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Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Rory Finnin Wins Two ASEEES Book Prizes

We are delighted to share that Professor Rory Finnin has been awarded two prestigious prizes by the Association for Slavic, East European & Eurasian Studies (ASEEES) for his book Blood of Others: Stalin's Crimean Atrocity and the Poetics of Solidarity (University of Toronto Press, 2022).

Professor Finnin's vitally important work has won the University of Southern California Book Prize in Literary and Cultural Studies and the Omeljan Pritsak Book Prize in Ukrainian Studies. The USC Book Prize in Literary and Cultural Studies, sponsored by the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Southern California, is awarded annually for an outstanding monograph published on Russia, Eastern Europe or Eurasia in the fields of literary and cultural studies. The Omelijan Pritsak Book Prize in Ukrainian Studies, established in 2019 and sponsored by the Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University to honour the Institute's primary founder, recognises a distinguished book in the field of Ukrainian studies.

These ASEEES prizes follow on from two other awards for Blood of Others announced earlier this year.


In the spring of 1944, Stalin deported the Crimean Tatars, a small Sunni Muslim nation, from their ancestral homeland on the Black Sea peninsula. The gravity of this event, which ultimately claimed the lives of tens of thousands of victims, was shrouded in secrecy after the Second World War. What broke the silence in Soviet Russia, Soviet Ukraine, and the Republic of Turkey were works of literature. These texts of poetry and prose – some passed hand-to-hand underground, others published to controversy – shocked the conscience of readers and sought to move them to action.

Blood of Others presents these works as vivid evidence of literature’s power to lift our moral horizons. In bringing these remarkable texts to light and contextualizing them among Russian, Turkish, and Ukrainian representations of Crimea from 1783, Rory Finnin provides an innovative cultural history of the Black Sea region. He reveals how a "poetics of solidarity" promoted empathy and support for an oppressed people through complex provocations of guilt rather than shame.

Forging new roads between Slavic studies and Middle Eastern studies, Blood of Others is a compelling and timely exploration of the ideas and identities coursing between Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine – three countries determining the fate of a volatile and geopolitically pivotal part of our world.