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Professor emeritus awarded Fulbright to India

Stephen MacKinnon
July 24, 2013

Stephen MacKinnon, professor emeritus in the Department of History at Arizona State University, has received a prestigious Fulbright scholarship to both teach and study in India this fall.

ASU is one of the top 10 producers of Fulbright scholars in the United States, and is tied with Yale and Berkeley for the No. 5 spot. Only about 40 scholars with significant publication and teaching records are picked each year for the distinguished chairs at universities across the globe.

MacKinnon has been invited to teach about the People’s Republic of China at the University of Pune in western India. Relations between China and India have been tense due to a history of violent conflict in the twentieth century. He hopes to shed light on Chinese society, politics and economics.

“China is a mystery to people in the Middle East and India. They do not fully grasp what goes on in Chinese society and their foreign policy. I want my students to take away a better understanding of the global force that China has become,” he said.

MacKinnon received an education in Chinese Studies from Yale and the University of California, Davis. Among his many travels, he spent years living in China, where he studied the culture on similar research scholarships and spent time teaching at the Sichuan University in Chengdu, in 2012. He also is the author of several scholarly papers and books that discuss China’s relationship with various countries and past wars.

While at ASU, MacKinnon served as the director of the Center for Asian Studies, where he developed a curriculum for students to study various languages and cultures of Asia. He will act in a similar advisory capacity while at the University of Pune.

“I’m going to help build up, from scratch, areas of study related to China and serve their desire to establish a coherent program. As an international scholar, I feel that I can bring my contacts with scholars who deal with China in Delhi to Pune for discussions,” he said.

Until then, MacKinnon is enjoying the freedom of retirement. He still has graduate students at ASU and remains in contact with former students.