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Director Statement

Patrick Barr-Melej is shown head to shoulder

It’s a great honor to be entrusted with the responsibility of serving as interim director of CIS. The Center is a vibrant and diverse academic unit, with students, faculty, and staff working together as a community and with a shared sense of purpose. Today, we collectively and individually face many challenges posed by forces and structures both stark and subtle that are old and new. We also share an enduring commitment to addressing such pressing social, political, economic, and cultural issues, all of which beg for perspectives and bold responses afforded by and through international and global studies. I am profoundly encouraged by the energy, mission, and sense of togetherness that impel CIS and motivate us as we bring the world to our university and take our university to the world. I also wish to take this opportunity to thank LJ for her leadership. LJ and her team furthered the scope and depth of international studies and global perspectives in the university’s teaching, research, and service, and she insisted that knowledge about the world be part and parcel of the experience of every undergraduate student on our campus. With a strong and dedicated faculty and staff, the Center will build on its successes and forge new initiatives as we pursue our mission to educate globally engaged citizens, promote sustainable and responsible development, and contribute to peace and justice in the world.


About Patrick Barr-Melej
Patrick Barr-Melej received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley and is a professor of history. He specializes in modern Latin American history, with emphasis on  20th century political and cultural history. Dr. Barr-Melej’s graduate advisees in History and Latin American Studies have produced M.A. theses and Ph.D. dissertations on such topics as Guatemalan revolutionary ideology; U.S-Chilean relations in the 1960s; 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.”
Dr. Barr-Melej’s publications include the books Psychedelic Chile: Youth, Counterculture, and Politics on the Road to Socialism and Dictatorship(opens in a new window) and Reforming Chile: Cultural Politics, Nationalism, and the Rise of the Middle Class(opens in a new window), both published by the University of North Carolina Press. 

Since 2014, Dr. Barr-Melej, who came to the U.S. from South America as a boy, has coordinated academic program reviews in the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, after having served as chair of the History Department and as interim chair of the African American Studies Department.

Read more about Dr. Barr-Melej here.