News Release

Marianne Kamp awarded the First Annual CESS Book Award from the Central Eurasian Studies Society

The New Woman in Uzbekistan cover

Marianne Kamp's The New Woman in Uzbekistan: Islam, Modernity, and Unveiling under Communism was awarded the First Annual CESS Book Award at the annual CESS conference, held at the University of Washington this year. The award is for "the most important contribution to Central Eurasian studies" and was focused on History and the Humanities.

From the Award Presentation, given by Scott Levi, Chair of the Awards Committee:

"I'm extraordinarily pleased to report that even in this, the award's inaugural year, the impressive range and excellent quality of the contributions confirmed the Board's confidence in the scholarship that is being produced in our field. It was not an easy decision, but after much discussion and deliberation, the Awards Committee members voted unanimously to present the First Annual CESS Book Award to ...

Dr. Marianne Kamp for her book, The New Woman in Uzbekistan: Islam, Modernity, and Unveiling under Communism, published in 2006 with the University of Washington Press.

A number of factors led the Committee to this decision. We found that no other submission matched Marianne's work in several important respects. We were especially impressed by her focused research in an impressive array of specifically Central Eurasian sources, both textual and personal, and that she uses the information gleaned from these sources so skillfully to advance debates and open a door into the lives of Uzbek women during the early decades of the 20th century.

A few words from the dust jacket: 'This groundbreaking work explores the lives of Uzbek women, in their own voices and words, before and after the Russian Revolution of 1917. Drawing upon oral histories and writings of Uzbek women, Marianne Kamp reexamines the Soviet Hujum, the 1927 campaign in Soviet Central Asia to encourage mass unveiling as a path to social and intellectual liberation. This engaging examination of changing Uzbek ideas about women in the early 20th century reveals the complexities of a volatile time: why some Uzbek women chose to unveil, why many were forcibly unveiled, why a campaign for unveiling triggered massive violence against women, and how the national memory of this pivotal event remains contested today.'"