European and Russian Studies MA Graduates

Edyta Bojanowska
Chair, European Studies Council

Dear Students,

You’ve brought fascinating experiences and perspectives to our Program and we’ve been thrilled to watch you build on them using the rich resources of Yale and the European Studies Council.  We are extremely proud of your achievements and wish you fulfilling lives and careers beyond the gates of Yale. Please keep in touch and share your successes with us.  We want to hear from you!

Warmest congratulations,

Bruce Gordon
Director of Graduate Studies

It has been a great joy working with you and following your path through the degree. Each one of you has brought your own passion and vision to your studies. I will always remember our conversations and constantly learning from you. I celebrate your success and wish you every success. Keep in touch!

Graduating MA Students

Logan Kilsdonk I study the changing society and international system in Early Modern Europe, with a particular focus on the changes created by the Thirty Years War and as well and the development of the Swedish state under Gustav Adolf and Axel Oxenstierna. My focuses are international relations and constitutional development, with special attention to wartime developments under stress. I plan to pursue further research into the development of Sweden’s Early Modern Empire.

Sisi Liu is broadly interested in the French and German literature and intellectual history in the late 19th and early 20th century. More specifically, she focuses on the formation, transformation, and distribution of the leftist-radical imagination from that era, including its modern appropriation. Her current work focuses on revolution as a literary motif, its intellectual context and its relation to the wider social discourses. She also hopes to explore cross-regional confrontations of revolutionary discourses; to trace how revolution acquires its symbolic significance as universal, and to pay special attention to imbalances folded within these discourses. When an undergraduate, Sisi was trained in Comparative Literature with special focuses on continental philosophy and critical theories.

Elliot Mertz - My primary interests are in Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century England-into-Britain. I give special attention to contemporary knowledge-making about the natural-religious world and about the past - especially the collision of antique and antiquarian thought. My methodology is strongly focused on intellectual trends and my source base is primarily academic material (though neither entirely textual nor entirely mainstream). However, I diverge from a purely academic approach because intellectual histories which ignore popular sentiments inadequate explain the diversity of thought present in the period. I am focused on close and in-context readings of such thinkers as William Stukeley, Edward Lhwyd, and Paul-Yves Pezron.
The other locus of my research is in Eighteenth Century academic biographies and autobiographies which have been shucked off Anglo-American historical practice since the final quarter of that same century. I am interested in what these sources, which are often used to garner background information in histories, can tell us instead about the intellectual traditions of their writers. This is exceptionally relevant because Eighteenth Century academic biographers, like John Aubrey, were not “mere biographers,” but prolific intellectuals for whom academic biography functioned as one of many intellectual pursuits.
My side research includes invocations of the distant past in board and video games and adoptions of 18th century celticist rhetoric into modern white nationalism in Atlantic cultures.

Madeleine Muzdakis is a second year in the E&RS MA program, focusing her thesis on early modern English women. She is from upstate New York and pursued her undergraduate degree at Brown University in history and mathematics. Madeleine enjoys running, hiking, and skiing when not studying or working at a local restaurant. In particular, she is interested in socio-legal histories of work and violence. 

Cornell Overfield - At Yale, Cornell wrote his masters thesis elaborating a theory of dictated constitutional change to explain the spread of constitutional debt limits in Southern Europe during the Euro debt crisis (advised by Bruce Ackerman at Yale Law School). Other intellectual endeavors include writing an article with Dr. Nuno Monteiro at Jackson, working for the America in One Room project as a foreign policy expert, and participating in Professors Kennedy and Westad’s great power seminar. Cornell also served as a TA for two semesters and earned rave reviews for liberal use of Kahoot!.
Cornell graduated from the University of Pennsylvania (i.e. neither Penn State nor Cornell) in 2018 with a double major in history and international relations. His senior research uncovered the methods and rhetoric of East Germany’s political warfare campaigns against West Germany during the early Cold War and won the Rose Award as one of the eight best thesis at Penn.
After graduation, Cornell will work as an analyst at the Center for Naval Analyses in Arlington, VA. 

Yurina Takeichi - My research interest is focused on the politics in Western Europe. Through my research at Yale, I would like to delve into how the right-wing populist parties have gained influence over the existing party systems in Western Europe.
I am currently working on the French case by examining the shift of voting behaviors and the transformation of leadership of Rassemblement National, the right-wing populist party in France. I plan to extend my research to comparative analyses across borders so that it would contribute to understanding the current rise of the right-wing populism parties which comes about simultaneously worldwide.
Aside from my keen interest in party politics in West European states, I am broadly interested in international relations and security, which is not limited within Europe and Russia but also include the relationship with extra-regional countries such as the U.S., China, and Japan.

Hestia Zhang is a second-year student in the E&RS MA program with focuses on the art, literature and urbanization in 19th-century France. She holds a BA in linguistics with two minors in French and German.

Aside from her keen interest in the Second French Empire and the Franco-Prussian War, she is broadly interested in the avant-garde art, literary realism and naturalism, and urban renewals in Western Europe in the modern period. Through her research at Yale, she delved into Baron Haussmann’s renovation of Paris, and its representations in various contemporaneous paintings, novels and critiques. In her MA thesis, she conducted an interdisciplinary research of the paintings of public gardens in late 19th-century Paris, studying the public gardens as a new milieu for artistic innovation and social integration. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a PhD degree to further explore the intersection of art, literature and politics in the 1860s and 70s.