Current Institutional Affiliation
Assistant Professor, History, University of North Carolina / Chapel Hill

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2007
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
History, Harvard University
Muslim Life in Central Asia, 1943-1985

The period from World War II to the rise of Gorbachev witnessed a unique historical interaction between Islam and Soviet Communism in Central Asia. While the nature of state control over religion changed and gradually become more relaxed, political and economic stability improved the quality of life across the region. Many Central Asian Muslims developed bonds of identify and loyalty to the Soviet state and some aspects of Communism. The conditions engendered by Soviet social and political policies created new possibilities for the emergence of a Soviet Central Asian Islamic culture. For this reason, it is necessary to examine the relations between the state on the one hand, and legally registered and illegal networks of Islamic education on the other, within the broader context of the complex interaction of Muslim communities with Soviet Communism. This dissertation will question how the Soviet party-state and Muslim communities engaged one another, and thereby challenge the consensus of much past scholarship that the relationship of Central Asian Muslims to the Soviet state was marked exclusively by resistance.