The Centre for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies (CERES) at the University of Toronto is one of North America's leading academic institutes for the study of the member countries of the European Union, the countries of the former Soviet Union, as well as Central and Eastern Europe. The Centre promotes interdisciplinary scholarship and teaching in the social sciences and humanities. Each year CERES organizes several regionally focused seminar series and is host to a number of scholars in residence. Drawing upon the expertise of more than fifteen departments and dozens of faculty members, CERES also sponsors an undergraduate degree program in European Studies and a Master's degree program in Russian and East European Studies. Through its intensive relations with the European Commission, the German Academic Exchange Service, the wider local community in Toronto, and institutions of higher learning across Europe, Ukraine, and Russia, CERES supports the exchange of ideas and scholars across the Atlantic.
CERES is the successor to the Centre for Russian and East European Studies (CREES) at the University of Toronto, which for more than forty years was Canada's premier program for interdisciplinary study of Eastern, Central, and Southeastern Europe. In 2005, CREES merged with the European Studies Program, the Joint Initiative in German and European Studies (JIGES), and the Institute of European Studies.
What is the logic behind the merger? More than fifteen years after the end of the Cold War, much has changed in the Europe. Countries that were formerly in "Eastern" Europe are now members of the European Union. Others are waiting in the wings to get in. Russia and the rapidly evolving countries of the Eurasian space find themselves in a new geopolitical context that is no longer easily understood using the old categories. At the same time, unified Germany and an enlarged European Union are no longer the same entities as they were before 1989. These "facts" are reflected in the changing interests of our students, our faculty's research and the concerns of the friends of the Centre. In short, after extensive discussions, the scholarly communities at UofT working on Europe, Russia, and Eurasia decided it was time to break down the intellectual walls that divide us.
CERES's main objectives are:
to educate students at the graduate and undergraduate level in the languages, history, politics, economics and societies of Europe, Russia, and Eurasia, and to prepare them for careers dealing with the region;
to offer students at the University of Toronto valuable first-hand experience of the region through internship and exchange programs;
to serve as a comprehensive, accessible and authoritative source of information and analysis on the regions of Europe, Russia, and Eurasia for the Canadian news media, business community, and the general public;
to promote scholarly links between East and West.