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James H. Meyer
Montana State University
Associate Professor

United States
I am an historian of the Turkic World, with over 25 years of experience living in and writing about Turkey and the former USSR. My first impressions of the region came when I was working as an English teacher in Istanbul from 1992-1999. During these years I traveled extensively in the Balkans, Turkey, the former USSR, the Middle East and Asia, and studied Russian and Hungarian in addition to Turkish before returning to the US to pursue a graduate education. My research focuses upon Turkic-Russian interactions of various sorts, including: Russian-Ottoman and Turkish-Soviet relations, Muslim-state interactions in imperial Russia and the USSR, and border-crossers in the late imperial, post-imperial, and Cold War era. Currently I am working on a history of post-imperial border-crossing, focusing upon the lives of Nazim Hikmet and other first generation Turkish communists. After receiving an MA in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton (2001) and a PhD in Middle Eastern and Russian History from Brown (2007), I held research fellowships with the NEH/American Research Institute in Turkey, the Harriman Institute at Columbia University, and the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC. Since August of 2009 I have been a professor of Islamic World History at Montana State University, holding the rank of associate professor since 2015. My first book, Turks Across Empires: Marketing Muslim Identity in the Russian-Ottoman Borderlands, was published by Oxford University Press in November of 2014. A paperback version is scheduled to go on sale in July of 2019. I spent the 2016-2017 academic year in Russia through the support of a Fulbright research scholar grant. Now I am back at MSU, where I typically teach two classes per semester on topics relating to the Balkans, Middle East, and former Soviet space.
Sub Areas
Diaspora/Refugee Studies
Middle East/Near East Studies
Ottoman Studies
Turkish Studies
19th-21st Centuries
Geographic Areas of Interest
Central Asia
Ottoman Empire
Former Soviet Union
Migration Btwn Russia And The Ottoman Emp
Muslim Admin In Russian Emp
Unionist Period In Ottoman Emp, "Panturkism"
Arabic (intermediate)
Azeri (advanced)
French (advanced)
German (elementary)
Hungarian (advanced)
Russian (fluent)
Tatar (fluent)
Turkish (fluent)
PhD | 2007 | History | Brown
MA | 2002 | History | Brown
MA | 2001 | NE Stds | Princeton U
BA | 1991 | English literature | McGill University
Building the Border: Russian and Ottoman approaches to cross-border mobility in the late imperial era Turks Across Empires: Marketing Muslim Identity in Russia and Istanbul Nâzim Hikmet in the Soviet Archives Escape to the East: Nâzim Hikmet and the Early Cold War Borderlands Red Star over the Black Sea: Nâzım Hikmet and His Border-Crossing Generation