Skip to main content
Hero Image Loading


Karen Kampwirth

Robert W. Murphy Chair and Professor of Political Science

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401-4999



Submit Your Deposit
Soccer balls sit outside the goal during the annual Harambee Soccer Tournament.

Karen Kampwirth '86

At Knox Since: 1995

Chair of Latin American Studies, Robert W. Murphy Chair in Political Science

Kampwirth’s books range from women and guerrilla movements and gender and populism in Latin America, to LGBT politics in Nicaragua.

How has interacting with students affected your own academic interests and research?

As the College has always been very good about letting me develop courses that reflect my evolving interests (even when they are far from my original job description -- like courses on Al Qaeda and the Middle East), I have the opportunity to work a lot of the stories from years of field research into my courses. And working with students makes me a better writer I think, as my students are always one of my audiences whenever I write.

What surprises you about Knox students?

I'm not sure this is surprising, but I love the cultural freedom at this place. One of my favorite explanations for why a student chose Knox was that, when she visited as a prospective, she liked the fact that Knox students were so "un-fashionable." There is little pressure to conform to a particular style.

Do you have any advice for students who are considering studying at Knox?

There are huge numbers of opportunities here to work closely with professors, something that wouldn't happen at a big school. And everyone should participate in a study abroad program. It is the only time in your life that you receive financial aid to live in another country, and it would be silly to miss that opportunity.

Share this story

Knox College

Printed on Saturday, June 22, 2024