Dr. Daniel Prior

Daniel Prior

Director of Graduate Studies

Room 270 Upham Hall
Oxford, OH 45056
513 529 7148
Office hours Spring 2021: W 10:00-12:00, 1:00-5:00 and by appointment online.


  • PhD, 2002, Indiana University
  • MA, Indiana University
  • BA, Yale University

Teaching and Research Interests 

  • Inner Asian history
  • Nomadic culture
  • Oral heroic poetry
  • Human-animal relationships

Courses Recently Taught 

  • HST 197 World History to 1500
  • HST 270 The Mongols and Their World
  • HST 324 Eurasian Nomads and History
  • HST 436/536 Havighurst Colloquium: Ethnicity and Development in Siberia
  • HST 436/536 Havighurst Colloquium: Central Asia under Khans, Tsars, and Commissars
  • HST 450/550 The Horse in Human History 
  • HST 603 Research Seminar I & II
  • HST 670 Graduate Colloquium: Tribes, States and Empires
  • HST 670 Graduate Colloquium: Big History and Deep History

Selected Publications

  • “A Qırghız Verse Narrative of Rebellion and Exile by Musa Chaghatay uulu,” in Aminat Chokobaeva, Cloé Drieu, and Alexander Morrison (ed.), The Central Asian Revolt of 1916: Rethinking the History of a Collapsing Empire in the Age of War and Revolution (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2019)
  • “Toots Hibbert and the Etymology of Reggae: A Belated Lexicographical Note (On the Fiftieth Anniversary of ‘Do the Reggay’),” American Speech 94/2 (2019)
  • “Sino-Mongolica in the Qırġız Epic Poem Kökötöy’s Memorial Feast by Saġımbay Orozbaq uulu,” in Ákos Bertalan Apatóczky and Christopher P. Atwood (ed.), Philology of the Grasslands: Essays in Mongolic, Turkic, and Tungusic Studies (The Languages of Asia 17; Leiden: Brill, 2018)
  • “Afterword: Arthur Hatto, Ethnopoetics, and Epic Moments,” in A. T. Hatto, The World of the Khanty Epic Hero-Princes: An exploration of a Siberian oral tradition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017)
  • Trudy S. Kawami, Robert S. Wicks, and Daniel Prior. “A Gift of Steppe Bronzes from the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation to the Miami University Art Museum,” in The Silk Road 14 (2016)
  • “Fastening the Buckle: A Strand of Xiongnu-era Narrative in a Recent Kirghiz Epic Poem,” in The Silk Road 14 (2016)
  • "High Rank and Power among the Northern Kirghiz: Terms and Their Problems, 1845-1864," in Paolo Sartori (ed.), Explorations in the Social History of Modern Central Asia (19th-Early 20th Century) (Brill's Inner Asian Library 29; Leiden/Boston: Brill, August 2013)
  • The Šabdan Baatır Codex: Epic and the Writing of Northern Kirghiz History, edition, translation and interpretations, with a facsimile of the unique manuscript (Brill's Inner Asian Library 28; Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2013
  • "Sparks and Embers of the Kirghiz Epic Tradition," Fabula 51/1-2 (2010)
  • "Travels of Mount Qāf: From Legend to 42º 0' N 79º 51'," Oriente Moderno 89/2 (2009)
  • “Heroes, Chieftains, and the Roots of Kirghiz Nationalism,” Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism, 6/2 (2006)
  • "Tonyuquq's Humiliation and an Old Turkic Etymology," in Stéphane Grivelet, Ruth I. Meserve, Agnes Birtalan, and Giovanni Stary (ed.), The Black Master: Essays on Central Eurasia in Honor of György Kara on His 70th Birthday (Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz, 2005)
  • The Semetey of Kenje Kara: A Kirghiz Epic Performance on Phonograph, with a musical score and a compact disc of the phonogram; edited, translated and with an introduction and commentary (Turcologica 59; Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz), 2006
  • "Patron, Party, Patrimony: Notes on the Cultural History of the Kirghiz Epic Tradition," (Papers on Inner Asia 33; Bloomington: Indiana University, Research Institute for Inner Asian Studies, 2000)
  • "Bok-Murun's Itinerary Ridden: Report on an Expedition through Kirghiz Epic Geography," Central Asiatic Journal 42/2 (1998)

Museum Exhibition

Selected Grants and Awards

  • Digital Humanities Research Fellowship, Miami University Humanities Center, 2020-2021
  • Foreign Visitor Fellowship, Slavic–Eurasian Research Center, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan, 2015
  • Altman Scholar, Miami University Humanities Center, 2012–2013
  • International and Area Studies Fellowship, American Council of Learned Societies / SSRC / NEH, 2010
  • International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX) Individual Advanced Research Opportunities grant, 2008
  • First Annual Indo-Eurasian Paper Prize, International Association for Comparative Mythology, 2007
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, 2006-07

Work in Progress 

Dr. Prior is currently working on a translation of the Kirghiz epic Manas, two studies in Inner Asian comparative mythology, and a comparative mythological study of circumpolar peoples’ relations with reindeer and caribou. He welcomes inquiries from potential graduate advisees in the history of Central Eurasia, projects involving historical analysis of oral traditions, and deep history.