Kenneth Swope

Professor and Director of Graduate Studies; The Blount Professor of Military History, 2015-2017

NOTE: Dr. Swope will be on sabbatical for the Fall 2015 term.


Kenneth Swope received his undergraduate degree from the College of Wooster (OH) and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.  Prior to teaching at USM, he taught at Marist College and Ball State University.  His research interests encompass the military, social, political, and diplomatic history of early modern East Asia.  His first monograph, A Dragon’s Head and A Serpent’s Tail: Ming China and the First Great East Asian War, 1592-1598, offered a revisionist look at the controversial reign of the Ming Emperor Wanli (r. 1573-1620) and provided a new perspective on the most important military conflict in seventeenth-century Asia.  His forthcoming book, The Military Collapse of China’s Ming Dynasty, 1618-1644, makes use of recently published primary source materials to tell the story of the tragic demise of imperial China’s last native ruling house.  He has also published articles and book reviews in a number of journals and presented his scholarship at conferences all over the world and is the book review editor for The Journal of Chinese Military History.  Dr. Swope has lived in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and mainland China and conducted research all over East Asia.  He is currently beginning research for a new book on the Ming dynasty’s failed attempt to colonize Vietnam in the fifteenth century.  Professor Swope teaches courses in Asian history, world history, military history and the history of baseball.  He is also a lifelong sports fan and faithful supporter of the hapless Cleveland Indians, Browns, and Cavaliers.

Curriculum Vitae |  Website