Hey, everyone. My name is Steve Volk, and I've taught history at Oberlin since 1986. I specialize in Latin American history, and also teach Museum Studies, along with First Year Seminars on human rights and on how images work. Teaching is what I do and what I love and I'm lucky enough to be the director of Oberlin's Center for Teaching Innovation and Excellence (CTIE), where I work with other faculty members in our continual search for ways to improve teaching and learning at the college.
My own field of research is Latin American history, specifically contemporary Chilean history, a subject which I've been interested in since I participated in an exchange program (AFS) to Chile as a high school student. I've lived in a number of Spanish speaking countries (Spain, Bolivia, Chile), but Chile remains my true love. If my experiences as a high school student in Chile in 1964 helped orient my future career in academia, I was formed politically and emotionally by the years I lived there in 1972-73, when I experienced the tremendous hope of the government of Salvador Allende (1970-73), as well as the terrible catastrophe of the military coup in 1973 that overthrew him. I try to carry my own sense of engagement in those years into the classroom, and work closely with students as they combine their studies with an active engagement in the world. I'd be interested in finding out what moves you, and what questions you have about entering the Oberlin community.