- Bachelor of Arts, Brandeis University, 1968
- Master of Arts, Columbia University, 1971
- Doctor of Philosophy, Columbia University, 1983
Steve Volk teaches Latin American history (from the pre-conquest period to the present) and museum studies. His courses include a 2-semester survey of Latin American history, and more specialized courses on U.S. relations with Latin America, late 20th century dictatorships in the Southern Cone countries, the Mexican Revolution, a team-taught course on “Narrating the Nation,” and a first-year seminars on human rights (“Human Rights and Human Wrongs”). He also offers a course on Museums and the Shaping of Knowledge,” which he has taught both at Oberlin and as a part of the Oberlin-in-London program. His research interests have included a number of fields including issues on gender and the border (cultural responses to femicides in Ciudad Juarez), Frida Kahlo and Mexican nationalism, a body of work on 19th and 20th century Chilean history, and issues in pedagogy and higher education. He is currently working on a book on the historical memory in the United States of the overthrow of Salvador Allende and the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile. He has published widely on general issues of pedagogy as well as specific issues involved in teaching history in the undergraduate classroom.
In 2011, Volk was named U.S. Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Endowment for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. In 2003, he was awarded the American Historical Association's Nancy Lyman Roelker Mentorship Award "in honor of his dedication to students of history through teaching and mentoring," and in 2001 his role in "helping to restore democracy in Chile" was honored in an award from the Government of Chile. He was named “Teagle Pedagogy Fellow” in 2012 and is part of a FIPSE-funded grant to develop electronic portfolios at Oberlin.
Volk serves as founding Director of Oberlin’s Center for Teaching Innovation and Excellence (CTIE), which is Oberlin’s teaching and learning center. He has been on the Board of the North American Congress on Latin America since 1984 and serves on the editorial board of Latin American Perspectives.