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The Canadian Association of Slavists Taylor & Francis Book Prize

Congratulations to the Book Prize Winner

Voices from the Soviet Edge by Dr. Jeff Sahadeo

The 2020 Canadian Association of Slavists/Taylor & Francis Book Prize in Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies is awarded to Dr. Jeff Sahadeo’s Voices from the Soviet Edge (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 2019).

As the committee’s report summarizes, “This book represents an important contribution to our understanding of the late socialist period in the Soviet Union. Based on an original archive of oral history interviews produced by the author and his research team over the course of several years and supplemented by archival and published primary sources, the book challenges the conventional wisdom that late socialism was a period of ‘stagnation’ and that the internationalism at the heart of the Soviet project was by then an empty slogan. Dr. Sahadeo offers a critical re-evaluation by following the life trajectories of Soviet citizens who migrated from the southern and eastern regions to its capital cities, and argues that their experience was one of social dynamism, vertical mobility, opportunities for self-realization, and active inter-ethnic, cross-cultural and cross-religious dialogue.

Dr. Sahadeo reveals a complicated relationship of Soviet migrants to Moscow and Leningrad (as both concrete places and as symbols), how meaningful the idea of ‘friendship of the peoples’ was to them even as they were aware of its hypocritical elements, how they dealt with various forms of racism and chauvinism directed at them, and how they navigated their quasi-colonial relationship to Russia, simultaneously resenting it but also instrumentalizing it. In doing so, Voices from the Soviet Edge informs our understanding of current-day racial politics and attitudes in Russia. Its protagonists involve a good balance of gender, region, and profession, thus making this excellent and thorough social history. Dr. Sahadeo also brings late Soviet history of migration into the global context of decolonization and population movements in the second half of the twentieth century, showing how much the Soviet modernist project shared with Western metropolitan areas. Last but not least, this book is extremely readable and easy to follow not only for specialists and students of Soviet history, but also for the general public.” 

About the Prize

Established in 2014, the Canadian Association of Slavists' Taylor & Francis Book Prize is awarded annually for the best academic book in Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies published in the previous calendar year by a Canadian author (citizen or permanent resident). The book prize jury consists of three members chosen by the CAS executive. The winner receives a cash award of $250 CAD and recognition at the annual conference of the Canadian Association of Slavists. 

Year Winning Book Title Author
2020 Voices from the Soviet Edge Dr. Jeff Sahadeo Cornell University Press, 2019
2019 The Portrayal of Jews in Modern Biełarusian Literature Dr. Zina Gimpelevich Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2018
2018 Stalinist Perpetrators on Trial: Scenes from the Great Terror in Soviet Ukraine Prof. Lynne Viola Oxford University Press, 2017
2017 Violence as a Generative Force: Identity, Nationalism, and Memory in a Balkan Community Dr. Max Bergholz Cornell University Press, 2016
2016 Ukrainian Nationalism: Politics, Ideology, and Literature, 1929-1956 Prof. Myroslav Shkandrij Yale University Press, 2015
2015 Gulag Town, Company Town: Forced Labor and Its Legacy in Vorkuta Dr. Alan Barenberg Yale University Press, 2014

Rules of Eligibility

  • The copyright date inside the book must list the previous calendar year as the date of publication.
  • The book must be in the form of a monograph, preferably by a single author, or by no more than two authors.
  • Authors must be citizens or permanent residents of Canada. 
  • The work must originally be published in French or English either in or outside Canada.
  • Works may deal with any aspect of Slavic, East European, or Eurasian Studies (languages, literatures, cinemas, cultures, visual arts, politics, history, etc.).
  • Textbooks in the strict sense of the word do not qualify, but a broad interpretive work of a major period or area qualifies.
  • Translations, bibliographies, reference works, edited volumes, and smaller works such as pamphlets are not eligible.


Nominating Instructions

Nomination for the prize can come from an author, a third party, or a publisher. There is no limit on the number of entries a publisher may submit. 

  • Send an e-mail to the office of Canadian Slavonic Papers/Revue canadienne des slavistes ([email protected]) to notify the Canadian Association of Slavists of your intent to nominate a publication for the CAS’ Taylor & Francis Book Prize. Please copy this e-mail to yourself as well.

  • Send one copy of the eligible monograph to each member of the book prize jury. Submissions should be marked “The Canadian Association of Slavists' Taylor & Francis Book Prize Nomination.”

  • If you would like to receive an acknowledgment that your nomination was received, please enclose, with the copy mailed to a jury member, a note with your e-mail address or a self-addressed stamped envelope.

Nominations for next year should be postmarked no later than 5 May 2021. It is the responsibility of the author (if they self-nominate), their nominator, or their publisher to send the books to the jury. Please note that books sent to members of the jury will not normally be returned once the competition is over. However, special arrangements to return a book may be made between a jury member and the nominator after the competition ends.