Eve Blau, a renowned scholar of architecture and urbanism, has been named the director of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies. Blau, who is the first woman to serve as the center’s faculty director, will begin her three-year term July 1.
“The Davis Center today plays a vital role in understanding geopolitical events in the region and their implications for the world at large,” said Lawrence D. Bobo, dean of the Division of Social Sciences, W.E.B. Du Bois Professor of the Social Sciences, and Harvard College Professor. “Eve Blau embodies the interdisciplinary spirit and innovative methods that are the lifeblood of the regional centers. I am delighted to welcome her to this important leadership role in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.”
Blau is adjunct professor of the history and theory of urban and form and design and serves as director of research at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Her research and teaching explore cities and urban regions in the post-socialist world that have experienced large-scale adjustments to new forms of polity, systemic institutional change, and economic reorganization. She teaches courses on urban design and has led research seminars such as “Berlin as Laboratory,” “Baku: Oil and Urbanism,” and “Mapping Cultural Space across Eurasia,” an interdisciplinary seminar developed with FAS faculty at the Davis Center.
She is co-director of the Harvard Mellon Urban Initiative, a cross-Harvard initiative that brings together scholars and resources from across the University to foster innovative approaches to the study of cities and urbanization. The initiative has also developed new collaborative research practices that integrate scholarship, design, and media around the study of urban environments, and awards grants to students and faculty across Harvard to pursue urban-focused research projects.
Blau has been a faculty associate of the Davis Center for the last decade and has served on its Executive Committee since 2014. She is the first woman to serve as director. In her new role, she will oversee the academic and programmatic efforts of the Davis Center, working directly with faculty affiliates and staff on activities such as the Master’s Degree Program in Regional Studies of Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia (REECA), the undergraduate Secondary Field in Regional Studies, fellowship programs, seminars, graduate and undergraduate research aid, oversight of the Outreach Program and the Davis Center Collection, financial planning and staffing, as well as new initiatives.
Prior to coming to Harvard, Blau served as curator of exhibitions and publications at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal, and editor of the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians.