Center for Russian and East European Studies
4419 Wesley W. Posvar Hall
230 South Bouquet Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
"Europe" is a term of many meanings, and not always consistent ones. Since the end of the Cold War, Europe has become increasingly united economically and politically; yet some of the formerly communist countries are more closely allied to the United States than they are to the founding states of the European Union. The countries formerly under state socialism, and thus formerly known as “Eastern Europe,” have undergone comprehensive changes and now include some of the most prosperous states in Europe, but also some of the most impoverished. Within much of the EU there are no border controls, but a curtain of exclusion against some non-EU Europeans is as firmly in place as was the old Iron Curtain of forcible inclusion. A politics insisting on the unchangeability of borders has produced new ones throughout the region; a politics celebrating multiculturalism has also fostered ethnic cleansing. As the older EU members struggle with increasingly conservative Muslim immigrant populations, the indigenous Muslims in the Balkans are among the most liberal in the world. At the same time, cultural and religious cleavages in Russia, the Caucasus and Central Asia have come to the forefront as these states continue striving to define their identities and roles on the international stage.
The Center for Russian and East European Studies at the University of Pittsburgh (REES) is an interdisciplinary academic center focusing on central and eastern Europe and the successor states of the Soviet Union. REES is a Title VI National Resource Center funded by the U.S. Department of Education, and as such plays a vital role in fostering scholarship and teaching on this dynamic region. REES faculty come not only from the humanities and social science disciplines that are the traditional academic homes of area studies scholarship, but also from the professional schools such as business, law, education, public health, and public and international affairs. REES provides support for faculty and student research in the region, including undergraduate research.
As new economic and political dynamics are established in Europe, long-standing traditions continue. The differing expectations of peoples with varying histories, languages, literatures, religions and cultures have fostered the development in the REES region of some of the most exciting and dynamic societies in Europe. We invite you to explore our programs, and invite questions or comments about REES and the work in which we and our colleagues at the University of Pittsburgh are engaged.
Robert M. Hayden
Director of REES and
Professor of Anthropology, Law and Public & International Affairs