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Prof. John M. MacKenzie
Author and Historian of Empire


John MacKenzie began his  schooling in Zambia and is a graduate of the universities of Glasgow and British Columbia (Vancouver). He spent 34 years in the history department at Lancaster University where he held the chair of imperial history. He was also Principal of the County College, the first Dean of Arts and Humanities, and later Dean of Education. He has taught at the University of British Columbia, Wilfrid Laurier University
(Ontario) and the universities of Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) and  Liverpool.  He holds, or has held, honorary professorships at the universities of Aberdeen, St Andrews and Stirling, and an honorary professorial fellowship at Edinburgh University. He is also Visiting Professor at the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. John established the Manchester University Press ‘Studies in Imperialism’ series in 1984, which has become the largest and most significant series in the field of imperial cultural history. He remained its editor until his retirement in 2012 when the series numbered over 120 volumes. He has edited a number of journals, including Environment and History  (2000-2005), and until recently was Editor-in-Chief of Britain and the World, the journal of the British Scholar Society. 
                                   He was historical consultant for the ‘David Livingstone and the Victorian Encounter with Africa’ exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, London, and the Royal Academy, Edinburgh, in 1997; and for the Victorian Vision’ exhibition at the V&A Museum, London, in 2001. He edited and contributed to the catalogues for both exhibitions, and most recently to the catalogue associated with the Orientalism exhibition, ‘Inspired by the East: how the Islamic World influenced Western art’, at the British Museum (2019-20).  John has made a number of television and radio programmes associated with the history of the British Empire and has also travelled extensively in the Commonwealth territories. He currently lives in Perthshire, Scotland.
He has been on the editorial board of several others including the Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History.