Ilhan Basgoz


Bicentennial Medal (2019)
Guggenheim Fellow (1973)
School of Global and International Studies
Department of Central Eurasian Studies


İlhan Başgöz is a professor emeritus in the Department of Central Eurasian Studies and the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures both located in the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies at IU. He is also a professor emeritus in the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology in the College of Arts and Sciences at IU. He received his Ph.D. in folklore from the University of Ankara in Turkey in 1949.

Başgöz began his career in the U.S. as a lecturer at both the University of California, Los Angeles from 1961 to 1963 and at the University of California at Berkeley from 1963 to 1965. He joined IU's faculty in 1965 as an assistant professor in the Program of Uralic and Altaic Studies. He was promoted from assistant professor to associate professor on July 1, 1967. He was then appointed to the IU Graduate School Faculty in September 1967 and reappointed with permanent tenure in 1968. He was appointed full professor and also established the Turkish Studies Department at IU in 1975.

Already a full professor and fellow at the IU Folklore Institute, Başgöz was given the additional title of professor of near eastern languages and cultures in August 1984. Beginning in August 1992, his title was changed from fellow at the Folklore Institute to professor of folklore with tenure. He retired from IU on August 24, 1997, with the title of professor emeritus.

In 1973, Başgöz was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in folklore and popular culture. Since then, he has been elected a fellow of the American Folklore Society (1983), received a Distinguished Service Certificate from the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Turkey (1999), received a Gold Medal of Distinguished Literary and Scholarly Achievement from the Association of Turkish Writers (Edebiyatcilar Birligi) (1996), and received a Gold Medal for Nasreddin Hoca Research from the Nasreddin Hoca Society in Turkey (1999). In 2019, Başgöz received Indiana University's Bicentennial Medal, in recognition of distinguished contributions to the university.