Vincent Artman

Vincent Artman

Vincent Artman


Center for Peace & Conflict Studies

Dr. Artman has a doctorate in human geography, and his research examines how different forms of identity -- civic, national, religious, etc. -- are constructed and contested in the context of the modern state. Dr. Artman’s primary geographical focus has been the former Soviet Union, and Central Asia in particular. His most recent work has examined how Islam and indigenous religion are connected with national identity in Kyrgyzstan, and how these identities are connected to national identity and ecological sustainability.

Dr. Artman has also researched the connections between citizenship and territory in the breakaway regions of the Republic of Georgia, as well as white supremacy and Islamophobic geopolitics in the United States and Europe. He has published articles in numerous journals, including Europe-Asia Studies, Central Asian Affairs, Geopolitics, and Territory, Politics, Governance, and has contributed chapters to several edited volumes.

Research interest(s)/area of expertise

  • Political geography & geopolitics
  • Cultural geography
  • Political theology
  • Islam & nationalism
  • Former Soviet Union
  • Central Asia
  • Conflict & territorial cleansing
  • Islamophobia
  • Borders & migration
  • Colonialism and development



Ph.D, Geography (University of Kansas, 2016)

Awards and grants

  • 2018: Wayne State University Part-Time Faculty Professional Development Grant
  • 2017: Wayne State University Part-Time Faculty Professional Development Grant
  • 2014: IREX Individual Advanced Research Opportunity Fellowship, Kyrgyzstan
  • Fulbright Fellowship, Kyrgyzstan, awarded
  • 2013: Kollmorgen Research Scholarship
  • 2012: Foreign Language Area Studies Fellowship (Uzbek), awarded
  • 2010: Foreign Language Area Studies Fellowship (Russian)

Selected publications

Peer-Reviewed Articles:

“My Poor People, Where are We Going? Grounded Theologies and National Identity in Kyrgyzstan.” Europe-Asia Studies, 71:10, 1734-1755 (2019).

“Nation, Religion, and Theology: What Do We Mean When We Say ‘Being Kyrgyz Means Being Muslim?’” Central Asian Affairs, 5:3, pp. 191-212 (2018).

"Territorial Cleansing: A Geopolitical Approach to Understanding Mass Violence," with S. Egbert, A. Thelen, N. Reiz, W. Price, N. Pickett. Territory, Politics, Governance 4:3, pp. 297-318 (2016).

"Documenting Territory: Passportization, Territory, and Exception in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.” Geopolitics 18:3, pp. 682-704 (2013).

Book Chapters:

“Religion, Nationalism, Ecology.” In Edward Davis and Steven Silvern, eds. Religion, Sustainability, and Place: Exploring Moral Geographies for the Anthropocene. London: Palgrave (forthcoming spring 2021).

“Borders, Boundaries, and Identities,” with A. Diener. In Erica Marat and Rico Isaacs, eds. Handbook on Contemporary Central Asia. New York: Routledge (forthcoming 2020)

“U.S. Soft Power in Central Asia,” with A. Diener. In Sebastien Peyrouse, ed. Soft Power in Eurasia. Lanham: Lexington Books (forthcoming 2020)

“Contemporary Modes of Islamic Discourse in Kyrgyzstan: Rethinking the Moderate - Extremist Duality.” In Marlene Laruelle, ed. Kyrgyzstan: Political Pluralism and Economic Challenges. Central Asia Program: Washington, D.C. (2017)

“State," with A. Diener. In Kocku von Stuckrad and Robert Segal, eds., Vocabulary for the Study of Religion. Leiden: Brill (2015).

Other Publications:

“Contemporary Modes of Islamic Discourse in Kyrgyzstan: Rethinking the Moderate - Extremist Duality.” CERIA Research Brief (2016).

“Negotiating Islam in Kyrgyzstan: National Identity, Religion, and the Meaning of Tradition.” IREX Scholar Research Brief (2015).

"Annexation by Passport." Al Jazeera America (2014)


Courses taught

Online courses:

PCS 7100: Peace-Making: Regional, Technological, Transnational Perspectives (graduate level)

  • This is an advanced graduate level course that examines how peace & conflict are structured by the modern system of nation-states. Topics covered included borders, sovereignty, drones and electronic warfare, etc. This is one of the few courses taught at Wayne State University that engages in a systematic way with the topic of political geography.

PCS 6100: International Peace & Security Studies (graduate level)

  • This is a graduate level class that introduces students to the field of peace & security studies. Topics covered include conflict analysis, confllict resolution, positive and negative peace, constructivism, and other political science perspectives on peace & conflict.

PCS 2010: Ethnicity, Nationalism & Genocide

  • This is an undergraduate level course that introduces students to current and historical debates about ethnicity and nationalism, including primordialist, constructivist, and postmodern perspectives on ethnic and national identity, The course draws on political science, sociological, anthropological, and geographical literatures to offer students a diverse and holistic understanding of the topic, and explores how ethnicity and nationalism are connected with conflict.

PCS 2010: Islamic Political Movements

  • This course explores the growth and evolution of Islamic political movements. In particular, it traces these movements’ relationship with Islamic history, theology, and ethics. The course also examines key Islamic movements and parties,their goals, the reasons for their popularity, and their dual nature as both religious and political organizations. Finally, the class will explore the meaning of terms like “political Islam,” “Islamism,” and “fundamentalism,” which are frequently used but not always clearly defined.

PCS 2010: Walls and Borders

  • Boundaries and borders affect our lives in countless ways. Sometimes they are invisible, and sometimes they are visible on the landscape in the form of walls, fences, and checkpoints. But in all cases, they are political. This class will
    introduce students to the academic study of borders and territory, and explore the ideological, political, and armed conflicts associated with them. What, for example, are borders? What are their origins, and how do they function in the world today? How do the either enable or hinder the mobility of people, of capital, or of trade? How are borders related to power, and how can borders be violent? These are the kinds of questions that will be addressed in this all-new course. Ranging from issues like the crisis at the US-Mexico border, ethnic violence, migration and refugee flows, and globalization, this class will introduce students to the field of critical border studies and explore how “invisible” lines on a map are materialized on the physical landscape and how they shape our political and social existence.

PCS 2000: Introduction to Peace & Conflict Studies

  • This course is intended to provide a thorough understanding about issues related to peace and conflict. Meanings of peace, peace movements, reasons for wars, and the nature and significance of nuclear weapons will be explored. Discussions will include how international and regional organizations cooperate with nation-states in transforming conflict into building positive peace. Participants in this course will be encouraged to review additional resources in order to have a better understanding of the United States’ role in peace and conflict issues, and to develop a global perspective on alternative solutions to international conflict and wars.