Letter from President Jan Kubik
When I created the theme for our 2020 Convention, Anxiety and Rebellion, not in my wildest dreams had I expected that these words would acquire, so dramatically, new relevance. Our anxiety has grown due to the twin cataclysms of the horrific pandemic and systemic racism laid bare. On the other hand, the rebellious wave we are experiencing in the United States at the moment carries with it the promise of a perfected union.
Feelings of anxiety and rebellion aside, we still have to navigate through this truly momentous period in our history and do our work with resolve. This holds true also for ASEEES. Our wonderful Pittsburgh Office, and our two elected bodies – the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee – together with a host of other committees, are busy at work steering the Association through this unprecedented moment. We are reviewing the situation and planning strategies for the near and more distant future.
Most importantly, we are working hard to make sure that we have an excellent 2020 Convention. I want to assure you that we will hold a convention, although it may look quite different from our traditional ones. We have formed a committee to explore all options and to plan for contingencies. We are studying the paths taken by other scholarly societies and developing our own strategy. To assist the committee in its work, we are asking you to complete this short convention planning survey. We are also conduct a brief survey on the impact of the pandemic on your professional life and asks for your input on what ASEEES could do to assist our members in these challenging times. One thing we are already doing is to provide online platforms for members to meet and share information and resources with each other, for example, a Humanities Commons group for adjunct/non-tenured faculty in SEEE Studies. We will soon be announcing webinars and zoom meetings for our members to gather online.
I am happy to report that the state of the Association is excellent, our membership is strong, and the success of the Future of the Field fundraising campaign has led to a dramatic increase in our ability to support our younger members. Even as the pandemic spread and our work life was turned upside down, ASEEES has been able to award over $340,000 in grants for dissertation research and writing and for internships. It has been all possible only because of your commitment and unwavering support for ASEEES and the creative energy you invest so generously in realizing our mission. All of this affirms that a steady commitment to mutual support and a common pursuit of excellence in research and teaching can carry us through these times of anxiety and rebellion.
Please stay in touch, as we want to hear from you about your needs and concerns. Stay well and safe and take care of yourselves and your loved ones.
With my warmest regards,
President, Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies
Professor of Political Science, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Professor of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London
2020 Convention Contingency Planning Committee
Jan Kubik, Rutgers / UCL (Committee Chair)
Angela Brintlinger, Ohio State University
Keith Brown, Arizona State University
Margaret Manges, ASEEES (Convention Manager)
Harriet Murav, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Lynda Park, ASEEES (Executive Director)
Elena Prokhorova, William & Mary (2020 Convention Program Committee Chair)