Michael Drompp | Professor - On Sabbatical
Office: 300 Halliburton Tower | Phone: (901) 843-3795 | Email: drompp@rhodes.edu


Dr. Michael R. Drompp, Dean of the Faculty and Vice-President for Academic Affairs, is the chief academic officer of the College and the “go-to person” for all matters that affect student learning at Rhodes. He is charged with enhancing the quality of undergraduate education through promotion of excellence in teaching, the development of scholarship, and close student-faculty interactions. In addition, he works with academic department chairs and interdisciplinary program directors in addressing curricular, personnel, and budgetary matters.

A published authority on Chinese and Inner Asian history, Drompp has served the College in a number of capacities. He was chair of the Department of History for eight years, headed the President’s Diversity Task Force, chaired the Steering Committee for the President’s ten initiatives for the College, and most recently served as Dean of Academic Affairs for Post-Graduate Fellowships and Faculty Fellow for International Programs.

Drompp joined the Rhodes faculty in 1989 and received the Clarence Day Award for Outstanding Teaching in 1999. He also is a pianist and composer.


B.A. (Phi Beta Kappa), M.A, and Ph.D., Indiana University

Selected Publications


Tang China and the Collapse of the Uighur Empire: A Documentary History [Brill’s Inner Asian Library 13] (Leiden: Brill, 2005).

Recent Articles

"Imperial State Formation in Inner Asia: The Early Turkic Empires (6th to 9th Centuries),"Acta Orientalia Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 58/1 (2005), pp. 101-111.

"The Yenisei Kyrgyz from Early Times to the Mongol Conquest,:" in Hasan Celâl Güzel, C. Cem Oguz, and Osman Karatay, eds., The Türks (Ankara: Yeni Türkiye, 2002), vol. 1, pp. 480-488.

"The Uighur-Chinese Conflict of 840-846," in Nicola Di Cosmo, ed., Warfare in Inner Asian History (500-1800) [Handbook of Oriental Studies, Section 8: Central Asia, vol. 6] (Leiden: Brill, 2002), pp. 73-103.

"Breaking the Orkhon Tradition: Kirghiz Adherence to the Yenisei Region after A.D. 840," Journal of the American Oriental Society 119/3 (July-September 1999), pp.

Recent Papers

"The Role of the Tuoba Kingdoms of North China in the Imperial State Formation of the Early Türks" (presented at the national meeting of the Association for Asian Studies, Chicago, Illinois, 2005).

"′Shadow Empires′ and Shadow Games: Imperial State Formation in Inner Asia Reconsidered" (presented at the 1st International Conference on the Medieval History of the Eurasian Steppe, Szeged, Hungary, 2004).

"Chinese Rhetoric and the Shaping of the Uighur Crisis (840 – 848)" (presented at the national meeting of the American Oriental Society, Nashville, Tennessee, 2003).

"The Question of Shamanism among the Early Türks" (presented at the national meeting of the American Oriental Society, Houston, Texas, 2002).

"Nomad Involvement in the Politics of North China during the Sui-Tang Transition" (presented at the 8th International Congress of Mongolists, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, 2002).

"From Qatun to Refugee: The T’ai-ho Princess among the Uighurs" (presented at the 44th annual meeting of the Permanent International Altaistic Conference, Walberberg,
Germany, 2001).

"Türks, Sogdians, and the Founding of the Tang Dynasty" (presented at the 1st international meeting of the Central Eurasian Studies Society, Madison, Wisconsin, 2000).

"Ta T’ang ch’uang-yeh ch’i-chü chu as a Source for the History of the Early Türks (T’u-chüeh)" (presented at the national meeting of the American Oriental Society, Portland, Oregon, 2000).

Other Publications

"Late-Tang Foreign Relations: The Uyghur Crisis," in Victor H. Mair et al., eds., Hawai’i Reader in Traditional Chinese Culture (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2005), pp. 368-376.

"Central Asian Historiography,:" in D.R. Woolf, ed., A Global Encyclopedia of Historic Writing (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998), vol. 1, pp. 150-151.