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 and an outside field in Africa. The unfolding events in Central America in the 1980s had compelled him to pursue graduate studies, and while in graduate school he focused his research on El Salvador, specifically the events of 1932--a peasant uprising and a subsequent crackdown by the government. Ching received a Fulbright grant to conduct dissertation research in El Salvador in 1994 and 1995, but prior to going to El Salvador he traveled to Moscow, Russia in search of records relating to El Salvador in the archives of the former Soviet Union. He found a trove of documents that formed the basis for his first article-length publications. Since then, he has authored or co-authored numerous books and articles on El Salvador’s modern history. His current research looks at the historical memory of the Salvadoran civil war (1980-1992). During his time at Furman he has led numerous study away 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.


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


  • Modernizing Minds in El Salvador: Education Reform and the Cold War, 1960-1980 (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2012), co-author with Héctor Lindo Fuentes.
  • Remembering a Massacre in El Salvador: The Insurrection of 1932, Roque Dalton and the Politics of Historical Memory (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2007), co-author with Héctor Lindo Fuentes and Rafael Lara Martínez. Translated into Spanish as Recordando 1932: La Matanza, Roque Dalton y la política de la memoria histórica (San Salvador, El Salvador: FLACSO, 2010).
  • Reframing Latin America: A Cultural Theory Reading of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2007), co-author with Christina Buckley and Angélica Lozano- Alonso.

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

Connect with Admission

Furman University is one of the nation's premier undergraduate liberal arts colleges. We offer outstanding academics, opportunities for a broad range of talented students with a passion for learning, a robust arts program, and NCAA Division I athletics.

Want more information about the admission process at Furman?

Contact us

Once you see our campus, making the right college decision will be so much easier.

Plan a visit

Undergraduate Evening Studies provides adults the opportunity to receive an education from one of the premier liberal arts universities in the nation.

Whether you are starting or continuing your education, or have been away from the classroom for a few months or several years, our program provides many services to assist you with accomplishing your educational and professional goals.

Apply now

Our graduate studies program is designed for the professional educator.

We know the challenges teachers and administrators face every day, and we are committed to helping you become a leader within your school system or district.

Apply now
  • 50th Anniversary of Desegregation at Furman
  • Furman University