Marc Jason Gilbert, May 1989
Martin Yanuck, Asian Studies professor, will be remembered as a gifted scholar and teacher. As chair of the history department and director of the International Studies Program of Spelman College, Atlanta, Georgia, he contributed greatly to the growth of Asian studies in the state and helped create the momentum that has recently led to the creation of two centers for Asian studies in Georgia.
He was a founding and active member of the Council of the Asian Studies Consortium of Georgia, and a frequent participant in scholarly meetings both as a panel organizer and presenter. His book reviews for the Journal of Asian Studies and his other scholarly publications were always appreciated for their balance, fairness, and good humor.
The many teacher-training workshops he conducted helped disseminate knowledge of Asian studies where it counted: among the region's public school teachers. In recent years, he made a major contribution to the growth of the new field of Asian studies in world history.
At his death, he was preparing the ground for a series of Sino-American Conferences on world history to be held in China and the United States. Perhaps because his own fields of specialization were the history of Islam in India and communal politics, he was particularly sensitive to the forces that divide mankind. He saw Indian history in particular, and Asian studies in general, as vehicles capable of helping to both dispell the ignorance and prejudice that sustains such divisions. He promoted the mutual understanding which alone can end them.
Marc Jason Gilbert
North Georgia College