Dr. Aaron Johnson

Assistant Professor, Division of Communications, Humanities, and Human Services
Director of ESL Program
Ferguson Center 215

Expertise: ESL, Ottoman World, Language Reform, Islamic Law and Legal Reform, Modernization and Imperialism in the Middle East.

Teaches: ESL, Introduction to World Religions, Introduction to Islam, Introduction to Critical Thinking.

Aaron Johnson received his BA in Linguistics from the University of Chicago in 1996. After several years in Turkey, two of which were spent teaching ESL in the intensive English program at Istanbul Bilgi University, he pursued his graduate studies at McGill University's Institute of Islamic Studies. He received his MA in Islamic Studies in 2005 and his PhD in 2012. His doctoral thesis, "A Revolutionary Young Ottoman: Ali Suavi (1839-1878)," is a case study of an Ottoman Turkish journalist and intellectual that illustrates how our view of late Ottoman history has been distorted by 20th-century Turkish nationalist, Arab nationalist, and Western Orientalist historiography.

Dr. Johnson's scholarly interests include nationalism in the Ottoman and post-Ottoman world, language reform, Islamic law and legal reform, and modernization and imperialism in the Middle East. He is a member of the Middle East Studies Association and the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association. Recent scholarly contributions include the papers "The Neglected Ottomanism of Ali Suavi Effendi" and "Ali Suavi and Turkish Nationalist Historiography."

Dr. Johnson has been at Valley full-time since 2013. He is the Director of the ESL Program and an Assistant Professor in the Division of Communications, Humanities, and Human Services. In addition to a wide variety of ESL courses, he teaches Introduction to World Religions, Introduction to Islam, and Introduction to Critical Thinking.