About the project

Smolny Beyond Borders / Gagarin Center is an educational initiative that aims to allow Russian scholars, former faculty members of Smolny College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, forced to leave Russia as a result of the war on Ukraine and risks of political persecution, to continue to pursue research and educational activities focused on contemporary social, economic, and human rights issues in Russia. Previously, the Gagarin Center, supported by the Gagarin Trust, was a core component of the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences at St. Petersburg State University (Smolny College), which was the longest-running dual degree program between Russian and American institutions and a venue of extraordinary cooperation. The Center and its fellows offered courses, prepared research on vital issues, offered public programming, and served as a venue for the critical exchange of ideas. The newly re-established center will continue the spirit of Smolny, and will allow Russian fellows to maintain their activities that not only promote the liberal arts educational model but also promote Russian-American mutual understanding, specifically in the spheres of the rule of law, civil society, media, human rights, stable economic development, and educational exchange.

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