The interdisciplinary study of southeastern Europe has long been a special focus of the Harriman Institute and the East Central European Center at Columbia University. Over the years, Columbia University has been the training ground and intellectual home for many prominent scholars and specialists on the Balkans.

The Harriman Institute fulfills its mission of training academic experts on the region, and providing a public forum to discuss important issues relating to the Balkans, in a variety of ways:

Courses: Each semester, the Harriman Institute, together with other academic departments at Columbia University, sponsors a number of academic courses devoted to the history, politics, and culture of the Balkans.

Lecture series: The Harriman Institute/East Central European Center sponsors a regular Balkans’ Lecture Series, in which leading academic specialists, diplomats, politicians, journalists discuss their research and work.

Conferences: On a regular basis, the Harriman Institute/East Central European Center organize major academic conferences dedicated to the region.

Special Seminar Series: On an occasional basis, the Harriman Institute organizes special seminar series devoted to specific topics.


Consistent with its approach to the study of Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, and the states of the Caucasus, in its Central Asian Studies Program, the Harriman Institute's emphasis is broad-gauged, stressing not only language and literature, but all of the creative arts; history, ancient as well as modern; key economic trends, national, regional, and global; and political modernization, both within and between societies. Our objective in the Central Asian Studies Program is two-fold: first, to bring scholars' insights and analysis to key characteristics and trends in the cultural, economic, political, and historical development of Central Asia. Second, and equally appropriate for an academic center, Harriman will build on our already considerable efforts to expose an American audience to the customs, traditions, and creative works from the area, including film, literature, and contemporary art.


Mission: The Georgian Studies Program seeks to stimulate international interest in Georgia and the Caucasus region by facilitating the interdisciplinary study of Georgia at Columbia University. In an effort to promote the exchange of research among faculty, students, fellows, and visiting scholars, the Center will build a dynamic program that will integrate Georgian studies into the broader intellectual and policy agendas. One of the program’s main objectives is to promote research and scholarship on contemporary Georgia throughout the United States.

By expanding existing offerings, the program proposes to develop a curriculum that will educate academics, diplomats, journalists, businessmen and future specialists about the history, language, literature, and politics of contemporary Georgia.

Some goals of the Georgian Studies Program:
• to expand course offerings for undergraduate and graduate students;
• to offer Georgian language instruction at all levels on a regular basis;
• to increase support for visiting scholars conducting research on the Georgian region
• to create fellowships for undergraduate and graduate students who work in Georgian studies;
• to support the acquisition, processing, and preservation of Georgian books, materials and electronic resources in Columbia University libraries;
• to raise awareness of Georgia and Georgian studies through lectures, cultural events, symposiums and conferences at Columbia University.

Fields of focus: history, language, culture, political science, energy resources, security, conflict resolution, etc.

Agenda and activities:
The Center will promote the study of Georgia through the following channels:
Public Affairs (conferences, symposia, workshops and lectures)


The Harriman Institute’s Ukrainian Studies Program forms a vital component of Columbia University’s international studies community.  Its mission includes the advancement of knowledge about Ukraine through research and teaching of the highest quality. The program offers a broad spectrum of courses in Ukrainian history, language and literature as well as in the social sciences for Columbia and Barnard students.  Special attention is given to Harriman MARS and SIPA students and to M.A. and Ph.D. students in the Faculty of Arts & Sciecnes. We are fortunate to sponsor a number of Fulbright Scholars each year. 



In the fall of 2016, facilitated by a generous grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Harriman Institute launched an intensive two-year project to expand the study of Russia across the social sciences at Columbia University and the greater New York university community. The New York...

The Harriman Institute was originally founded in 1946 as the Russia Institute. Building on the rich traditions and extraordinary resources of the Institute, and relying on the cutting-edge research and teaching of...

The Russian Practicum offers three intensive courses in Russian language (beginning, intermediate and advanced), as well as content courses in subjects such as Russian literature, cinema, and culture. Language and content courses may be taken individually or in any combination. Language courses...

Columbia’s Ukrainian Studies Program at the Harriman Institute will be offering five courses in the spring 2021 semester and will be organizing a series of online lectures in Ukrainian studies. For more information on our courses, please...

Annual Edward A. Allworth Memorial Lecture

The study of Central Asia at Columbia is closely linked to the teaching and research of Edward A. Allworth (1920-2016), distinguished pioneer in...

The interdisciplinary study of southeastern Europe has long been a special focus of the Harriman Institute and the East Central European Center at Columbia University. Over the years, Columbia University has been the training ground and intellectual home for many prominent scholars and...