Pantheon of Heroes, Kazan 1912Sudak, CrimeaInterior of Blue Mosque, IstanbulSunset over the Black Sea, Sevastopol 2006Tatar Dancer, outside KazanSergiev Posad, RussiaOrtakoy, Istanbul

James H. Meyer


I am an historian of the Turkic World, working especially on the Middle East and Russia. Employing sources written in Turkish, Russian, Ottoman Turkish, and the Arabic-script versions of Turkic languages spoken in Russia and the former USSR, I look at issues like human mobility, communications, and cross-cultural interactions in late imperial Russia, the Ottoman Empire, and Turkey. My book, Turks Across Empires: Marketing Muslim Identity in the Russian-Ottoman Borderlands, was published by Oxford University Press in 2014.

My connection to the Turkic World goes back more than two decades, beginning with the years 1992-1999 when I was employed as an English teacher in Istanbul. My travels and research have taken me to more than forty countries, including stops in research centers like the Harriman Institute and the Woodrow Wilson Center. Altogether I have spent approximately four years of my life researching in the archives and libraries of Istanbul and the former Soviet Union. Research trips to Turkey, Russia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Ukraine have been supported by the Fulbright Program, the Social Science Research Council, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and numerous other organizations.

Since 2009 I have been a professor of Islamic world history at Montana State University, where I hold the rank of associate professor. Montana State University is a Carnegie Research 1-ranked institution located in the gorgeous ski town of Bozeman, MT. I teach two classes per semester, with my teaching focused mainly on Turkey, Russia, the Middle East and Central Asia.