• Professor of History; Director of Undergraduate Research
  • 864.294.2119
  • Furman Hall 200I
  • erik.ching@furman.edu

Erik Ching joined the Furman faculty in 1998 after receiving his Ph.D. in history from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a focus on modern Latin America. He is a specialist on El Salvador and has authored or co-authored numerous books and articles on Salvadoran history. His latest research looks at the historical memory of the Salvadoran civil war and will appear as Stories of Civil War in El Salvador in fall 2016 with the University of North Carolina Press. Ching co-founded the El Salvador Studies Working Group, an organization of more than 150 international scholars whose research focuses on El Salvador. He also serves on the editorial board of El Faro Academico, a weekly column in a Salvadoran online periodical that profiles new academic research. At Furman, Ching teaches courses in Latin American and African history, and he has led more than one dozen study abroad programs to Mexico, Central America, and southern Africa.

Name Title Description


Origins of Global Poverty

An exploration of the historical origins of the maldistribution of wealth between the west" and the "rest" in the contemporary world. Contrasting viewpoints are considered and students are encouraged to explore the differing use of evidence to arrive at their own conclusion. "


Modern Latin America

Latin America since the nineteenth century. Topics include: nationalism, military authoritarianism, social revolution and the wealth inequities that have defined the region as part of the developing world. Case studies will often be used to highlight continental trends.


History of Africa

Survey of Africa from earliest times to the present. Topics include: the peopling of the continent, the development of precolonial politics, cultures and economic systems; the African diaspora; European colonialism; and post-colonialism.


Revolution in Mdrn Latin Amer

Revolutionary movements in modern Latin America, considering their origins, evolution and outcomes. Case studies and a comparative methodology are likely. Possible cases are Mexico, Cuba and Nicaragua. The role of the United States will be considered.


Senior Seminar in History

A required course for all majors. Discussion-based meetings will explore a specific historical topic and the related historiography. Students will conceive, design, and execute their own research project connected to the main topic of the seminar. All seminars include an assignment encouraging students to integrate and to reflect upon their varied classroom, travel study, and internship experiences over the course of the major.


Introduction to Latin America

Introduction to the cultures and societies of Latin America with particular emphasis on political and economic systems, literature, film, and history. Interdisciplinary study of the salient issues facing the region today, including its relationship with the United States.


Issues in Latin America

Capstone course for the Latin American Studies concentration. Thematic focus varies depending on interest and expertise of the instructor. Past topics have included sustainable development, current politics, and the intersection of literature and history. Course is taught in English and is recommended for juniors and seniors


Articles and Chapters

  • "Civil War and Guerrilla Radio in Northern Morazán, El Salvador," in Broadcasting the Civil War in El Salvador: A Memoir of Guerrilla Radio, edited by Carlos Henríquez Conslavi, xvii-xlvi (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2010).
  • "Patronage and Politics under Martínez, 1931-39: The Local Roots of Military Authoritarianism in El Salvador," in Landscapes of Struggle: Politics, Society and Community in El Salvador, edited by Aldo Lauria and Leigh Binford, 50-70 (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2004).
  • "Indians, the Military and the Rebellion of 1932 in El Salvador," Journal of Latin American Studies 30:1 (1998): 121-156, co-author with Virginia Tilley.
  • "In Search of the Party: Communism, the Comintern and the Rebellion of 1932 in El Salvador," The Americas 55:2 (1998): 204-239.
  • 2013 Alfred B. Thomas Book Award for Modernizing Minds in El Salvador, awarded annually for the best book on a Latin American subject by a member of SECOLAS--Southeastern Council of Latin American Studies. Co-recipient with Héctor Lindo.
  • Fulbright Teaching/Research Grant, El Salvador, 2005.
  • Herman N. Hipp endowed chair, 2003-06.
  • Conference on Latin American History Prize (best peer-reviewed article in English on Latin America) 1999, for, "Indians the Military and the Rebellion of 1932 in El Salvador."
  • Hubert Herring Prize, 1998, (best dissertation in Latin American Studies) Pacific Coast Council of Latin American Studies.
University of California, Santa Barbara
University of California, Santa Barbara
Pacific Lutheran University

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