Professor John MacKenzie

Biography content


Visiting Professor

Professor John MacKenzie is Emeritus Professor of Imperial History, Lancaster University. He is one of the foremost historians of imperialism, of any period, and a scholar who also has an outstanding reputation in the field of environmental history. Professor MacKenzie was brought up partially in Zambia, educated in Glasgow, London and Vancouver, and has travelled extensively throughout the British Empire in pursuit of his historical studies. This has led him throughout Africa, Asia, North America, Australia and New Zealand, and has involved him teaching at the Universities of British Columbia, Lancaster, Liverpool, Zimbabwe, and the Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario. His principal post was at the University of Lancaster, where he held the chair of imperial history from 1991 to 2002. He was also successively Dean of Arts and Humanities and Dean of Education there.

Professor MacKenzie has published extensively on topics such as ‘The Scots in South Africa’, ‘Imperialism and Popular Culture’ and ‘Imperialism and the Natural World’. He has been editing the Manchester University Press ‘Studies in Imperialism’ series for more than twenty-five years, a period during which he has also made numerous radio and television broadcasts in his many areas of expertise. In addition to a vast range of chapters and articles published during the course of his writing career to date, his books include: The Partition of Africa (1983), Propaganda and Empire (1984), The Railway Station, a Social History (jtly, 1986), Imperialism and Popular Culture (ed, 1986), Imperialism and the Natural World (ed, 1990), Popular Imperialism and the Military (ed, 1992), Orientalism: History, Theory and the Arts (1995), David Livingstone and the Victorian Encounter with Africa (ed, 1996), The Victorian Vision (ed, 2001), Peoples, Nations and Cultures (ed, 2005), The Scots in South Africa (2007), Museums and Empire (2009), Scotland and the British Empire (ed, 2011), European Empires and the People (ed, 2011), Scotland, Empire and Decolonisation in the Twentieth Century (ed, 2015).