Hello! My name is Michael James Erdman, and From Altay to Yughur is my baby.

Since 2015, I’ve been working with library collections in dozens of languages spoken across Eurasia. While I have contributed, and continue to contribute, to blogs on other sites (including The British Library’s Asian and African Studies Blog and HAZINE), my ideas haven’t always fit into the patterns demanded by editors and curators. That’s why, in 2019, I decided to create my own blog, a rag-tag group of eclectic pieces that speak to my varied interests. No word limits. No content guides. No controls – which isn’t always a good thing!

Where does this eclecticism come from? It’s born from a life of curiosity and exploration. After finishing degrees in finance and economics in Canada and Spain, I worked as an economist in Canada, and then as a Canadian consular and diplomatic official in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, El Salvador, Ecuador, Panama, and Spain. Not satisfied with that, in 2013 I returned to academia, where I completed first an MA in Turkish Studies, and then my doctorate in Near and Middle Eastern Studies, both at SOAS. My doctoral project, Divergent Paths, was no less interdisciplinary than everything else, covering historiography in Turkey and the Soviet Union in the 1920s and 30s.

Part way through my doctorate, I stared working as a curator, and have continued to do so past graduation. I’m luckily to be able to work with books and magazines day in and day out, and it’s that joy that I hope to share with you here.

If you’re interested in seeing more of my academic writing, don’t miss my Academia page. Otherwise, tuck into one or more of these blogs, and feel free to comment or get in touch by email (michael.james.erdman at gmail dot com) if anything sparks your imagination.

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