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Sasha Senderovich receives prestigious AATSEEL 2023 Best First Book Award

February 20, 2024

headshot of sasha senderovich

Sasha Senderovich

How the Soviet Jew Was Made” (Harvard University Press, 2022), a book by Sasha Senderovich, Associate Professor, Jewish Studies and Slavic Languages and Literatures, has received the 2023 Best First Book Award by the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages, or AATSEEL. Senderovich accepted the award in a ceremony on February 16, 2024 at AATSEEL’s annual conference in Las Vegas. Founded in 1941 and formally incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1948, AATSEEL, according to the organization’s website, “exists to advance the study and promote the teaching of Slavic and East European languages, literatures, and cultures on all educational levels — elementary through graduate school.”

“As Sasha Senderovich compellingly argues in ‘How the Soviet Jew Was Made’,” the prize jury noted in their award citation, “Jewish writers and filmmakers harnessed the expressive power of the Soviet Jew as a cultural figure to contest, complicate, and even reimagine what it meant to ‘become Soviet’ in the aftermath of the Bolshevik Revolution and during the early Soviet period. Through insightful close readings that uncover the multifaceted meanings of source texts and their implications for understanding Jewish identity, ‘How the Soviet Jew Was Made’ challenges traditional understandings of this figure and thus makes a remarkable contribution to scholarship. Readers will find Senderovich’s analysis both thorough and highly readable as he adroitly moves between Russian and Yiddish texts and offers thought provoking interpretations that weave together new theoretical approaches with sound scholarly analysis. […] Senderovich’s book proves to be a masterful study of the Soviet Jew and is sure to inspire generations of future scholars and readers.”

How the Soviet Jew was Made

“How the Soviet Jew Was Made,” a book by faculty Sasha Senderovich

Read more about the book in this July 12, 2023 UW News article

Senderovich was named a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award in the category Modern Jewish Thought and Experience in 2023. He teaches a range of courses in Slavic Studies, Jewish Studies, global literary studies, and translation. In August 2023 he received a two-year grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for “In the Shadow of the Holocaust: Short Fiction by Jewish Writers from the Soviet Union,” a collaborative translation project with Harriet Murav (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign). Senderovich holds a Ph.D. from the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Harvard University.