Brian Van Wyck

Brian Van WyckI am a historian of modern Europe and the Middle East with a focus on German, Turkish, and migration history. My current research looks at teachers and imams sent by the Turkish state to work with Turks in (West) Germany and argues that German and Turkish policies and public attitudes toward these transnational civil servants reflect changing ideas about Islam, education, and citizenship in both countries.

I am also interested in Islamic religious instruction in German schools, Turkish Islamic associations in Germany, and the construction by German charities, churches, unions, and migrant organizations of Ausländerarbeit (“work with foreigners”) as a disciplinary category.

My studies and research have been funded by the Social Science Research Council, the Critical Language Scholarship Program, the Foreign Language and Area Studies Program, the Fulbright ETA Program, and the MSU Department of History. In the 2014-15 academic year, I was a Graduate Language Fellow in the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities. For the 2015-16 and 2016-17 academic years, I will be away from MSU conducting research in Germany and Turkey, first as a Fulbright scholar and then as a fellow in the Program for Advanced German and European Studies at Berlin’s Freie University.


M.A., Nationalism Studies, Central European University (2012)

B.A., History, Williams College (2007)

Committee: Karrin Hanshew (adviser), Emine Evered, Sean Forner, Leslie Page Moch

Fields: Modern Europe (major), Modern Middle East, Migration Studies

Courses: HST 140, HST 206, HST 324, IAH 201, IAH 202