Letter to the Editor: Explaining the European Studies Secondary

To the Editor:

We write on behalf of Harvard’s Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies to clarify a few issues raised in the October 4, 2016 Harvard Crimson article entitled “European Secondary Frustrates Advocates for Ethnic Studies.”

The secondary field in European History, Politics, and Societies was the result of extensive efforts which took more than three years. It was in part, a response to significant interest in European affairs expressed by Harvard College students over a considerable amount of time. Moreover, it aimed to unify what had always been plentiful but fragmented course offerings on Europe at Harvard so that students could benefit from a guided and interdisciplinary plan of study.

CES submitted its proposal for a secondary field to Harvard’s Educational Policy Committee, which reviewed then approved its establishment for this academic year. We are pleased that in the first weeks of the secondary field’s inauguration, it already has strong enrollment.

Grzegorz Ekiert and Elaine Papoulias


Grzegorz Ekiert is the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of Government and Director of the Center for European Studies. Elaine Papoulias is the Executive Director of the Center for European Studies.


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