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Centers of Excellence

Harvard University


Director: Elaine Papoulias, Executive Director of the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies


The Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies (CES) is part of the Division of Social Science within the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University. CES collaborates closely with centers and institutes across the FAS and entire university, including, but not limited to, those in the Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard Law School, and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Its graduate student programs also support MIT doctoral students in the social sciences.


The Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies (CES), the oldest university center devoted to the study of Europe in the U.S., was founded in 1969 at Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences to promote the interdisciplinary understanding of European history, politics, economy and societies. Its mission is threefold:

  • To foster the study of and innovative research on Europe among Harvard faculty as well as graduate and undergraduate students.
  • To facilitate the training of new generations of scholars and experts in European studies.
  • To serve as a forum for vibrant discussions on European history and contemporary affairs which nurture the exchange of ideas across disciplines, sectors, generations, and across the Atlantic.

CES offers a rich and diverse set of programs to advance its mission as follows:

The Center administers the following student-centered programs: a secondary field in European History, Politics, and Societies (EHPS) for Harvard College students; research and completion fellowships for graduate students, primarily in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, as well as MIT doctoral students in the social sciences, whose dissertations focus on modern or contemporary Europe; grants for undergraduate senior thesis travel grants and internships in France and other European countries; and a research assistantship program in which undergraduate students work with CES resident faculty and J.F.K. Memorial Fellows.

During the academic year, CES hosts a dynamic series of seminars, lectures, study groups, conferences and special events that promote research and engage students, other scholars, and the general public in spirited and thoughtful discussions about Europe. The following topical areas, in particular, often host French-related activities: Contemporary Europe, European Union, Intellectual History, Jews in Modern Europe, New Directions in European History, and Social Exclusion and Inclusion. Speakers and panelists range from leading academics, practitioners and policy makers, journalists, and high-level government officials. CES has been very fortunate to be able to host a variety of high-profile French speakers and guests, including, Gérard Araud, Jean-Marc Ayrault, Vincent Descombes, Genevieve Fraisse, Thierry Mandon, Nonna Mayer, Pierre Moscovici, Bruno Palier, Valérie Pécresse, Thomas Piketty, Olivier Roy, Henry Rousso, and Jacques Rupnik.

CES has a robust visiting scholars program through which it hosts annually 20-25 post-doctoral social scientists and historians working on modern Europe. During their time at Harvard, these scholars engage with CES faculty, graduate and undergraduate students and participate in study groups, seminars, and conferences, in particular the weekly Visiting Scholars Seminar, at which they present their work in progress.


European economic crisis/ Future of the European Union/ Brexit/ History of Modern Europe/ Immigration/ Migration/ Refugee Crisis/ Politics and democratization/ Populism and nationalism/ Security/ Social exclusion and exclusion/ Society and culture


Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies                                                              Harvard University
Adolphus Busch Hall                                                                                                               27 Kirkland Street at Cabot Way
Cambridge, MA 02138

T: +1 (617) 495-4303                                                                                                             F: +1 (617) 495-8509



Twitter: @CES_Harvard