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Erik Ching

Interim Associate Provost for Engaged Learning; Walter Kenneth Mattison Professor of History; Director of Undergraduate Research

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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 most recent research looks at the historical memory of the Salvadoran civil war and was published as Stories of Civil War in El Salvador: A Battle over Memory (University of North Carolina Press, 2016). Ching co-founded the El Salvador Studies Working Group, an organization of more than 180 international scholars whose research focuses on El Salvador. 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.


  •  2017 Choice Outstanding Academic Title for Stories of Civil War in El Salvador.
  • 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.


  • Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara
  • M.A., University of California, Santa Barbara
  • B.A., Pacific Lutheran University



Articles and Chapters

  • “El Salvador and the Russian Revolution, 1917-1932,” co-author with Alfredo Ramírez, in Choi Chatterjee, Steven G. Marks, Mary Neuburger, and Steven Sabol, eds, The Global Impacts of Russia’s Great War and Revolution, Book 2: The Wider Arc of Revolution (Bloomington, IN: Slavica Publishers, 2019), 3-31.
  • "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.