Shoshana Keller

Shoshana Keller
Shoshana Keller

Professor of History

Kirner-Johnson 134

Shoshana Keller focuses on Soviet and Central Asian history and has written on the Stalinist campaign against Islam, women and women's education, and the creation of Soviet Uzbek history. Keller is the author of To Moscow, Not Mecca (2001, Praeger Publishers) and most recently an essay on the origins of coerced child labor in Uzbekistan’s cotton fields.

She teaches Russian history from the Vikings to Putin as well as courses in Middle Eastern and Central Asian history. Keller is beginning a new project on the creation of modern childhood in Soviet Central Asia.

Recent Courses Taught

Murder, Civil War, and Opera
Silk Road
Early Russian History From Rurik to Alexander II
Modern Russian History
Modern Middle Eastern History
The Soviet Union as a Multi-National State

Research Interests

Study of the creation of modern childhood in Soviet Central Asia


  • IREX short-term travel grant, alternate, spring 2011
  • Principle investigator, “Histories of Central Asia” online teaching resource tool development project. Social Science Research Council, 2004-06
  • ACTR/ACCELS Russian and Eurasian Program NIS Regional Language study grant, Tashkent, Uzbekistan, June-July 2003
  • Dissertation award, National Endowment for the Humanities, 1993-94
  • Dissertation Year Fellowship, Social Science Research Council, 1993-94 (declined)

Selected Publications

  • “The Puzzle of Manual Harvest in Uzbekistan: Economics, Status and Labour in the Khrushchev Era,” forthcoming in Central Asian Survey.
  • Histories of Central Asia, with Adeeb Khalid and Robert McChesney. Sponsored by the Social Science Research Council, 2009, [currently inactive]
  • “Women in Central Asia: the Modern Period,” Oxford Encyclopedia of Women in World History. Oxford, 2008.
  • “Story, Time and Dependent Nationhood in the Uzbek History Curriculum,” Slavic Review Vol. 66, No 2 (summer 2007): 257–277.
  • “Going to School in Uzbekistan,” Jeff Sahadeo and Russell Zanca, eds. Daily Life in Central Asia.  Indiana University Press, 2007.
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  • “Women, Gender and Women’s Education in Early Through Late Modern Central Asia,” Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures Vol. IV.  Leiden: Brill, 2006.
  • “The Central Asian Bureau: An Essential Tool in Governing Soviet Turkestan,” Central Asian Survey Vol. 22, No. 2–3 (2003): 281–297.
  • To Moscow, Not Mecca: The Soviet Campaign Against Islam in Central Asia, 1917-1941.  Westport, Conn.: Praeger Publishers, 2001.
  • “Conversion to the New Faith: Marxism-Leninism and Muslims of the Soviet Empire,” Robert Geraci and Michael Khodarkovsky, eds., Of Religion and Empire:  Missions, Conversion, and Tolerance in Tsarist Russia. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 2001, pp. 311–334.
  • “Trapped Between State and Society: Women’s Liberation and Islam in Soviet Uzbekistan, 1926–1941,” Journal of Women’s History, Vol. 10, No. 1(Spring 1998): 20-44.  Reprinted in Anoinette Burton and Tony Ballantyne, eds.  Bodies in Contact. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2005.

Professional Affiliations

  • Association for Slavic, Eastern European, and Eurasian Studies
  • Central Eurasian Studies Society
  • American Historical Association

Appointed to the Faculty: 1995

Educational Background

Ph.D., Indiana University
M.A., Indiana University
B.A., Carleton College

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