South Asian politics course brings policymaking to life

By Linda Chen | Emory in the World | April 3, 2013

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Marion Creekmore, a former US ambassador, teaches an innovative South Asian politics course each fall. Photos by Wilford Harewood.

Marion Creekmore is lecturing on the territorial dispute between India and Pakistan over the region of Kashmir when his phone rings. He takes a moment to glance at the number and excuses himself, saying, "Sorry, class. I have to get this. It's Washington."

With more than 20 years of service as an American diplomat, Creekmore is not your average professor. He teaches about India's foreign policies not only from textbooks; he shares personal accounts of his interactions with India's former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi from his time serving as the deputy chief of mission at the US embassy in New Delhi.

Offered each fall, his "South Asian Politics since 1945" course examines the increasingly prominent role the region is playing in international affairs, with a focus on the historical and current foreign policies of India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Creekmore—a distinguished visiting professor of history and political science in Emory College—draws from his personal experience to teach students about the ambiguous and demanding nature of diplomacy.

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