David G. Atwill is the Dean of Arts and Sciences at NYU Shanghai. As Dean, he is responsible for academic affairs, curriculum coordination, and intellectual development of the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.
Atwill received his BA (1989) from Whitman College, and his MA (1994) and PhD (1999), in History, from University of Hawai’i, Manoa. A renowned historian of China and of ethnicity in early modern and modern China, Professor Atwill comes to NYU Shanghai from Pennsylvania State University, where he was Director of Graduate Studies in the History Department for seven years, and has chaired and served on committees pertaining to promotion and tenure, research funding, faculty mentorship, curriculum, accreditation, and many other such issues.
The recipient of numerous fellowships, he has received grants and fellowships from the Wilson Center for Scholars, the Mellon Foundation, and twice served as a Fulbright scholar. Atwill’s books include: The Panthay Rebellion: Islam, Ethnicity, the Dali Sultanate, 1856-73 (Verso 2023), Islamic Shangri-La: Inter-Asian Relations and Lhasa’s Muslim Communities, 1600 to 1960 (University of California, 2018). His current research has focused on Lin Zexu, a Chinese imperial official largely known for his role in the Opium War (1839-42) to be published with Oxford University Press in 2024.
Whitman College, 1989