Early Academic Career Excellence Award

July 22, 2011

Dr. Ali Iğmen


In the past five years, Dr. Ali Iğmen has established himself as an expert on Central Asia, the Soviet Union, the Middle East, and Oral History, as a dedicated instructor who has enhanced the World History curriculum and as a strong collaborator, working closely with colleagues at CSULB and universities throughout the world.

Since he joined the History Department in 2006, Dr. Iğmen has established a new Central Asia and Afghanistan curriculum and is working to create a Central Eurasian concentration in the History Department. He is co-director of the Middle Eastern Studies program and director of the Oral History Program, which he has enhanced by redesigning courses to meet students’ needs. Since Dr. Iğmen took over the program, there has been an increase in the number of students enrolling in oral history courses.

Dr. Iğmen has been highly active on campus, serving on 10 committees within CSULB, seven graduate master’s thesis committees, two committees in the Central Eurasian Studies Society and on the organizing committee for CSULB’s “Modern Genocides and Global Responsibility” Conference in 2007. He is especially proud of the conference he organized at CSULB in 2007 titled “Eurasian Women and Self-Reliance: Religion and Education in the Contemporary World” which addressed women’s positions and roles in forging contemporary identities in several Eurasian societies during the 20th century and today.

Dr. Iğmen’s research has taken him all over the world. He has been invited to participate in conferences and workshops at the Max Planck Institute in Germany, Harvard University, San Francisco State, UCLA and the Middle Eastern Technical University in Ankara, Turkey, where he joined a roundtable on the April Uprising in Kyrgyzstan. Since 2008, he has invited to CSULB four young Kyrgyz scholars, specializing in American Studies, through the Junior Scholar Development Program.

His recent book entitled Speaking Soviet with an Accent: Craft ing Culture in Kyrgyzstan is under review by the University of Pittsburgh Press. It explores the Soviet processes of establishing cultural policies in “Soviet Houses of Culture, National Festivals and Theater” in the 1920s and 1930s. His most recent article “Kyrgyz Houses of Culture, 1920s and 1930s” in “Reconstructing the Soviet and Eastern European Houses of Culture,” will be published by Berghahn Press of Germany in 2011. Dr. Iğmen is currently working on his second project “Daughters of Kyrgyzstan: Gender, Power, and National Politics in Twentieth-Century Central Asia.”