Statement from the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at UC Berkeley:
The tragic events unfolding in Ukraine place a special burden of responsibility on those of us who teach the languages and cultures of Russia, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia. Some of us were born in the region; all of us have long-standing ties to friends, family-members, and scholars living there. As citizens, educators, and scholars we unequivocally condemn this war unleashed by Russian forces on Ukrainian territory. We stand with the Ukrainian people in this hour. We express our solidarity with the citizens of neighboring states – from Belarus, Poland, Moldova, the Baltic, Central Asia, and the Caucasus – who stand for peace, freedom, and the right to resist domination by any world power. We offer our support to those in Russia who oppose this act of aggression, one that risks plunging the post-Soviet region, and with it the entire world, into a global crisis.
We stand in solidarity with our students from the region who are devastated by these events and are ready to support them.
We study and teach the languages, literatures, and cultures of the Russian and other Slavic peoples and their immediate neighbors in East and Central Europe (Hungary and Romania) as well as the Caucasus and Central Asia (hence the terms “Eurasia” and “Eurasian”). Over the centuries, these peoples shared linguistic, literary, cultural and historical experiences, which both united and divided them. These experiences include their intermediary position between the “West” and the “East,” participation in large multi-national states and empires, membership in the Soviet bloc in the twentieth century, and, in recent decades, the transition to post-socialism. In a word, we represent peoples who have influenced the history of a large part of the world.
Our department, which celebrated its one hundredth anniversary in 2001, was one of the first departments of its kind in the United States. It was home to UC Berkeley’s only Nobel Prize winner in the Humanities, Polish poet Czeslaw Milosz (1911-2004). Over the years, it has remained in the vanguard of Slavic, East European and Eurasian studies because of the breadth of coverage and interdisciplinary approach to the field. Our faculty members have a wide range of interests and train students to discover the links between language, literature and other aspects of culture (including history, religious thought, visual arts, theater, film, popular culture) as well as between our subject matter and that of other related disciplines. Thus, students find that our courses complement their studies in other fields as different as History, English, Political Science, or Business.
HOW TO FIND US
We are located on Level F (6th floor) of the office wing (north wing) of Dwinelle Hall. When visiting, it is best to enter from the north side of the building near the flag pole, and to stay in the office wing, where rooms and offices are numbered in the 1000s. (Avoid the classroom wing, where rooms are numbered in the 100s.) To find Dwinelle Hall, use the map linked at top right of this page.