Tennessee Tech University’s Michael Gunter will be one of dozens of authors to present his work at the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville later this month.
The political science professor will give a talk about his latest book, “Historical Dictionary of the Kurds,” from 10 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 15, in the state capitol library.
“My book is kind of a crossover between the academic world and the popular world,” he said. “It is a sophisticated popular book.”
He is one of approximately 200 authors to present work at the annual festival. He is one of fewer than 10 authors to be featured from Tennessee Board of Regents universities.
The book’s second edition came out this year and features more than 300 cross-referenced entries on significant persons, places, events and institutions, as well as aspects of culture, society, economics and politics. He has published two other scholarly books and seven scholarly articles this year, in addition to the dictionary.
“My interest in the region goes way back,” Gunter said. “I was a senior Fulbright lecturer in international relations in Turkey in 1978-79. If you’re actually living there, these tensions become much more important.”
His talk will help to round off a busy year. In addition to the publications, Gunter presented his research at two intelligence agency conferences and at a conference in northern Iraq. He was quoted as an expert in international news articles on topics including the ongoing conflict in Armenia and Azerbaijan, summer elections in Turkey and airstrikes against Kurdish villages in Iraq.
In the midst of it all, he spent a month this summer recuperating from knee replacement surgery.
In July and again in August, Gunter made presentations at intelligence conferences in Washington, D.C., about how the departure of U.S. troops from Iraq may affect the economics of the country’s northern Kurdish area. Kurdish people live in northern Iraq, northeastern Syria, eastern Turkey and western Iran.
Some of his research on the Kurds will be presented in Amsterdam this month.