Patrick Kelly, Ph.D.

Associate Professor Emeritus, History

Patrick Kelly, Ph.D.


Summer 2024 Office Hours: TBD.


I grew up in Austin and graduated with a B.A. in History from U.T.-Austin. In 1992 I received my Ph.D. from New York University, under the direction of Thomas Bender. Before coming to UTSA in 1997, I served as Lecturer in Social Studies at Harvard College and as a Visiting Professor of History at Tufts University. At Harvard, I was awarded an award for excellence in teaching. My first book, Creating a National Home: Building the Veterans' Welfare State, 1860-1900 (Harvard University Press, 1998), focuses on the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, the direct bureaucratic precursor to today’s Veterans Health Administration. My article, "The Election of 1896 and the Restructuring Civil War Memory," (Civil War History, September 2003), examines the Republican Party's deployment of Civil War memory in its effort to defeat William Jennings Bryan. My research now focuses on the interconnections between the Civil War and the French intervention in Mexico. My article, “The North American Crisis of the 1860s,”(Journal of the Civil War Era, September 2012) argues that the U.S. Civil War and French intervention should be framed from a continental perspective. My article, "The European Revolutions of 1848 and the Transnational Turn in Civil War History" (Journal of the Civil War Era, September 2014) examines recent histories that embed the Civil War within global history. My essay, "The Cat's Paw, Confederate Ambitions in Latin America," appears in American Civil Wars: The United States, Latin America, Europe and the Crisis of the 1860s (UNC Press, 2017). This article argues that the slave South lost its capacity to expand territorially in the Western Hemisphere once it left the Union. My essay, "The Lost Continent of Abraham Lincoln" (The Journal of the Civil War Era, June 2019), argues that Abraham Lincoln was thinking of the Civil War hemispherically when he utilized the ideologically loaded word "continent: in the first line of the Gettysburg Address. With Rhonda Minten, I edited a collection of primary documents, Living on the Edge: Texas During the Civil War and Reconstruction(Cognellla Press, 2015). My book, The Lost Continent of Abraham Lincoln (LSU, forthcoming) examines republicanism in the New World during the crisis of the 1860s. I have received a Charles A. Ryskamp Research Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies, an “Extending the Reach” fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and two Faculty Development Leaves from the University of Texas at San Antonio.

I teach courses (both undergraduate and graduate) on the Civil War and World War II, the introductory graduate Theories and Methods class, and the Proseminar-Seminar capstone M.A. course. I also teach both halves of the undergraduate U.S. survey, Texas History, Historical Methods, and the Senior Seminar in History.

Research Interests

  • Modern U.S. History
  • Civil War History
  • Social History

Honors and Awards


Grants, Patents and Clinical Trials