Patrick KellyI am an historian of twentieth-century international history, with particular research and teaching interests in modern Latin America (especially Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico), the United States in the World, the Cold War, global human rights, and transnational actors (e.g, corporations, social movements).

My first book, Sovereign Emergencies: Latin America and the Making of Global Human Rights Politics, will be published by Cambridge University Press in 2017. It is based on multi-state, multi-archival research and oral interviews in Latin America, Europe, the United States, and Australia.

Future book-length projects will explore the history of transnational corporations and authoritarian regimes in the Americas and a global history of the AIDS crisis.


  • PhD - University of Chicago
  • MA - University of Chicago
  • BA - University of Wisconsin-Madison

Selected Publications:

  • “On the Poverty and Possibility of Human Rights in Latin American History,” Humanity, Vol. 5, No. 3 (Winter 2014): 435-450.
  • “The 1973 Chilean Coup and the Origins of Transnational Human Rights Activism,” Journal of Global History, Vol. 8, No. 1 (March 2013): 165-186.
  • “‘Human Rights and Christian Responsibility’: Transnational Christian Activism, Human Rights, and State Violence in Brazil and Chile in the 1970s,” Religious Responses to Violence: Human Rights in Latin America Past and Present, ed. Alexander Wilde (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2015).
  • Also published in Spanish as “‘Derechos humanos y responsabilidad cristiana’: Activismo cristiano transnacional, Derechos humanos y violencia del Estado en Brasil y Chile en los años 70,” Las iglesias ante la violencia en América Latina, ed. Alexander Wilde (Mexico City: FLACSO-Mexico, 2015).
  • “‘Magic Words’: The Advent of Transnational Human Rights Activism in Latin America’s Southern Cone in the Long 1970s,” in The Breakthrough: Human Rights in the 1970s, eds. Samuel Moyn and Jan Eckel (Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013), 88-106.
  • Also published in German as “‘Zauberworte: Die Entstehung eines transnationalen Menschenrechtsaktivismus im Cono Sur während der langen 1970er Jahre,” in Moral für die Welt?: Menschenrechtspolitik in den 1970er Jahren, eds. Samuel Moyn and Jan Eckel (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, 2012), 205-229.

Selected Awards:

  • William Rainey Harper Fellowship, University of Chicago Division of the Social Sciences Dissertation Completion Fellowship, 2014-15.
  • Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation, 2013-14.
  • Social Science Research Counci, International Dissertation Research Fellowship, 2011-12.

History Courses:

Patrick William Kelly

Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow

Curriculum Vitae (pdf)

University Club 305

Office Hours:
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