Kenneth Swope


A member of the Dale Center for the Study of War and Society, 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, 1592-1598offered 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 sixteenth-century Asia.  His most recent book, The Military Collapse of China’s Ming Dynasty, 1618-1644makes use of recently published primary source materials to tell the story of the tragic demise of imperial China’s last native ruling house and was featured on the podcast “New Books in Military History” and named a Choice Outstanding Academic title.  His book, On The Trail of the Yellow Tiger: War, Trauma and Social Dislocation in Southwest China During the Ming-Qing Transition, was published by the University of Nebraska Press in July 2018.  He also has an edited book, The Ming World, forthcoming from Routledge. Additionally, he has published dozens of articles, book reviews and chapters in edited collections and presented his scholarship at conferences all over the world.   His current academic project is a biography of the Chinese general, Zuo Zongtang, forthcoming from the Naval Institute Press.

Dr. Swope serves as the book review editor for The Journal of Chinese Military History and is a member of the Board of Directors for the Chinese Military History Society.  He also serves as a series editor for the Naval Institute Press.  He has lived in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and mainland China and conducted research all over East Asia.  Professor Swope teaches courses in Asian history, world history, military history and the history of baseball.  When not conducting research or teaching, he enjoys traveling, watching the latest K-Pop videos on Youtube and attending sporting events.  He is a lifelong sports fan and faithful supporter of the hapless Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Browns, and Cleveland Cavaliers.  Dr. Swope was the General Buford Blount Professor of Military History, 2015-2017.

Curriculum Vitae

List of Publications