The memory bear

Emilian R. Kavalski

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


In the late summer of 2018, like many of her students, friends and admirers, I was very glad to see that L.H.M. Ling’s health was improving. In mid-September, we were having exchanges about the publication of a special issue to which both of us were contributing. It felt like it was possible to plan new intellectual journeys together and I asked Lily whether she might be interested to take part in a panel on the ‘yogurt roads’ of Eurasia for the 2019 EISA conference in Sofia (Bulgaria). Her response was prompt and positive. Knowing that I come from the country, Lily also used the opportunity provided by this exchange to ask me whether there is something personal about my interest in the topic of relationality. Unfortunately, in the following week or so, work and family commitments prevented me from writing back. At the same time, Lily’s brief question appeared to have stirred something that kept her question constantly at the back of my mind and finding it difficult to come up with a meaningful answer. In the end, even though I had no clear idea what I am going to say, I turned on my computer with the firm decision to respond to her message before doing anything else that day. Yet, the first email in my inbox bore the shocking and unbelievable news of Lily’s sudden passing. The following is a belated answer to her question, attempting to draw on her inspiring work melding fiction, experiences and narrative into stories of IR. I truly wish she could have read this.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148-156
Number of pages9
JournalNew Perspectives
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • International Relations
  • Narrative IR
  • creative nonfiction
  • identity
  • relationality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations


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