New Book by History Alum Victoria Clement

October 15, 2018
book cover of Learning to Become Turkmen by Victoria Clement

Victoria Clement's new book, Learning to Become Turkmen: Literacy, Language, and Power, 1914-2014, was published in May, 2018 by the University of Pittsburgh Press.

A recent book review by eurasianet describes it as, "a bold attempt at getting under the skin of a notoriously impenetrable country. With her meticulous dive into the archives, Clement provides a salutary study of how the nation’s belated embrace of enlightenment – in late Tsarist decades and more aggressively in the Soviet period – forged an understanding of Turkmenchilik, or 'Turkmen-ness.' In doing this, she has provided a valuable antidote to the zany personality-based image of Turkmenistan most laypeople operate with today." [The full book review is available here.]

The publisher describes the book as: "Learning to Become Turkmen examines the ways in which the iconography of everyday life—in dramatically different alphabets, multiple languages, and shifting education policies—reflects the evolution of Turkmen society in Central Asia over the past century."

"Learning to Become Turkmen is unique in several respects. There are very few books in English on the history of Turkmens and Turkmenistan, and no other book-length treatment of its language and culture. Clement does an excellent job of broadening the analysis to make it relevant to scholars beyond the handful of 'Turkmenologists' in Western academia." —Adrienne Lynn Edgar, University of California, Santa Barbara, author of Tribal Nation: The Making of Soviet Turkmenistan
Victoria Clement is a regional analyst at the Center for Advanced Operational Culture Learning at Marine Corps University whose research focuses on Central Asia and Turkey, with an emphasis on Turkmenistan. She is a former research fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington, DC, and former professor at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA. Clement is a founding member of the Central Eurasian Studies Society.