Skip to main content

Ellen Tillman

Dr. de la TejaOffice:  TMH 229
Phone:  512.245.2177

Curriculum Vitae

Ellen D. Tillman is an assistant professor in history with a PhD from University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. Her field is Latin American history with an emphasis on military institutions, military-civil relations, U.S. interventions, and guerrilla warfare.

Dr. Tillman’s research has focused on 20th-century U.S. interventions in the Caribbean region and how these interventions shaped Latin American development, U.S. foreign policy, and U.S. naval power. Her dissertation examined the U.S. military occupation of the Dominican Republic (1916-1924), arguing that the interaction of growing U.S. naval power and the actions of the occupied population drastically reshaped both the U.S. approach and Dominican society. Her current research analyzes how U.S. Army officers’ experience on the frontier in the late nineteenth century—especially in the formation of ideas about race—affected their interventions in Central America and their interactions with Central American populations and military groups.

Before coming to Texas State University, Dr. Tillman taught at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Courses Taught

History 1310, History of the United States, to 1877: An overview of the origins of U.S. history, from European colonization and imperial wars in the 16th- and 17th-century Americas to the U.S. Civil War and Reconstruction. Through the stories of the many and diverse populations that drove North American history in this period, this course focuses on the themes of expansionism and search for identity, stability, and purpose.

History 1320, History of the United States, 1877 to Date: An overview of modern U.S. history, this course traces major cultural, economic, political, and diplomatic shifts from the U.S. Civil War through the 1990s. Within the framework of a global economy, this course focuses on the widening U.S. involvement throughout the world and how modern U.S. populations sought to face and address that involvement and to reconcile the inequities and ideals of the U.S. past.

History 2320, Western Civilization, 1715 to Date: Through a general, writing-intensive survey of some of the major developments in Western Civilization from the 17th-century Religious Wars and scientific revolution through the Cold War, this course challenges students to define the “Western World” and to consider its role in global politics, economies, and social movements. Major course themes include migrations, governance, science, industrialization, nationalism, war, and race.

History 3368U, Topics in U.S. History: U.S.-Cuban Relations: This writing-intensive course traces the closely interconnected histories of Cuba and the United States from the American Revolution to modern debates about Guantánamo Bay. Focusing on race, economy, and diplomacy, this course draws out the national myths that formed gradually to shape modern perceptions of the two countries as eternal and irreconcilable enemies—and the many, deep cultural connections that lie just beneath the surface of those myths.

History 4364, Military History of the United States: A writing-intensive survey of U.S. military history from the American Revolution through the Cold War. Readings, discussion, lecture, and writing cover the conduct of major wars, minor conflicts and interventions, military-civil relations, and the evolving role of war and the military in U.S. national identity. The military, in various forms, has played a central, conspicuous, and often contentious role in the formation of U.S. identity and politics since the country's formation in the American Revolutionary War. This course focuses on the ways that military interests have driven U.S. diplomacy, technological development, and popular culture.

History 4368, War and Society: A writing-intensive course that takes a thematic approach to warfare and its relationship to societies. Militaries are far-reaching institutions and often serve as umbrella organizations overseeing and directing many other institutions; the interplay between war and society takes place in both official and unofficial channels, from the way local cultures influence soldiers’ battlefield decisions to the way Hollywood affects U.S. citizens’ views of current and past wars. From the role of Greek art and global empire to the effects of modern, total war on civilian populations, this course addresses some of the most pertinent civil-military interactions and their results.

History 5341B, Caribbean Transnationalism and Diplomacy: Since the late-nineteenth century growth of the sugar industry and expansion of the U.S. Navy, the Caribbean has formed a major locus of international social movements and global economic and military concerns, ranging from tourism to Cold War security. As investments and military interventions brought Caribbean populations into increasing contact, migrations and cultural exchanges through the region led to a growing interdependence that stretched from New York City to Havana, from Caracas to Kingston. The exchanges deeply affected all of the involved countries, and helped to make the Caribbean region a center for pan-African and Civil Rights movements and pan-American movements, as well as a region of cultural and military conflict through the twentieth century.

History 5362, Topics in Military History: Rotating topics in military history addressing current themes of concern in military historiography.