Long Island University Professor of Political Science Emerita J. Patrice McSherry specializes in Comparative Politics, with a focus on Latin America. She has taught courses on international relations, human rights, international political economy, Cold War politics, and foreign policy. She received her B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley and her Ph.D. in Political Science from The Graduate Center of The City University of New York (CUNY). Her first teaching appointment was at State University of New York (SUNY)-New Paltz, before moving to Long Island University (LIU).
McSherry is currently a researcher in collaboration with the Institute of Advanced Studies (IDEA) of the University of Santiago (USACH). In 2014-15 she was Visiting Professor at Universidad Alberto Hurtado, Santiago, Chile, where she taught courses on the Cold War in Latin America and the Chilean New Song movement.
McSherry's new book is CHILEAN NEW SONG: THE POLITICAL POWER OF MUSIC, 1960s to 1973 (Temple University Press, 2015). The Spanish version is entitled LA NUEVA CANCIÓN CHILENA: EL PODER POLÍTICO DE LA MÚSICA 1960-1973 (Santiago: Ediciones Lom, 2017). She carried out field work during five extended stays in Chile between 2011 and 2014, supported by various grants: a Fulbright Senior Scholar award in 2011, an American Political Science Association (APSA) Small Research Grant and LIU grants (the Provost's Office and a Faculty Development Award) in 2012, and grants from the Dean of Research and the Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences of LIU in 2013. In the course of her research she interviewed scores of musicians, artists, and other protagonists of the popular movements of the 1960s and early 70s. The book won the Cecil B. Currey Award from the Association of Third World Studies for best work on the developing world in 2015.
McSherry founded and directed the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program at LIU (1998-2014), and won LIU’s David Newton Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2008. She received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Political Science MA-Ph.D Program of the CUNY Graduate Center in 2009. She has been awarded several Fulbright grants (Argentina, 1992; Uruguay, 2005; Chile, 2011), and has authored several books and coedited another. McSherry is an internationally recognized expert on Operation Condor. She has published numerous book chapters and scholarly articles on Chilean New Song, military regimes, civil-military relations, state terror, including Operation Condor, transitions to democracy, social movements, and U.S. foreign policy.
McSherry has traveled extensively in Latin America and has lived in Argentina, Uruguay and Chile. She has closely observed the social movements of the region and has dedicated much study and analysis to the role of military and paramilitary forces. She regularly lectures U.S. students visiting Santiago, on Operation Condor and human rights issues. In 2016 she joined the Advisory Board of Cantos Cautivos, a project on songs and musical experiences in Chilean centers for political detention and torture during the dictatorship (cantoscautivos.org).
McSherry participated in a roundtable discussion of Chilean New Song with major figures from the movement in May 2016, hosted by the National Library of Chile. In 2017 she appeared on several radio programs in Santiago, including "Nuestro Canto," to discuss New Song, and she was interviewed for two forthcoming documentaries on the movement. In January 2014 McSherry spoke on the New Song movement in a conference organized by Asempch in Santiago; she had presented her new project on New Song during the Asempch conference in 2011, and in a seminar at the Universidad Alberto Hurtado in 2012. In September 2013 she spoke on Operation Condor in three conferences on human rights in Santiago commemorating the 40th anniversary of the 1973 coup.
McSherry's first book, INCOMPLETE TRANSITION: MILITARY POWER AND DEMOCRACY IN ARGENTINA, is a standard in the field. It was reissued in paperback in 2008 through the Authors Guild. Her 2005 book PREDATORY STATES: OPERATION CONDOR AND COVERT WAR IN LATIN AMERICA, was selected as an Outstanding Academic Title in 2006 by Choice, the leading library journal. It has been used as a resource in human rights trials in Latin America and has been extensively cited. McSherry examined thousands of recently declassified U.S. documents as well as archives in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Honduras, Paraguay, and Uruguay in the course of her research on Operation Condor. A translated and updated version of the book was published by Editorial Lom of Chile and Ediciones de Banda Oriental of Uruguay in 2009. McSherry's studies on Condor have been cited by The New York Times, Newsweek, and many Latin American and European media. She has appeared as a featured analyst in several documentaries. THE IRAQ PAPERS is a documentary reader focused on the George W. Bush policy of preemption and its application in both foreign and domestic policy, also analyzing its roots in earlier patterns of U.S. intervention. The book includes comprehensive historical and contextual analysis and features a collection of key primary documents.
In 2001 McSherry taught a graduate mini-course on military politics at the Federal University of São Carlos in Brazil and in 2005 she gave several lectures on Operation Condor in Montevideo, Uruguay. McSherry serves on the editorial board of the journal Social Justice. She was Associate Editor for Latin America for Journal of Third World Studies for thirteen years (1997-2010). McSherry worked with several international non-governmental organizations on human rights issues before graduate school.