Email Address
Kirner-Johnson 134

Shoshana Keller teaches Russian, Soviet, Eurasian, and modern Middle Eastern history. She has published Russia and Central Asia: Coexistence, Conquest, Convergence (Toronto, 2020) and To Moscow, Not Mecca (Praeger, 2001), a study of Stalin’s attempt to destroy Islam. She has also written articles on women, creating historical narrative, and the economics of manual labor in Uzbekistan. Keller is slowly working on a book about the creation of modern childhood as a tool of nation building in Soviet Central Asia, and an experimental mapping project on the many nations of Kazakhstan.

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

Soviet Central Asian history; the USSR as a multi-national state


  • Dean’s scholarly year achievement award, 2021 (for Russia and Central Asia)
  • Class of 1963 Faculty Fellowship, summer 2020 (to create a course on making historical maps using Adobe Illustrator).
  • IREX Short-term Travel Grant, alternate, spring 2011.
  • Principal Investigator, “Histories of Central Asia” teaching resource tool. Social Science Research Council 2005–09.

Selected Publications

  • Russia and Central Asia: Coexistence, Conquest, Convergence. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2020.
  • “The Puzzle of Manual Harvest in Uzbekistan: Economics, Status and Labour in the Khrushchev Era,” Central Asian Survey Vol. 34, No. 3(2015): 296–309.
  • “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,” in Jeff Sahadeo and Russell Zanca, eds.  Everyday Life in Central Asia.  Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2007, pp. 248–265.
  • To Moscow, Not Mecca: The Soviet Campaign against Islam in Central Asia, 1917–1941.  Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 2001.

Professional Affiliations

  • Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies
  • Central Eurasian Studies Society

Appointed to the Faculty


Educational Background

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

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