It took 14 years for University of Wyoming professor Marianne Kamp to write her latest book, "The New Woman in Uzbekistan: Islam, Modernity, and Unveiling under Communism."
"I’m the world’s slowest writer," she says with a laugh.
The accolades for Kamp’s work, however, are coming fast.
Since its release last year, Kamp’s book has won two major awards, including "Best Book by a Woman in Slavic Studies" from the Association for Women in Slavic Studies (AWSS), a branch of American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies (AAASS). She will receive her award Nov. 17 in New Orleans at the AAASS’s annual convention.
Also in October, Kamp’s book won "Best New Book in History and the Humanities" for 2007 from the Central Eurasian Studies Society (CESS), a group she helped found seven years ago.
"The award from the Central Eurasian Studies Society means a lot to me because those are my peers," says Kamp, director of women’s studies and an associate professor in the UW Department of History. "The AWSS award was completely unexpected. I was pleasantly surprised, and I’m really happy that they read the book and found it meaningful enough to give it recognition."
"The New Woman in Uzbekistan: Islam, Modernity, and Unveiling under Communism" explores the lives of Uzbek women, in their own words, before and after the Russian Revolution of 1917.
In the book, Kamp revisits the Soviet Hujum, the 1927 campaign in Soviet Central Asia to encourage mass unveiling as a path to social and intellectual liberation, and helps reveal the complexities of a volatile time.
Kamp spent 15 months in Uzbekistan in 1991 and 1992 doing research for the book.
"It’s nice to win awards for the book," says Kamp. "But I wouldn’t have been able to write the book without the women in Uzbekistan who were so generous to share their stories with me. I wanted to write the book for them, and I owe the book’s success to them."
"The New Woman in Uzbekistan: Islam, Modernity, and Unveiling under Communism," released by the University of Washington Press, may be purchased on the Internet at www.washington.edu/uwpress or www.amazon.com. The cost is $50.