Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2021
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
University of Illinois / Chicago
Uzbek, Karakalpak, and Soviet: Multinational in Form, Hybrid in Content, 1941–1981

My research consists of case studies that together expose the dynamic, multilayered, and internally incohesive nature of Soviet modernity. The central case study concerns the mass adoption of Slavic and Jewish orphans by the Uzbek families during the World War II evacuation to Central Asia from western and central regions of the Soviet Union. Other cases shed light on the empowerment of Uzbek political and academic elites during World War II and its influence on the nationalization of internal—republican—political competition, as well as the role of academic and artistic networks formed by the young postwar intelligentsia (which included many war-time evacuees) in redefining the center-periphery hierarchies and challenging the meaning of “Soviet.” The research is based on previously inaccessible archival materials collected in Uzbekistan, Karakalpakstan, the Russian Federation, and the United States, as well as on oral interviews.