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The Irene Hilgers Memorial Prize 

The Irene Hilgers Memorial Prize was set up by Central Asian Survey in 2014. The prize is dedicated to the memory and scholarly achievements of Irene Hilgers, a German scholar of Uzbekistan. Hilgers died tragically young in 2008, shortly before completing her doctoral dissertation at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology. Her dissertation was published posthumously as Why Do Uzbeks Have to be Muslims? Exploring Religiosity in the Ferghana Valley. Hilgers was a brilliant and active scholar, who in her short academic career did much to foster collaborative linkages between young scholars in Europe.

The Irene Hilgers Memorial Prize celebrates the achievement of a junior scholar (within five years of their PhD or Candidate of Science degree) from any country who has had an article published in the four issues of Central Asian Survey from the preceding calendar year.

“The Irene Hilgers Prize is an important award which both marks the achievements of a talented scholar who passed well before her time and celebrates the work of young scholars who are making a significant contribution to Central Asian studies even at an early stage in their careers.”

Rico Isaacs, Editor of Central Asian Survey

The latest prize to be awarded was judged by Julie McBrien and Artemy Kalinovsky. The judges praised the winning article for its well-grounded theoretical discussions and nuanced, careful analysis, situating human experience within the global political context of Afghanistan.

Browse the award-winning articles:


All articles published in Central Asian Survey are considered for The Irene Hilgers Memorial Prize