I spent the 2015-16 academic year in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, on a Fulbright Study/Research Grant. I was the first to win this grant in ten years because of the difficulty of receiving approval from an Uzbek delegation increasingly suspicious of American intentions. Over the course of ten months, I conducted research for my dissertation in the central state archive and various libraries, while also consulting with local professors. My PhD thesis focuses on Russian and Uzbek literature of the twentieth centuries with the goal of demonstrating the existence of a supranational canon of Soviet literature within which authors, in various languages, wrote on similar themes and conducted literary debates with one another.
While in Uzbekistan, I had the opportunity to participate in multiple conferences around Europe and Asia, publish in the local Uzbek press, and speak on national television. I also met with renowned writers and travelled the country to see Uzbekistan’s historic cities, Samarqand and Bukhara. In between research projects, I taught English at the Academy of Sciences for three months and gave presentations on graduate study in the United States.