Ellen Walsh, Ph.D.

  Associate Professor
  708-235-7146ext. 7146
  Office Location: C3374
  Office Hours: Mon. 11 a.m. - 1 p.m., Tue. 6 - 8 p.m., or by appt.
  College: CAS

History - Minor
History - Bachelor of Arts
Gender and Sexuality Studies - Minor
Gender and Sexuality Studies - Bachelor of Arts
American Studies - Minor



"I became a historian because I love hearing and uncovering people’s stories. And I love to teach. The classroom allows me to combine these affinities and to help students understand how the power to represent lived experience shapes our understanding; how the hopes, fears, and dreams of individuals and groups fit within larger contexts; how outcomes are contingent; and how the past informs the present—in other words, why history matters.

One of the most rewarding aspects of academic work is the opportunity to work for social justice through education. I work with students to develop their skills to observe, evaluate, and act. I see the classroom as a place to examine dominant and minority points of view with rigor, seriousness, and respect, as an environment that stimulates articulate, informed expression, the courage to dissent, and the discernment of social and ethical issues. This environment, I hope shows students that they have the power and responsibility to shape not only classroom discussions, but also their own historical moment.

Like many GSU students, I took a non-traditional route to higher education and earned my Ph.D. in history from the University of Pittsburgh in 2008. Feminist theory and an Atlantic perspective have also shaped my work and research interests, which include imperialism, the Caribbean, race, class, and gender, identity construction, the Latin American Diaspora in the United States, immigration, and the circulations of people, practices, and ideologies. As a Latin Americanist, I am drawn to educating students about U.S. policies in that region and our responsibilities as citizens for practices done in our names and with our tax dollars, which usually leads to larger discussions on the role of government and citizens.

I have long been involved with social justice projects, including working for reproductive and labor rights and with a group providing support to women in Central America. I have also worked one-on-one tutoring the children of migrant workers and adults learning to read and write. One my most exciting projects involved students and community members researching the history of African Americans in Erie, PA. In addition to conducting oral histories, we mounted a museum exhibit as a way of sharing our work and thanking the community for its essential contributions. I have also incorporated service learning projects in my courses, including “conversation partnering” with international students and organizing annual “Take Back the Night” marches protesting sexual violence against women. New to Chicago, I am working on establishing relations with community groups to collaborate on new projects."

- Ellen Walsh, Ph.D.

View Ellen Walsh's CV