Ainslie T. Embree was Professor of History (1958-1991) and Professor Emeritus of History (1991-2017), Columbia University. He received his Ph.D. from Columbia University, and had taught at Indore Christian College, Duke University, and Columbia. While at Columbia he served as Director of Contemporary Civilization, of the undergraduate Asian civilization program; as Chairman of the Middle East Languages and Cultures Department and the History Department; as Director of the Southern Asian Institute; and as Acting Dean of the School of International and Public Affairs. Since his retirement in 1991, he had taught at Columbia, Brown University and Johns Hopkins, SAIS.
He served as President of the Association for Asian Studies and of the American Institute for Indian Studies; as Chair of South Asian sections of the American Council of Learned Societies and of the Social Science Research Council. From 1978-80, he served as the Counselor for Cultural Affairs at the American Embassy, New Delhi, and from 1994-95, he served as consultant to American Ambassador in India, Frank Wisner.
He was editor-in-chief of the four-volume Encyclopedia of Asian History (1989) and editor of the revised Sources of Indian Tradition (1988), Asia in Western and World History (with Carol Gluck, 1997), and India’s World and U.S. Scholars: 1947-1997 (with others, 1998). Professor Embree authored, among other publications, Imagining India: Essays on Indian History (1989), Utopias in Conflict: Religion and Nationalism in India (1990), and India’s Search for National Identity (1988), and chapters to many books on India and Southern Asia.
Jack Hawley remembers Ainslie Embree on H-net:
Announcement from The School of International and Public Affairs:
A Rembrance by Frank Wisner, US ambassador to India from 1994-1997 and currently an international affairs advisor at the Squire Patton Boggs firm in Washington DC.
From India Abroad: