Kris Erskine, M.Ed., M.S.Sc., Ph.D.

kris erskine

Chair and Professor of History and Political Studies

Office: Brock Hall 3117


Phone: 423.236.2419


BA, Andrews University (Newbold College)

M.S., Troy State University

M.Ed., Atlantic Union College

M.S.Sc., Syracuse University

Ph.D., The University of Hong Kong


Kris Erskine is a Western North Carolina native and has always considered this area to be home.  “I have been blessed,” Erskine says, “with the opportunity to both study and travel all over the world, and to finally return home.”

In 1996 Erskine graduated from Newbold College in England with a BA in history and religion, and most recently spent six years in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong where he studied for a Ph.D in diplomatic history at the University of Hong Kong.  His doctoral research focuses on the impact of American missionaries in China on Sino-US relations during the 1930’s and 1940’s.  In 2011 Erskine was awarded two fellowships which enabled him to further his doctoral research:  The Marshall/Baruch Fellowship from the George C. Marshall Foundation, and the Taiwan Fellowship through Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Center for Chinese Studies.

Erskine is a member of the Historical Society for Twentieth-Century China, the American Historical Association, and other historical organizations.  His primary research interests lay in Twentieth-Century Asian topics: American espionage in China during the Second World War, Christian missions in China, cross-straights relations, the Korean Peninsula, Hong Kong, and Taiwan-American relations.  Erskine also looks forward to research in modern American history, particularly Southern and Appalachian history, the Civil War, both World Wars, the CIA, and the Cold War. 

In addition to finishing his dissertation Erskine is completing a book, a piece of travel literature tentatively titled Even the Dragonflies Dance, about his travels in Asia.  Erskine enjoys traveling, spending time with his family, watching Syracuse basketball, flying airplanes, and getting outdoors.