Patrick O’Grady

Year in Program: 2nd Year

Fields: 20th Century

Advisor: Dr. Edward Murphy

Committee: Drs. Edward Murphy, Peter Beattie, Emily Conroy-Krutz, and Sean Forner

Educational Background: BA in History and BA in Anthropology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 2017


Curriculum Vitae

My education in history began in my sophomore year of my undergraduate studies. While at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, I migrated to the humanities from the natural sciences. I eventually came around to studying the Cold War under my advisor Dr. Jeff Jones, a scholar of the Soviet Union. Under his tutelage, I studied the agrarian reform policies of the Sandinistas, a revolutionary group that overthrew the United States-backed Somoza dictatorship in Nicaragua in 1979. Using documents from rural peasant union leaders and from contra (a US-backed counterinsurgency group) demobilization studies, I discovered that because of the contra war and the nature of Sandinista rural policy, many peasants who had supported the rise of the Sandinistas came to back the contra forces. I argued in my senior thesis entitled “You are Losing Touch with the People”: Sandinista Agrarian Reform and Rural Opposition that peasants’ disagreements with the Sandinista leaders led to a general climate of dissatisfaction in the countryside which the United States weaponized into support for the contras to handicap the revolutionary government. Also while at UNCG, I picked up a second major in anthropology. That discipline’s outlook continues to influence my research.

I am currently interested in the growth of neoliberalism and the role that neoliberal thought collectives played in that process.

I am also passionate about teaching. I worked as a TA for IAH 203 under Dr. Glenn Chambers and Dr. Edward Murphy in the fall and spring semesters, respectively. I am currently the assistant instructor for HST 425 with Dr. John Waller.