Since 2007, CESS has presented two book awards– one for History and the Humanities, another for the Social Sciences– which recognize the book or monograph representing the most important contribution to Central Eurasian studies in the past year. Historically, the two awards have been awarded in alternating years, but beginning in 2018, both awards are now offered annually.
Each year, an interdisciplinary panel of three scholars of Central Eurasian studies is chosen by the CESS Board to select a winning submission and a honorable mention for submissions highly rated but not chosen. The panel considers in their deliberations: scholarly merit, argumentative scope, and felicity of style.
Book awards are accompanied by a $500 prize and presented at the CESS Annual Conference.
Book Award Winners
2018 History and the Humanities: Alison Vacca for Non-Muslim Provinces under Early Islam: Islamic Rule and Iranian Legitimacy in Armenia and Caucasian Albania.
2018 Book Award Shortlists
History and the Humanities
Campbell, Ian W. 2017. Knowledge and the Ends of Empire: Kazak Intermediaries and Russian Rule on the Steppe, 1731-1917. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
Levi, Scott Cameron. 2017. The Rise and Fall of Khoqand, 1709-1876: Central Asia in the Global Age. Central Eurasia in Context Series. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press.
Mostowlansky, Till. 2017. Azan on the Moon: Entangling Modernity along Tajikistan’s Pamir Highway. Central Eurasia in Context Series. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press.
Tasar, Eren. 2017. Soviet and Muslim: The Institutionalization of Islam in Central Asia. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Vacca, Alison. 2017.Non-Muslim Provinces under Early Islam: Islamic Rule and Iranian Legitimacy in Armenia and Caucasian Albania. Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
Cooley, Alexander, and John Heathershaw. 2017. Dictators without Borders: Power and Money in Central Asia. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Kudaibergenova, Diana T. 2017. Rewriting the Nation in Modern Kazakh Literature: Elites and Narratives. Contemporary Central Asia: Societies, Politics, and Cultures. Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books.
McBrien, Julie. 2017. From Belonging to Belief: Modern Secularisms and the Construction of Religion in Kyrgyzstan. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press.
Murtazashvili, Jennifer Brick. 2016. Informal Order and the State in Afghanistan. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
Spector, Regine A. 2017. Order at the Bazaar: Power and Trade in Central Asia. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
Submitting a Nomination [closed for 2018]
The call for nominations for the 2018 Book Awards is closed.
For the 2018 Book Awards, CESS accepted submissions in both categories: History and the Humanities, and the Social Sciences. The deadline to submit was April 1, 2018, 11:59 pm EST. This information is retained here for reference and is subject to change.
History & the Humanities
Books submitted in this category must have a publication date of 2017 (the printed copyright date) to be considered. The 2018 panel for this award was Wendell Schwab as the non-voting Chair (Pennsylvania State University); Sarah Cameron (University of Maryland); Barbara Junisbai (Pitzer College); and Joo-Yup Lee (University of Toronto).
Books submitted in this category must have a publication date of 2016 or 2017 (the printed copyright date) to be considered. The 2018 panel for this award was Wendell Schwab as the non-voting Chair (Pennsylvania State University); Benjamin Gatling (George Mason University); Ali Igmen (California State University — Long Beach); and Noor O’Neill Borbieva (Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne).
Nominations may be made by either the publisher, author, or a CESS member. Eligibility is determined as follows:
- Books must be scholarly monographs based on original research and published in English during the years listed above
- Scholarly monographs translated into English from other languages are eligible for consideration
- Books may be submitted in one category only and in only one award year
- Edited volumes, new editions of previously published books, bibliographies, dictionaries, and textbooks are not eligible
Four copies of each book should be mailed to each member of the appropriate panel to be received by April 1, 2018.
The shortlist was announced in July 2018 and the winner was announced at the 19th CESS Annual Conference (University of Pittsburgh), October 25-28, 2018.