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Slavic studies (North America), Slavonic studies (Britain and Ireland) or Slavistics (borrowed from Russian славистика) is the academic field of area studies concerned with Slavic areas, Slavic languages, literature, history, and culture. Originally, a Slavist or Slavicist was primarily a linguist or philologist who researches Slavistics, a Slavic (AmE) or Slavonic (BrE) scholar. Increasingly historians and other humanists and social scientists who study Slavic area cultures and societies have been included in this rubric.

Slavistics emerged in late 18th and early 19th century, simultaneously to the national revival among various nations of Slavic origins and failed ideological attempts to establish a common sense of Slavic community, exemplified by the Pan-Slavist movement. Among the first scholars to use the term was Josef Dobrovský. A Slavic specialist is also known as a Slavist (borrowed from Russian славист).

The history of Slavic studies is generally divided onto three periods. Until 1876 the early slavists concentrated on documentation and printing of monuments of Slavic languages, among them the first texts written in national languages. It was also then that the majority of Slavic languages received their first modern dictionaries, grammars and compendia. The second period, ending with World War I, was marked by fast development of Slavic philology and linguistics, most notably, outside of Slavic countries themselves, in the circle formed around August Schleicher and August Leskien at the University of Leipzig.

After World War I Slavic studies scholars focused on dialectology, while the science continued to develop in countries with large populations having Slavic origins. After World War II centres of Slavic studies, and much greater expansion into other humanities and social science disciplines, were also formed in various universities around the world. Indeed, partly due to the political concerns in Western European and the United States about the Slavic world nurtured by the Cold War, Slavic studies flourished in the years from World War II into the 1990s and remains strong (though university enrollments in Slavic languages have declined since the nineties).

Areas of interest


Notable Slavists

Contemporary Slavists

Journals and book series


Schools and institutes

See also

External links

  • Canadian Association of Slavists (English) / (French)
  • Slavonic and East European studies: a guide to resources (British Library)
  • Slavic Studies: A Research Guide (Harvard)
  • Slavic Studies Guide (NYU)
  • Slavic Studies Guide (Duke)
  • Slavic & East European Collections (Yale)
  • Slavic and East European Resources (University of Illinois)
  • List of Journals in Russian, Eurasian, and East European Studies at Slavic Review
  • American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies (AAASS)
  • Slavistik-Portal The Slavistics Portal (Germany)
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