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Elizabeth Shesko

Headshot - Elizabeth Shesko


Title: Associate Professor and History Undergraduate Advisor
Office: 409 Varner Hall
Phone: (248) 370-3529
Fax: (248) 370-3528
Email: [email protected]


Curriculum Vitae

Ph.D., Duke University

Major Fields:
Latin American History, Race and Ethnicity

Elizabeth Shesko is a historian of Latin America, with a particular focus on questions of race and state formation.  Her first book looked at the role of obligatory military service on citizenship and ethnic identity in Bolivia from 1900 to 1964.  She is currently researching the militias that developed in Bolivia after the 1952 revolution.  Professor Shesko regularly presents her work at the annual meetings of the American Historical Association and the Latin American Studies Association, and has written articles for Hispanic American Historical Review, The Americas, and International Labor and Working-Class-History.  She teaches a variety of courses on Latin American history and culture.  She is a rabid Duke basketball fan.



Conscript Nation: Coercion and Citizenship in the Bolivian Barracks (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2020).

Articles and Chapters

“The Chaco War.” In Oxford Bibliographies in Military History. Edited by Kaushik Roy (New York: Oxford University Press, 2023).

"'Same as Here, Same as Everywhere': Social Difference among Bolivian Prisoners in Paraguay," in The Chaco War: Environment, Ethnicity, and Nationalism, ed. Bridget María Chesterton (New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2016), 21-41.

"Mobilizing Manpower for War: Toward a New History of Bolivia's Chaco Conflict, 1932-1935," Hispanic American Historical Review 95:2 (May 2015): 299-334.

"Constructing Roads, Washing Feet, and Cutting Cane for the Patria: Building Bolivia with Military Labor, 1900-1975," International Labor and Working-Class History 80 (Fall 2011): 6-28.

“Hijos del inca. El congreso indigenal de 1945,” Fuentes. Revista de la Biblioteca y Archivo Histórico de la Asamblea Legislativa Plurinacional  4, no. 6 (2010): 5-10 (La Paz, Bolivia).

Works in Progress

"Shaped by Difference: The Effects of Gender and Social Class on Military Service." Under review as part of edited volume Conscription in the Global Twentieth Century, edited by Amy J. Rutenberg. University of Kansas Press.

Arbitrary Justice: Military Tribunals in Bolivia, 1905-1945.” Under review as part of edited volume Military Justice in the Modern Age,  edited by Matthias Zachmann and Kelly Maddox. De Gruyter.

Department of History

Varner Hall, Room 415
371 Varner Dr.
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(location map)
(248) 370-3510
fax: (248) 370-3528