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Paul Ortiz

Office: 241 Pugh Hall & 221 Keene-Flint
Phone: (352) 392-7168
Fax: (352) 392-6927
Email: portiz@ufl.edu

Mailing address:
Department of History
University of Florida
P.O. Box 117320
Gainesville, FL 32611-7320

Professor Paul Ortiz (Ph.D. Duke University, 2000) is the author of An African American and Latinx History of the United States, which received the 2018 PEN Oakland-Josephine Miles Award for Literary Excellence. His book Emancipation Betrayed: The Hidden History of Black Organizing and White Violence in Florida from Reconstruction to the Bloody Election of 1920 was awarded the Harry T. and Harriette V. Moore Book Prize from the Florida Historical Society and the Florida Institute of Technology. He also co-edited and conducted oral history interviews for the book, Remembering Jim Crow: African Americans Tell About Life in the Segregated South.

Professor Ortiz teaches undergraduate courses and supervises graduate fields in African American history, Latina/o & Latinx history, comparative ethnic studies, U.S. South, labor, social movement theory, oral history, digital humanities, ethnography and other topics.

Ortiz is currently co-editing a book with Wesley Hogan titled Changing the System Now: People Power, History, and Organizing in the 21st Century, which includes contributions by William Greider, Lane Windham, Ernie Cortes and other activist intellectuals. Changing the System Now will be published by the University Press of Florida in 2021. He is also writing Settler Colonialism and the ‘War on Terror’: 1492 to the Present, which will be published by Beacon Press. He is currently finishing a synthesis of the segregated South with William H. Chafe titled: Behind the Veil: African Americans in the Age of Segregation, 1895-1965.

Professor Ortiz is the director of the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program at the University of Florida. Under his leadership, SPOHP has received three national academic awards. SPOHP offers digital humanities production and experiential learning classroom and fieldwork opportunities year-round. The Proctor Program has led 15 field work trips to the Mississippi Delta where students have interviewed veterans of the civil rights movement. Most recently, SPOHP students helped to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Elaine Massacre in Phillips County, Arkansas. The program has also facilitated field work on special topics including global climate change, Latinx studies, African American history, LGBT studies and many other areas. SPOHP is the national repository for the 2017 Women’s March on Washington Archive. (If you would like information on internship or volunteer opportunities with SPOHP, please contact me!)

Ortiz was president of the Oral History Association during the 2014-2015 term.

He joined the Department of History in 2008 after teaching at the University of California, Santa Cruz in the Department of Community Studies between 2001-2008. He was a visiting assistant professor in history and documentary studies at Duke University between 2000-2001.

Professor Ortiz is a member of the Faculty Advisory Council for the UF Center for Latin American Studies. He is an affiliated faculty member of African American Studies, Latin American Studies, the Center for Gender, Sexualities and Women’s Studies, Art & Art History and the Bob Graham Center for Public Service.

Paul Ortiz is a third-generation US military veteran. Paul served in the United States Army from 1982 to 1986 with the 82nd Airborne Division and 7th Special Forces Group in Latin America where he was a radio operator and instructor for mobile training teams in multiple combat zones. He received the US Armed Forces’ Humanitarian Service Medal for meritorious action in the wake of the eruption of the Nevado del Ruiz stratovolcano in Tolima, Colombia in 1985. He attained the rank of sergeant E-5, and received an honorable discharge in November, 1986.

Ortiz is University of Florida Term Professor for 2019-2022.

Paul is the faculty advisor for the UF Dream Defenders, Por Colombia, CHISPAS, Students for Bernie and many other student organizations. In 2013, he received the César E. Chávez Action and Commitment Award from the Florida Education Association, AFL-CIO.

He is president of the United Faculty of Florida-UF (NEA/AFT/AFL-CIO)