Book Awards

Submit a Nomination – Open for 2020
Book Award Winners
2019 Book Award Shortlists

Submit a Nomination

CESS gives two Book Awards annually, one for work in History and the Humanities and another for work in the Social Sciences. CESS began offering these book awards in 2007 to each subject in every other year, and in 2018 both awards became available on an annual basis.

Submissions for the 2020 CESS Book Awards are now open. The deadline is May 31, 2020 for both Social Sciences and History and the Humanities.

The CESS Book Award and a monetary prize of $500 is presented to the author of the book or monograph that represents the most important contribution to Central Eurasian studies during the award period. An interdisciplinary panel of scholars of Central Eurasia, appointed annually by the CESS Board, consider scholarly merit, argumentative scope, and felicity of style in their deliberations.

The winners will be announced at the CESS Annual Conference, which in 2020 is being held at Ohio State University in Columbus, OH, on October 15-18, 2020. It is expected that the winners will participate in the conference and accept their award in person. Note that the conference dates are subject to change based on the COVID-19 situation. However, the awards will still be offered in 2020 even if there are changes to the Annual Conference arrangements.

Rules and procedures for the competition are as follows:

1. Books must be scholarly monographs based on original research and published in English in 2019*;

2. Books may be submitted in one category for one competition only, and no book may be considered more than once;

3. Scholarly monographs translated into English from other languages are eligible for consideration;

4. Edited volumes, new editions of previously published books, bibliographies, dictionaries, and textbooks are not eligible;

5. Nominations may be made by either the publisher, the author, or a CESS member.

To be considered, one copy of the book should be sent to each of the committee members on the appropriate panel to reach them by the deadline specified on this webpage. Given current restrictions on movement as a result of COVID-19, e-books are preferred. Authors/publishers should contact CESS to submit the e-book or to ask any questions.

2020 committee members

History and the Humanities committee Social Sciences committee
Chair: Botakoz Kassymbekova
Naomi Caffee
Jeff Eden
Chair: Till Mostowlansky
Mette High
Jennifer Murtazashvili

*See note below regarding the Social Sciences award

Book Award Winners

2019 – History & the Humanities

Feldman, Leah. 2018. On the Threshold of Eurasia: Revolutionary Poetics in the Caucasus. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

View all past Book Award winners.

2019 Book Award Shortlists

History and the Humanities

Cameron, Sarah I. 2018. The Hungry Steppe: Famine, Violence, and the Making of Soviet Kazakhstan. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press.

Eden, Jeff. 2018. Slavery and Empire in Central Asia. Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization. Cambridge, United Kingdom; New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Feldman, Leah. 2018. On the Threshold of Eurasia: Revolutionary Poetics in the Caucasus. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Kalinovsky, Artemy M. 2018. Laboratory of Socialist Development: Cold War Politics and Decolonization in Soviet Tajikistan. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Social Sciences

Upon recommendation by the Social Sciences Book Award committee and approved by the CESS Board, CESS postponed the 2019 Social Sciences  Book Award, since we did not receive a sufficient number of books to make a fair selection possible.  Despite an extended deadline the number of nominations was not high enough to establish a competitive shortlist. Books published in 2018 and submitted in 2019 will automatically be nominated for the 2020 Social Sciences Book Award.