Congratulations to the Book Prize Winner
Soviet Samizdat: Imagining a New Society, by Ann Komaromi
It is our great pleasure to announce that the 2023 Canadian Association of Slavists’ Taylor & Francis Book Prize has been awarded to Ann Komaromi for Soviet Samizdat: Imagining a New Society (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2022).
In its final report, the book prize committee offers the following commendation: “Ann Komaromi’s book Soviet Samizdat: Imagining a New Society stood out in an impressive field of studies by Canadian scholars of Slavic and related area studies that were published in 2022. Soviet Samizdat introduces a new approach to understanding the alternative textual culture of Soviet self-publishing, one that moves beyond the binary of dissidence versus regime, instead exploring samizdat as the generator of a network of reading communities. Komaromi has produced a well-conceived study that encompasses philosophy, cultural theory, print culture, literary theory, and the history of publics. Her book includes a full and comprehensive list of samizdat journals from the post-Stalin to the perestroika periods that is a testament to her many years of research in and her mastery of the world of underground and alternative textual culture in Russia.”
The selection committee has decided to grant honourable mention to two additional books: “In Culture from the Slums: Punk Rock in East and West Germany (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2022), Jeff Hayton explores punk’s history in divided Germany during the 1970s and 1980s. He skilfully compares East and West Germany, showing how punk’s quest for independence and individuality acted as a catalyst for social change. While in the West, it contributed to reshaping national identities and served as a platform for resisting consumerism, in the East, it fuelled resistance against repression and collaboration. This extensively researched and contextually rich study integrates a remarkable array of primary and secondary sources, bridging the gap between two histories that were previously examined separately.
“Volodymyr Kravchenko’s The Ukrainian-Russian Borderland: History versus Geography (Montreal and Kingston: McGill–Queen’s University Press, 2022) deserves honourable mention for its exceptional insights into a complex and timely subject. The book discusses the interplay among various Ukrainian and Russian discourses of identity, revealing the intricate relationship between local elites and imperial power. Kravchenko’s book excels in its detailed and nuanced understanding of the historical and geopolitical dynamics shaping the Ukrainian-Russian borderland. Kravchenko’s analysis is remarkable for its depth, showcasing the region’s cultural and ethnic transformations and the pivotal role of Kharkiv in evolving Ukrainian, Russian, and Soviet historical narratives. His coherent analysis, eloquent writing, and rigorous research provide invaluable insights not only for scholars and students but also for a broader audience seeking to understand the historical underpinnings of current events.”
The 2023 Jury for the Canadian Association of Slavists’ Taylor & Francis Book Prize:
Roman Krakovsky (University of Ottawa)
Ivan Simic (Charles University)
Megan Swift (University of Victoria)