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Dr. Joseph Ellis

Chair and Associate Professor, History & Political Science
History and Political Science
History, Political Science

Contact Information

Office Phone
104B Burris Hall


B.A., Political Science, Winthrop University 2003
Ph.D., Political Science, Temple University 2010


Joseph M. Ellis grew up in East Tennessee and received his undergraduate degree in Political Science from Winthrop University, and his doctoral degree from Temple University, also in Political Science. His research interests include public policy, ideology, comparative politics and post-communist political and economic transitions. His regional expertise includes the former Soviet Union, particularly the Baltic States, as well as American Politics. He travels frequently to Estonia for research, and takes students to Estonia on W'International as well. He is currently Vice-President for Conferences for the Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies. In his spare time he enjoys Neil Young's music, Tennessee Vols athletics, and Phillies baseball. His wife, Joanna, is a counselor at Piedmont High School, and he is the father of three children: Lena, Beau, and Dean.


Employed Since


Research Interests: Innovation, Policy Public, Policy Comparative, Political Economy Post-Communist Market and Political Transitions


  • Ellis, Joseph. “Swedish Crime Fiction and Study Abroad: Literature, Politics and the Foreigner.” Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad. 30:2, Spring 2018.
  • Ellis, Joseph. “Estonia’s Innovation Culture: How Did It Happen?” Foreign Policy Research Institute. December 2016.
  • Ellis, Joseph and Keeley Wood. “Revolution by Song: Choral Singing and Political Change in Estonia.” Remembrance and Solidarity Studies in 20th Century European History. July 2014.
  • Ellis, Joseph. “Pop Culture, Twitter and Study Abroad: Estonia as a Case Study.” PS: Political Science and Politics. 47:1, January 2014.
  • Ellis, Joseph and Hemant Sharma. “Can’t Play Here: The Decline of Pick-up Soccer and Social Capital in the United States. Soccer and Society. July 2013.


  • Ellis, Joseph and Connor Correll. “Cybersecurity, Hacking and E-Voting: Estonia and the United States in Comparative Perspective.” Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies. Stanford University. Palo Alto, CA. May 2018.
  • Ellis, Joseph. “Teaching Swedish Crime Fiction: Learning Politics Through Novels.” Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study Conference. Minneapolis, MN. May 2017.
  • Ellis, Joseph. “A Culture of Policy Innovation in Estonia.” Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies. University of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia, PA, May 2016.
  • Ellis, Joseph. “Representations of Post-Communist Europe in Scandinavian Crime Fiction.” Swedish Political Science Association. Stockholm, Sweden. October 2015.
  • Ellis, Joseph. “Estonia First: Policy Innovation in Eastern Europe.” Western Political Science Association. Las Vegas, NV, April 2015.


  • Wingate University Summer Research Grant. May-June 2017.
  • Campus Election Engagement Project (CEEP) Grant.
  • WINGS Grant. October 2015.
  • SGA Heather Campbell Service Award. April 2015.
  • Debra M. O’Neal Teaching Award.
  • Emerging Scholar Grant. April 2014. (Declined).
  • Wingate University Summer Research Grant. May-June 2014.
  • Wingate University Summer Research Grant. May-June 2013.

Courses I Teach

Courses I Teach
  • American Political Thought
  • American Foreign Policy Campaigns and Elections
  • Causes of Terrorism
  • Comparative Developing Nations
  • Contemporary Policy Issues
  • Global Perspectives in Economics and Political Science
  • Honors: American Government
  • Honors: Global Perspectives in Economics and Political Science
  • Honors Seminar: School Desegregation Politics
  • Honors Seminar: Science and Politics
  • Introduction to Foreign Governments
  • Introduction to Political Science
  • Political Ideologies
  • Political Philosophy
  • Russian and Eastern European Politics
  • W’Engage: The History of the Freedom Riders
  • W’International: Estonia
  • W’International: Sweden

Interesting Fact About Me

Interesting Fact About Me
FUN FACT: I announce high school football on the radio.

What I Love About Wingate

What I Love About Wingate
The friendliness of our students, and taking in a Wingate baseball game.