In a distinguished field of nominees, Stepanka Korytova stood out for both her track record of innovative scholarship and a current research agenda that promises to make an important intervention in Slavic women’s studies. Without benefit of a permanent academic home, Dr. Korytova has amassed an impressive record of scholarship, including monographs in both English and Czech on immigration to the United States from the Czech and Slovak lands. The sample chapter that the committee read showed impressive archival rigor. Demonstrating the organizational and human connections between communities in Europe and the U.S., she brought a fresh take to the history of U.S. immigration through her use of archives on both sides of the Atlantic. She complicates the story of the American immigrant experience by focusing our attention on immigrants as not only recipients of charitable aid for newcomers, but as providers of assistance to members in their communities.
Her interests in recent years have taken a new direction, one that concerns one of the world’s most pressing human rights issues: global human trafficking. Like Mary Zirin, Korytova makes an important contribution to the field as a bibliographer with her forthcoming Global Human Trafficking. In the hopes of encouraging and supporting her current study of sex trafficking in Central and Eastern Europe, and recognizing her past scholarly accomplishments, the AWSS 2011 Mary Zirin Prize committee is pleased to bestow this year’s award on Dr. Korytova.