Brian Van Wyck

Educational Background:
M.A., Nationalism Studies, Central European University (2012).
B.A., History, Williams College (2007).

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

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

Courses: HST 201 (instructor of record), HST 140, HST 206, HST 324, IAH 201, IAH 202


I 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, culture, race, and modernity 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 work has been published in the journal Geschichte und Gesellschaft and in the Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism. I have reviewed books for the The Journal of Transport HistoryInsight TurkeyEdge, H-Migration, and H-War.

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, the Fulbright IIE Program, the Program for Advanced German and European Studies at Berlin’s Freie University, and the MSU Department of History. In the 2018-19 academic year, I will be a Graduate Fellow in Teaching and Learning in the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities.