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Patrick Barr-Melej

Patrick Barr-Melej
Bentley Annex 435

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  • Ph.D. in History from the University of California at Berkeley


  • Latin America

Patrick Barr-Melej is Professor of History and an award-winning scholar and teacher who specializes in modern Latin American history, with emphasis on twentieth-century political and cultural history.

Barr-Melej’s publications include the books Psychedelic Chile: Youth, Counterculture, and Politics on the Road to Socialism and Dictatorship and Reforming Chile: Cultural Politics, Nationalism, and the Rise of the Middle Class, both published by the University of North Carolina Press. Psychedelic Chile was listed among “Historical Studies of 2017 to Highlight” by the newspaper La Tercera (Santiago, Chile), and reviewers in leading academic journals have called the book “wonderfully lively and illuminating” (American Historical Review) and “a landmark” study (The Sixties). Barr-Melej’s articles have appeared in such journals as the Hispanic American Historical Review, the Journal of Latin American Studies, and The Americas, and his essays have appeared in numerous edited volumes. He has given invited presentations around the world, including talks at the Sorbonne (University of Paris), the University of Oxford, and the National Library of Chile.

Originally from South America, Barr-Melej’s teaching awards include the Distinguished Mentor Award from the Ohio University Honors Tutorial College and his commendations for research include the College of Arts & Sciences Outstanding Faculty Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity Award in the Humanities. He has held visiting professorships in the graduate programs of Chile’s Pontifical Catholic University and University of Concepción.

Barr-Melej is the former Executive Director of the Center for International Studies, was chair of the History Department and interim chair of the African American Studies Department, and served in the Provost’s office coordinating academic-program assessments. He is currently the Latin America series editor for Ohio University Press and is a Faculty Senator representing the College of Arts and Sciences. Barr-Melej also evaluates grant applications for the Chilean government’s FONDECYT program and is the former president of the Southwestern Social Science Association, the oldest interdisciplinary social-science organization in the United States.

His graduate advisees in History and Latin American Studies have produced M.A. theses and Ph.D. dissertations on such topics as U.S.-Chilean relations in the 1960s; Guatemalan revolutionary ideology; Chile’s opposition journalism under the Pinochet dictatorship; cultural politics in post-Sandinista Nicaragua; gender and economy on the U.S.-Mexican border; and human-rights policy in Argentina after the Dirty War. His

undergraduate courses include “Modern Latin America,” “Modern Mexico,” “Historical Research and Writing,” and “World History Since 1750.”

Recent Activities

Barr-Melej most recently was the keynote speaker at the 55th annual meeting of the North Central Council of Latin Americanists in La Crosse, Wisconsin, where he presented the talk, “Latin America and the Promise and Pitfalls of Global Studies.” He also was an invited participant in the conference “Contested Legacies: The Counterculture After 50,” sponsored by Northwestern University’s Center for Civic Engagement in San Francisco, where he gave a talk titled, “‘Rise Up to Be Born with Me, Brother’: Countercultural Lives and Resistance in Chile, 1970s-2000s.”

He gave an invited book talk (and did a book signing) for Psychedelic Chile, sponsored by the departments of History and Political Science and the Humanities Center, Eastern Illinois University (Charleston, Ill.), March 2018.

He gave an invited paper presentation, “‘A Lot of Searching for the Magical’: Youth, Revolution(s), and the Zeitgeist of 1968 in Chile,” for the conference/workshop “1968 in Europe and Latin America,” sponsored by the Nanovic Center for European Studies and the Kellogg Institute of International Studies, Notre Dame University (South Bend, Indiana), April 2018. This paper will be the basis of an essay for an edited volume arising from the conference/workshop, which brought together distinguished scholars from the United States, Latin America, and Europe.

He was an invited participant (including a book talk on Psychedelic Chile) in a weeklong series of events on the “Cultural History of Youth,” sponsored by the University of Chile in Santiago, July 2018.