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Dr. Patrice Olsen

Associate Professor
Schroeder Hall - SCH 326
Office Hours
Tuesdays and Thursdays 10 am -noon; immediately following each course; by appointment
  • About
  • Education
  • Awards & Honors
  • Research

Current Courses

104.003History Of Latin America

263.001Modern Mexico

490.003Readings -- Field Of Study

291.005Undergraduate Teaching Experience In History

104.001History Of Latin America

Teaching Interests & Areas

Professor Olsen is a specialist in Latin American history. Her manuscript, "Artifacts of Revolution: Architecture, Society, and Politics in Mexico City, 1920-1940," (Rowman & Littlefield, 2008) received the Lewis Hanke Prize from the Conference on Latin American History, and the Michael C. Meyer Award from the Rocky Mountain Council for Latin American Studies. Other publication areas include Latin American architecture and popular culture, and U.S. national security, the Bush Doctrine, and foreign intelligence. Her teaching fields include colonial and modern Latin American history, environmental history and human rights, the Borderlands, Latin American military history, foreign intelligence and covert operations, and U.S. nuclear history and strategy. She has also been co-director of ISU's study tours to Cuba, and coordinates environmental history programs in the Peruvian Amazon. She received the University Teaching Initiative Award in 2002-2003, and the College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding College Teacher Award (Social Sciences) in 2004-05. Her current research includes collective memory and monumentality in Cuba, the relationship between human and environmental rights in Peru, the atomic landscape, and foreign intelligence and hemispheric security. An avid photographer, her work has been published in various texts and multimedia forms.

Research Interests & Areas

Modern Latin American history, focusing on human rights. Foreign Intelligence and comparative military history.

Ph D Modern Latin American History

Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA

MA Modern Latin American History

Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA

Nominee, Oustanding University Teaching

Department of History, College of Arts and Sciences

Influential and Inspirational Faculty Award

History Education

Nominee, Outstanding University Teacher

Department of History

Who's Who in America


Who's Who in America


Who's Who in America


Who's Who in America


Book, Authored

Olsen, P. Artifacts of Revolution: Architecture, Society and Politics in Mexico City, 1920-1940 (2008)

Book, Chapter

Olsen, P. "Mexico". Gary Prevost, Harry Vanden, Rochard Stahler-Sholk (EDs), Latin American Politics, 8th edition. Oxford University Press (2024): 351-381.
“Mexico: The Creation of a Multiparty State,” in Oxford Research Encyclpedia of Latin American Political Science,
Oxford University Press, 2021.


The Impact of the Drug War on Women and Sexual Minorities in Mexico and Central America. Latin American Studies Association. (2021)

Olsen, Patrice. “Would Silence + Life? Mexican and Central American Women in the War on Drugs”. Presented at the Latin American Studies Association  XXXV International Congress,  Lima, Peru 29 April-1 May 2017.

"'I Will Return and I WIll Be Millions': Vernacular and State-Sponsored Memorials to Argentina's Desaparecidos". Conference on Latin American History. American Historical Association. (2015)
"Identity Politics, Ethnic Movements and Multiculturalism in Comparative Perspective". Latin American Studies Association XXXI Congress. LASA. (2013)
"'Seguridad y Oportunidad para Todos': The Fuerza Popular and Human Rights". Latin American Studies Association XXXII Congress. LASA. (2013)
Graffiti, Stencils and the other Indelible Truths. Conference on Latin American History session at American Historical Association (AHA) Annual Meeting. American Historical Association (AHA). (2012)
Intolerance Armed: Distorted Populism, Peronismo, and the AAA. Latin American Studies Association XXX International Congress. Latin American Studies Association. (2012)
One Road for the Revolution: Avenida 20 de Noviembre and the Pursuit of Modernity in Mexico City. American Historical Association (AHA) Annual Meeting. American Historical Association (AHA). (2012)