I would like to propose an author-critic forum for my book. I am eager to get feedback from a diverse array of scholars as I begin work on my second project dealing with Islam and Law in Soviet Central Asia. This criticism will help me conceptualize my second project in more sophisticated terms. Soviet and Muslim is a revisionist account of Soviet policies toward Islam after World War II that attempts to complicate existing narratives on the topic, to situate the Central Asian muftiate (SADUM) within state and society in Central Asia, and to explain the diversity of opinions on, and approaches to, religion in general and Islam in particular within the Soviet Party-state in the half century following World War II.
Ulan Bigozhin (Nazarbayev University)
Aisalkyn Botoeva (American Institutes for Research)
Sarah Cameron (University of Maryland)
David Levy (Independent Scholar)
Morgan Liu (Ohio State University)
The panel will be chaired by Jeff Eden (St. Mary's College of Maryland).
I realize that the maximum suggested number of critics is four, and I have listed five. I beg your indulgence, because Sarah Cameron considers it unlikely she will be able to come to the conference. If by chance she is able to make it, however, she is very eager to be on the panel, and I am even more eager to get her feedback. Her historical expertise on Kazakhstan, which my book does not cover, is unique, and would immeasurably enhance the panel's breadth, not to mention its potential appeal to conference participants.
Each of the proposed panelists brings a unique angle of insight to the subject matter covered by the book. Ulan Bigozhin is an anthropologist whose dissertation relies on unparalleled fieldwork in the social history of Islam, and particularly shrine pilgrimage, in Soviet Kazakhstan. Aisalkyn Botoeva is an expert on the intersection between Islam and capitalism in contemporary Kyrgyzstan. Sarah Cameron's recently published book on the Kazakh Famine has already received widespread acclaim. David Levy's research analyzes state policies toward religion, with a focus on Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan and the period of 1990-2012. Morgan Liu's ethnographic research focuses on Islam; his first book extensively discusses the cult of the Throne of Solomon in Osh, a site that rests at the center of my book's analysis of shrine pilgrimage.