Skip to Content

Ellen Tillman

Dr. de la TejaOffice:  TMH 228
Phone:  512.245.2177

Curriculum Vitae

Ellen D. Tillman is an associate professor in history with a PhD in Latin American history from University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana (2010). Within this field, Dr. Tillman studies military history, US-Latin American relations, race relations, and military interventions and occupations.

Dr. Tillman's first monograph, Dollar Diplomacy by Force: Nation-Building and Resistance in the Dominican Republic (University of North Carolina Press, 2016), examined the US military occupation of the Dominican Republic (1916-1924) and the interaction of growing U.S. naval power and the actions of the occupied population. She is currently working on two monographs. One addresses the role of US expansionism and interventionism in the formation of the state of Panama, from 1847 to the achievement of Panama's independence from Colombia in 1903. This book looks particularly at the ways that security questions, military development, and race relations for all of the involved countries affected Panama in the long term. The other book project examines the role of Central America in the US Civil War.

Since teaching as a visiting assistant professor at the US Military Academy in 2010-2011, Dr. Tillman has been active in the Society for Military History, currently serving as the Society's Regional Coordinator for the Southwest, as well as on multiple committees. On campus, she keeps an active service agenda, serving on committees addressing concerns as diverse as library, assessment, awards, and speakers; she co-authored the University's Common Experience for AY 2016-2017; she has served as Faculty Advisor to the Veterans Alliance of Texas State, and teaches a TRADOC-qualified US military history course for ROTC students and other students of history.

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.

HIST 4350w: The Great War:
This co-taught course examines the development and conduct of World War One from a variety of angles, emphasizing the diplomatic, military, cultural, and societal elements of its history. From debates about the war’s origins to military technology and tactical adaptations through the effects of total war on the home fronts of the belligerent powers, the course engages students through a combination of lecture, debate, writing, and research.

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, including but not limited to modern military occupations, military theory and its applications, Latin American military history, and US naval history.