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.
Middle East/Near East Studies
Geographic Areas of Interest
Former Soviet Union
Migration Btwn Russia And The Ottoman Emp
Muslim Admin In Russian Emp
Unionist Period In Ottoman Emp, "Panturkism"
| NE Stds
| Princeton U
| 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