Founded in 1969, and expanding into the Department of Eastern, Slavic, and German Studies, ESGS has been one of the oldest academic departments and the most unique of its kind in New England.

The Humanities—entailing the study of language, literature, history, philosophy, ethics, and theology—is a body of disciplines dedicated to examining human history, memory, ideas, ideals, and imagination, reflecting on "where we come from" as human communities, and considering “where we are going."

Since its establishment in 1969 as the Department of Slavic and Eastern Languages and Literatures, and its merger with German Studies in 2020, the lodestar of the department of Eastern, Slavic, and German Studies remains serving as a community of scholars and students dedicated to the study of the Humanities—in fields spanning Linguistics, East Asian and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Slavic and East European Studies, and German Studies—reflecting on topics that have special currency in our history, and for our times. With modern challenges rising, and with pressing questions dealing with societies in conflict, globalization, and migration, the study of the Humanities is becoming all the more relevant, indeed crucial to addressing and making sense of growing global complexities.

Our Dynamic and Flexible Curriculum

To this end, the Department of Eastern, Slavic, and German Studies brings forth intense curricular and disciplinary diversity, a unique dynamic academic ecosystem that is reflected in the variety of the department’s undergraduate degree programs in Linguistics, Russian, East European Studies, Slavic Studies, German Studies, and an array of undergraduate departmental and inter-disciplinary minors in Linguistics, Russian, East European Studies, German, and East Asian and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations.

Welcoming Environment

This exceptional cross and inter-disciplinarity of ESGS’s, foundational to the department’s identity and vision, has been a nurturing and welcoming environment to the variegated and prolific activities of both our students and faculty colleagues, contributing to the formation of our students, and supporting the university’s Catholic Jesuit mission and its dedication to liberal arts education. It is in this context that our students are trained and inspired, in the words of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (SJ,) to “hone [their skills] in order to see things expansively, spaciously, universally, with clarity and simplicity, and then walk straight to the goal, peacefully, without worries about what others may think.

Whole Person Education

Our ESGS faculty colleagues’ work emphasizes the “whole person” education, opening the mind and heart, spurring character formation in the service of the common good, deepening understanding of others and self, and inspiring creativity, ecumenism, empathy, and diversity of perspectives.