Dear members of the REEI community,
As we wrap up another semester and put the spring 2021 issue of the REEIfication newsletter to bed, I am amazed at the energy and accomplishments of REEI’s affiliated faculty, staff, visiting scholars, and students. The COVID-19 pandemic poses unprecedented challenges for research, teaching, and work-life balance, not to mention physical and mental health. Our affiliates have gone above and beyond the call of duty this semester to support REEI’s mission to advance instruction and research on the REE region at IU and beyond, and we are very grateful. Thank you especially to the members of the REEI Executive Committee, Admissions Committee, Fellowships Committee, and Armstrong Prize Committee for your service! Your expertise and energy have been vital to moving REEI forward and helping us continue to improve our program.
This issue of REEIfication profiles several key REEI affiliates. Two retiring colleagues, Steven Franks (SLAV/LING) and Roman Zlotin (GEOG/REEI), have contributed immensely to REE Studies at IU and to their respective fields more broadly. Andrea Stanislav’s (Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture, and Design) East Europe-inspired installation at Pittsburgh’s Mattress Factory, Surmatants-Mars Rising, breathes new life into the danse macabre to transcend past, current, and future plagues and pandemics. U.S. Army War College fellow Colonel Steve Lacy leaves IU for Izmir, Turkey, where he will serve as the intelligence director for NATO’s land forces command (LANDCOM). It is this diversity of focus and mission that makes REEI a unique training ground for REE Studies. Read more about faculty, student, and alumni accomplishments in the “Faculty News,” “Student News,” and “Alumni News” features. Also, many congratulations to the seven REEI MA students who completed their degrees this spring: Greg Aimaro, Dexter Blackwell, Griffin Edwards, Wondy Joseph, Claudia Lahr, Kait Lee, and Rachel Myers!
The challenges of the pandemic opened doors for new event formats and new collaborations this spring. REEI partnered with the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Center for Russia, East Europe and Central Asia (CREECA) to jointly host virtual book talks by Kathryn Ciancia (UW-M) and Kathryn Graber (IUB). The Russian Studies Workshop partnered with the Center for Documentary Research and Practice to program a 3-part virtual film series, “Power, Poetics and Play: Documenting Soviet Legacies.” We look forward to continuing both these collaborations—and initiating new ones—in AY 2021/22.
Best wishes to everyone in the REEI community for a safe and fulfilling summer. We look forward to connecting with you soon!
Sarah Phillips, Director, Byrnes REEI