Professor, Department of History, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Research Interests and Selected Publications
Trained in Chinese Studies at Yale and University of California, Davis, MacKinnon is a professor of History and former Director of Center for Asian Studies at Arizona State University. Besides dozens of academic articles and book chapters, he is the author of Power and Politics in Late Imperial China (1981); China Reporting: An Oral History of American Journalism in the 1930s and 1940s (1987); Agnes Smedley: Life and Times of an American Radical (1988)—all published by University of California Press. Research grants while a faculty member at Arizona State University include Senior Fulbright Research (1977), American Council of Learned Societies, Committee on Scholarly Communication with China (1991), Pacific Cultural Foundation and American Institute of Indian Studies (2003). For 2005-06, he was awarded research grants from Fulbright-Hays, ACLS-CSCC and Nanjing Hopkins Center for Research in China. He has been a visiting scholar at a variety of Institutions, including Hoover (Stanford), UC Berkeley, University of British Columbia, University of Hong Kong and Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (Beijing). In 2001 Scars of War: The Impact of War on Modern Chinese History, edited with Diana Lary, was published by University of British Columbia Press. Edited with Prof. Ezra Vogel and Diana Lary, China at War, was published by Stanford University Press in 2007. MacKinnon's most recent book is Wuhan, 1938: War, Refugees and the Making of Modern China published by the University of California Press in 2008.
His current project, begun in 2006, is a biographical study of the life and times of Chen Hanseng (1897-2004), pioneer Chinese social scientist and international political activist since the 1920s. MacKinnon first met Chen in 1976 and did extensive interviews and research on him in the 1980s. For this project in 2005-06 grants from Fulbright-Hays (DOE), ACLS and Nanjing-John Hopkins funded a year of research and writing in China.Teaching Interests and Courses
At Arizona State University MacKinnon teaches undergraduate courses on Modern China, Peoples Republic of China, U.S.-China relations and History of Modern India. At the graduate level he leads a comparative history seminar on War and Revolution, as well as specialized reading courses on Modern China.Professional Service Activities
Between 1979 and 1981 and again in 1985, MacKinnon worked as an expert for the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, teaching and editing translations from Chinese to English. Besides Chinese language study throughout the 1960s, he has lectured and published papers regularly in Chinese since the 1970s. Presently he is completing a long term project with the Asia Center at Harvard on the history of the Sino-Japanese War of 1937-45. This involves organizing and writing papers for conferences that bring together senior Chinese and Japanese scholars. The last meeting was held in Chongqing in 2009 on China's wartime diplomatic relations. An edited volume will result.