Kagan Arik

Kagan Arik
Instructional Professor
Pick Hall 306
Ph.D. University of Washington, 1999
Teaching at UChicago since 2000

Academic Bio

Dr. Kağan Arık is the Ayaslı Lecturer in Modern Turkish and Turkic languages, and coordinator for the Modern Turkish language program at the University of Chicago since 2008. He has also been active as Lecturer in Uzbek and Central Asian Studies since 2000.

Dr. Arık has 25 years experience in language pedagogy for Modern Turkish Language and Literature. He has designed courses and teaching materials  for intensive Elementary, Intermediate, and Advanced Turkish language, as well as Modern Turkish literature. He also has interest in the historical development of the Turkish language and its various dialects, and is a member of the American Association of Teachers of Turkish and Turkic Languages.

Dr. Arik also has a background as an anthropologist (socio-cultural, linguistic, medical) of Central Asia, and he has studied the region since 1987. He has investigated pre-Islamic elements in the culture of the Turkic peoples of Central Asia and Turkey, and has published on the culture of the Kazak nomads in China, the oral literature of the Kirghiz, and on traditional healing among the Turkic peoples. His travels took him to Turkey, Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tatarstan, and in the Uyghur Autonomous Region of the PRC. His regional languages of interest include Turkish, Kazak, Uzbek, Kyrgyz, Tatar, Turkmen, Azeri, Tuvan, Altai, Persian/Tajik, and Chinese. In addition to his activities in Turkish and Turkic language pedagogy, he teaches courses on the musical and medical anthropology of Central Asia, Central Asian History, Oral Literature, and on Old and Middle Turkic texts in the original. He founded the Central Asian Studies Society at the University of Chicago in 2000, and is a board member of the Central Eurasian Studies Committee at the University of Chicago.

Recent & Regularly Taught Courses

  • KAZK 10101-02-03 Elementary Kazakh
  • NEHC 20765 / 30765 Introduction to the Musical Folklore of Central Asia
  • NEHC 20766 / 30766  Shamans and Oral Poets of Central Asia
  • TURK 10101-02-03 Elementary Turkish
  • TURK 30101-02-03 Advanced Turkish 
  • TURK 10105 Introduction to Old Turkic
  • UZBK 10101-02-03 Elementary Uzbek
Subject Area: Turkish Language Program, Kazak Language Program, Uzbek Language Program, Old Turkic