Contemporary Thinkers

Contemporary Thinkers Program: Focus Russia 

The Contemporary Thinkers program brings speakers for public lectures and meetings with students and faculty.  The speakers are drawn from a range of fields and professions, including, for example, media representatives, writers and playwrights, academics, government and business leaders.  In particular, we bring speakers who can address current Russian domestic and foreign policy, given the recent strains in U.S.-Russia relations.  But the goal is much broader than confronting the current difficulties in political relations between the two countries.  It is to foster among Americans a deeper appreciation of the richness of Russian culture and to provide a setting for the exchange of views and experiences in a wide range of endeavors to stimulate creativity. Taken together, the speakers provide avenues into various aspects of contemporary Russia and tap into Yale’s diversity, as represented by the college, graduate school, and professional schools.

To kick off this program we worked with the Russian Embassy in Washington to bring Sergey I. Kislyak, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the U.S., to Yale on February 4, 2015.  (YDN coverage:  We are launching the program this academic year with Maxim Kislev.

2016-2017 Program

Tuesday, 10/4, 4:00pm: Maxim Kiselev 
Luce 203, 34 Hillhouse Ave
Talk: Crisis in Russia: How People Copewith Stress, and How It Is Reflected in their Electoral Behavior.

Moscow State Lomonosov University Higher School of Business; Russian Academy for National Economy and Public Affairs Kingston University MBA Programme; Skolkovo Institute for Science and Technology; and Noviy Disk Corp, Moscow. 

Future speakers To Be Announced…

Past speakers

Semen Ekshtut on “The Daily Life of the Russian Intelligentsia from the Great Reforms to the Silver Age: the Two ‘Thaws’ in Russian History”

Johan Norberg on “Russian Military Capability and the War in Ukraine”

Ivan Safranchuk on“The Future of Eurasia”

Sophie Shevardnadze on “Russia Today: Russians Look at their Domestic Politics and Foreign Policy”

Fyodor Lukyanov on “Why US - Russia Relations Went Wrong and How to Put Them Back on Track”

Boris Mezhuyev on “Imperial Geopolitics and Russian Europeanism: The Heritage of Vadim Tsymbursky”

Viktor Shenderovich on “Putin: Symptom or Curse? Russia as an Empire and Civilization”