Gail Buyske, we created a new mentorship program that pairs students with members of the Harriman community. We’re proud that all of our 2018 graduates were employed within six weeks of graduation! Please visit Harriman’s new MARS-REERS website to learn more about the impressive work our students and alumni are doing.

I encourage you to sign up for our events list to keep abreast of everything that is happening. 

I look forward to seeing you at the Harriman Institute!

Alexander Cooley