Roy Pérez

Associate Professor of English and American Ethnic Studies; Chair, American Ethnic Studies


  • PhD English, New York University, 2012
  • MA English, New York University, 2009
  • BA English, Linguistics, and Women’s Studies, University of Central Florida, 2004


  • Latina/o Literature and Performance (ENGL 116w, 119)
  • Introduction to Creative Writing (ENGL 135)
  • Introduction to American Ethnic Studies (AES 150)
  • Introduction to Literary Theory (ENGL 202w)
  • Latin@ Countercultures (ENGL 381)
  • Theories and Methods in American Ethnic Studies (AES 330)
  • States of Anxiety: Race, Sex and National Panic in the Twentieth Century (Advanced Theory ENGL 458)
  • Performance Studies (Advanced Theory ENGL 458)
  • Humanities Senior Seminar: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (HUM 497w)
  • Ugly: Race, Gender, and the Politics of Desire (1st Year College Colloquium)
  • Queer Drama: AIDS, Race, and Performance (1st Year College Colloquium)

Areas of Teaching

U.S. Latina/o culture from the colonial encounter to the present, contemporary Latina/o media, creative writing, literary and performance studies, critical race analysis, and queer studies. Professor Pérez also teaches the core courses in the American Ethnic Studies program, including Introduction to AES, in which students learn the vocabulary of racial analysis and the histories of racial formation and liberation movements in the United States, and Theories and Methods in AES, in which students read foundational and new texts in ethnic studies and apply critical race theory to cultural production such as literature, art, film, and television. 


Research interests: Latina/o cultural studies, American literature and culture, performance studies, queer theory, and critical theory.

Professor Pérez's current book project, Proximities: Queer Configurations of Race in Latina/o Culture, offers closeness as a critical alternative for understanding how art represents and reimagines racial identity. Examining the work of authors, painters, dramatists, as well as television and popular culture, ranging from Victorian-era writer Constance Fenimore Woolson to the character Justin on ABC’s Ugly Betty, Proximities examines cross-racial relationships, encounters, and artistic representation in Latina/o culture as instances of personal and historical reckoning with latinidad.


  Trap Door 

Narrative, Race, and Ethnicity  Women & Performance 


Proximities: Queer Configurations of Race in Latina/o Culture. Book manuscript in development.

"Proximity: On the Work of Mark Aguhar." Trap Door: Trans Cultural Production and the Politics of Visibility. Eds. Johanna Burton, Reina Gossett, and Eric Stanley. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press and The New Museum. 2017. 

"Introduction: Queer Form: Aesthetics, Race, and the Violences of the Social." Co-Authored by Kadji Amin, Amber Musser, and Roy Pérez. Queer Form, eds. Kadji Amin, Amber Musser, and Roy Pérez. ASAP/Journal 2:2 (May 2017): Johns Hopkins University Press. 

"Homo-Narrative Capture, Racial Proximity, and the Queer Latino Child." Narrative, Race and Ethnicity in the United States. Eds. Jim Donahue, Jennifer Ho, and Shaun Morgan. Columbus: Ohio State University Press. 2017.

“The glory that was wrong: El ‘Chino Malo’ approximates Nuyorico.” Women & Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory 25:3 (April 2016), 277-297. Special issue: Lingering in Latinidad: Theory, Aesthetics and Performance in Latina/o Studies. 

Essays, Poems and Fiction

"Sugar is the Future." Adult Contemporary vol. 1, 2017. 

"Her Proximity: On the Work of Mark Aguhar." Platforms: Ten Years of Chances Dances Exhibition Catalog, 2015.

"Mark Aguhar's Critical Flippancy." Aug. 4, 2012. Bully Bloggers.

"If I Told You My Love Has Since Become...." Feb. 14, 2012. Glitter Tongue: Queer and Trans Love Poems.

"Lessons in Solitude from Men." Oct. 27, 2011. TheThePoetry.

“Things We Both Know (Not Our Real Names).” FENCE Magazine 14:1-2 (Oct 2011). 179-182.

Lucha de gigantes,” “The First Night is the Safest,” and “Once a Year.” The Best of PANIC! Ed. Charlie Vázquez. New York, NY: Fireking Press. 2010. 148-153.

Book Reviews

"Rewriting AIDS Through Black Grief." Review of Dagmawi Woubshet, The Calendar of Loss: Race, Sexuality, and Mourning in the Early Era of Aids (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015), Criticism 60:2. Forthcoming in 2018.  

Review of Hiram Pérez, A Taste for Brown Bodies: Gay Modernity and Cosmopolitan Desire (NYU Press, 2015), American Literary History Review Series XIII, 2017.


“Judith Ortiz Cofer.” Library of Hispanic American Biographies. New York: Scholastic, 2007.

“June Jordan.” Encyclopedia of African American Women Writers. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2007. 326-330.

“Gloria Anzaldúa.” Contemporary American Ethnic Poets. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2004. 29-32.

“Lorna Dee Cervantes.” Contemporary American Ethnic Poets. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2004. 59-62.

Honors and Fellowships

2018 National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for Proximities

2018 CLAGS (CUNY Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies) Fellowship Award for Proximities

2018-2019 Research Fellow, Chicano/a Studies Research Center, Institute for American Cultures, University of California, Los Angeles

2015 Faculty Achievement Award for Outstanding Teaching and Service, Faculty Council, Willamette University

2015 Atkinson Faculty Development Grant, Willamette University

2015 Center for Asian Studies Research Grant, Willamette University

2014 Professor of the Year, Mortar Board Honor Society, Willamette University

2014 Honorable Mention, Woodrow Wilson Foundation Career Enhancement Fellowship

2013 Junior Faculty Research Leave, Willamette University

2012 Lily Grant: “Beyond Community Outreach: Faculty Engagement in Linking Willamette University and Willamette Academy,” Willamette University

2009 Fellow, School of Criticism and Theory, Cornell University

2004 Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship in Humanistic Studies, Woodrow Wilson Foundation

Professional Affiliations

President of the GL/Q Caucus of the Modern Language Association, 2016.

Regional delegate for Western U.S. and Western Canada, Modern Language Association, 2015-2018.

Committee on American Studies Departments, Programs and Centers, American Studies Association, 2015-2018.

Founding member of the Sexual Politics/Sexual Poetics scholarly collective.