The Canadian Association of Slavists RCSP Book Prize 2023


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)

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 $500 CAD and recognition at the annual conference of the Canadian Association of Slavists.

YearWinning Book TitleAuthor
2022Ukrainian Nationalists and the Holocaust John-Paul HimkaIbidem Press, 2021
2021Picturing the Page: Illustrated Children’s Literature and Reading under Lenin and StalinMegan SwiftUniversity of Toronto Press, 2020
2021- Runner-upWar and Enlightenment in Russia: Military Culture in the Age of Catherine IIEugene MiakinkovUniversity of Toronto Press, 2020
2020Voices from the Soviet EdgeDr. Jeff SahadeoCornell University Press, 2019
2019The Portrayal of Jews in Modern Biełarusian LiteratureDr. Zina GimpelevichMontreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2018
2018Stalinist Perpetrators on Trial: Scenes from the Great Terror in Soviet UkraineProf. Lynne ViolaOxford University Press, 2017
2017Violence as a Generative Force: Identity, Nationalism, and Memory in a Balkan CommunityDr. Max BergholzCornell University Press, 2016
2016Ukrainian Nationalism: Politics, Ideology, and Literature, 1929-1956Prof. Myroslav ShkandrijYale University Press, 2015
2015Gulag Town, Company Town: Forced Labor and Its Legacy in VorkutaDr. Alan BarenbergYale University Press, 2014

Rules of eligibility

The copyright date inside the book must list the previous year as the date of publication

The book must be in the form of a monography, 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, literature, 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 acknowledgement 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.

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.

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