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 will be 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.
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.
Previous Book Award Winners
2017 Book Award (History & Humanities) Winner:
Qazaqliq, or Ambitious Brigandage, and the Formation of the Qazaqs: State and Identity in Post-Mongol Central Eurasia (Brill, 2016) by Joo-Yup Lee (University of Toronto).
2016 Book Award (Social Sciences) Winner:
Warlords and Coalition Politics in Post-Soviet States (Cambridge, 2015) by Jesse Driscoll (University of California – San Diego).
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, 11:59 pm EST. Books may be nominated by either the publisher, author, or a CESS member and may only be submitted to one category.
History & the Humanities
Books submitted in this category must have a publication date of 2017 (the pringed copyright date) to be considered. The 2018 panel for this award includes: 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 includes: 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
If you meet these criteria, send a copy of your book to each member of the appropriate panel (totalling four copies) at the addresses below. The panel members must receive your book by April 1, 2018.
The shortlist will be announced in July 2018 and the winner will be announced at the 19th CESS Annual Conference (University of Pittsburgh), October 25-28, 2018. An Honorable Mention will be awarded as well.
Questions? Please send any inquiries or question regarding eligibility to Wendell Schwab.