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 a 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. Arık 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.