The Soviet Unveiling Campaign In 1920S Uzbekistan: Class, Gender, And Politics
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During the late 1920s, the Soviet state launched a wide-ranging campaign in Central Asia, called the nastuplenie or hujum (‘assault’), against various practices in daily life (byt) considered backwards or oppressive. In Uzbekistan, the centerpiece of this campaign was the fight against women veiling their faces. This campaign generated some enthusiasm and recruits, but collapsed under a violent backlash and was abandoned just as the Soviet state began its campaign for collectivization across the country. However, anti-veiling measures continued in various forms throughout the history of the USSR and the process of the hujum had an important impact on the development of a Soviet Central Asia. This paper discusses the enactment of the hujum and why it was finally abandoned. Second, I discuss the conflicting frameworks used to interpret the hujum and the various comparative work that has been done with regard to other unveiling campaigns. Lastly, I highlight the inadequacies of current frameworks used to interpret the Soviet Union and make some suggestions for new areas of research.