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Keisha-Khan Y. Perry

Associate Professor of Africana Studies

Keisha-Khan Y. Perry
(Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin, Anthropology, 2005) is Associate Professor of Africana Studies and specializes in the critical study of race, gender, and politics in the Americas with a particular focus on black women’s activism, urban geography and questions of citizenship, feminist theories, intellectual history and disciplinary formations, and the interrelationship between scholarship, pedagogy, and political engagement. She has conducted extensive research in Mexico, Jamaica, Belize, Brazil, Argentina, and the United States.

Professor Perry recently completed an ethnographic study of black women’s activism in Brazilian cities by examining their participation and leadership in neighborhood associations and how and in what ways the interpretations of racial and gender identities intersect with urban spaces. She is currently working on two research projects. She is engaged in a study which documents and analyzes the historical paradox of citizenship and black land ownership and loss in Brazil, Jamaica, and the United States. She is also working on a multi-lingual and transnational exploration of black women's political work in Latin America by critically examining how black women mobilize political movements across borders and how they understand themselves as agents in creating a diasporic community.

Selected Honors and Awards

  • Funds for Internationalizing the Curriculum, “Race, Rights and Rebellion Seminar” and “Black Women and the Struggle for Land Rights in Colombia and Brazil Symposium,” Brown University, Spring 2011.
  • The C.V. Starr Lectureship Fund, “Transnational Feminism and the Black Diaspora Symposium,” Brown University, November 2009.
  • Future of Minority Studies – Mellon Fellowship, Cornell University, July-August 2008.
  • Africana Research Center Post-doctoral Fellowship, Penn State University, 2007-2008.
  • Andrew W. Mellon Post-doctoral Fellowship in Anthropology, Smith College, 2005-2006.
  • Mendenhall Dissertation Fellowship, Smith College, 2004-2005.
  • Carter G. Woodson Instituate Fellowship, University of Virginia (declined), 2004-2006.
  • J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship (Brazil), 2003.
  • National Science Foundation Dissertation Improvement Grant, 2002-2003.
  • Summer Institute on Scholarship, Black Womyn and Africana Studies - Ford Foundation Fellowship, Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell University, 2002.
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, 2000-2002.
  • Debra J. Herring Endowed Memorial Fellowship, Institute of Latin American Studies, University of Texas at Austin, 2000-2001.
  • Woman of Distinction Alumna Award, Georgetown University Women’s Center 10th Anniversary Celebration, 2000.



  • Black Women Against the Land Grab: The Fight for Racial Justice in Brazil (University of Minnesota Press, 2013).

Journal articles:

  • “State Violence and the Ethnographic Encounter:  Feminist Research and Racial Embodiment,” in African and Black Diaspora Studies: An International Journal, Volume 5, Number 1 (2012), pp. 135-154.
  • “‘The Groundings With My Sisters’:  Toward a Black Diasporic Feminist Agenda in the Americas,” in Barnard Center for Research on Women The Scholar and Feminist Online, Issue 7.2, Spring 2009.
  • “‘If We Didn’t Have Water’:  Black Women’s Struggle for Urban Land Rights in Brazil,” in Environmental Justice, Volume 2, Number 1 (2009), pp. 9-13.
  • “‘Daqui não saio, daqui ninguém me tira’:  Poder e Política na Gamboa de Baixo, Salvador da Bahia [‘I will not leave here, no one will take me away from here’:  Power and Politics in Gamboa de Baixo, Salvador da Bahia],” co-authored with Ana Cristina da Silva Caminha in Revista Gênero, Volume 9, Number 1 (2008), pp.127-153.
  • “Social Memory and Black Resistance: Black Women and Neighborhood Struggles in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil,” in The Latin Americanist,Volume 49, Number 1 (2005), pp.811-831.
    *This article is The Latin Americanist’s top downloaded article from their 2005 list of publications.
  • “The Roots of Black Resistance:  Race, Gender and the Struggle for Urban Land Rights in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil,” in Social Identities, Volume 10, Number 6 (2004), pp.7-38.

Book chapters:

  • “State Violence and the Ethnographic Encounter: Feminist Research and Racial Embodiment” in Bridging Scholarship and Activism in a Globalized World: Rethinking Solidarities, Identities, Responsibilities, and Methodologies, Bernd Reiter and Ulrich Oslender, eds., (Michigan State University Press, forthcoming, 2014).
  • “Hacia una pedagogía feminista negra en Brasil: Conocimientos de las mujeres negras en los movimientos comunitarios,” in Pedagogías decoloniales: Prácticas insurgentes de resistir, (re)existir y (re)vivir, Catherine Walsh, ed, (Abya-Yala, forthcoming, 2013).
  • “The Case for Collaborative Research in Latin America:  Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Nicaragua, y Puerto Rico,” book chapter co-authored with Joanne Rappaport in Otros Saberes: Collaborative Research on Indigenous and Afro-Descendant Cultural Politics, Charles R. Hale and Lynn Stephen, eds., (School of Advanced Research Press, 2013), pp. 30-48.
  • “Espaço Urbano e Memoria Coletiva:  O Conhecimento de Mulheres Negras em Lutas Políticas [Urban Space and Collective Memory:  Black Women’s Knowledge in Political Struggles],” Questões urbanas e racismo, Renato Emerson dos Santos, ed, (Brazilian Association of Black Researchers, 2012), pp. 164-215 (In English and Portuguese).
  • “Margin of the Margins” in Salvador, Brazil:  Black Women Confront the Racial Logic of Spatial Exclusion,” book chapter in Rethinking Global Cities, Xiangming Chen and Ahmed Kanna, eds., (Routledge, 2012).
  • “The Black Movement’s ‘Foot Soldiers’:  Grassroots Feminism and Neighborhood Struggles in Brazil,” book chapter in Politics Cultures Identities:  Comparative Perspectives on Afro Latin America, Kwame Dixon and John Burdick eds., (University Press of Florida, 2012), pp. 219-240.
  • “Racialized History and Urban Politics:  Black Women’s Wisdom in Grassroots Struggles” in Brazil’s New Racial Politics, Bernd Reiter and Gladys L. Mitchell eds., (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2009), pp. 141-164.
  • “Politics is uma Coisinha de Mulher (a Woman’s Thing): Black Women’s Leadership in Neighborhood Movements in Brazil” in Latin American Social Movements in the Twenty-First Century: Resistance, Power, and Democracy, Richard Stahler-Sholk, Harry E. Vanden, and Glen David Kuecker, eds., (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2008), pp. 197-211.
  • “Por uma pedagogia feminista negra no Brasil:  O aprendizado das mulheres negras em movimentos comunitários [Toward a Black Feminist Pedagogy in Brazil:  Black Women’s Knowledge in Community Movements]” in Maria Lúcia Rodrigues Muller, Lea Pinheiro Paixão, eds., Educação, diferenças e desigualdades, 1st Edition.  Cuiabá, Brazil:  EdUFMT (2006), pp. 161-184 (In Portuguese).

Working papers:

  • “‘Margin of the Margins’ in Brazil:  Black Women Confront the Racial Logic of Spatial Exclusion,” Inaugural Working Papers Series, Center for Urban and Global Studies at Trinity College, Volume 1, Number 5 (2009).

Book reviews:

  • (Invited) Polly Wilding, Negotiating Boundaries: Gender, Violence and Transformation in Brazil, Gender and Development: A Journal of Policy and Practice (forthcoming, 2013).
  • Anne Enke, Transfeminist perspectives in and beyond transgender and gender studies (2012); A. Kim Clark, Gender, State, and Medicine in Highland Ecuador: Modernizing Women, Modernizing the State, 1895-1950 (2013).
  • Deborah A. Thomas, Exceptional Violence:  Embodied Citizenship in Transnational Jamaica, Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology, Pp. xiii, 370-373.
  • Pablo Vila and Pablo Semán, Troubling Gender:  Youth and Cumbia in Argentina’s Music Scene (Choice Review, March 2012).
  • (Invited) Frank Guridy, Forging Diaspora: Afro-Cubans and African-Americans in a World of Empire and Jim Crow, Chapel Hill:  University of North Carolina Press, The Americas:  A Quarterly Review of Inter-American Cultural History, Vol. 68. No. 2 (2011).  
  • (Invited) Carole Boyce-Davies, Left of Karl Marx:  The Political Life of Black Communist Claudia Jones in International Feminist Journal of Politics, Vol. 12, No’s 3& 4 (2010), pp. 522-523.
  • (Invited) Michael A. Gomez, Diasporic Africa: A Reader in The Black Scholar (2008).
  • Kia Lilly Caldwell, Negras in Brazil:  Re-envisioning Black Women, Citizenship, and the Politics of Identity in Journal of Latin American Anthropology, Vol. 12, No. 2 (2007), pp. 526-529.
  • (Invited) Patricia Hill Collins, Black Sexual Politics:  African Americans, Gender, and the New Racism in Cultural Analysis, Vol. 5 (2006), pp. R1-R3.


  • “Silêncio.”  In Ìrohìn, N˚ 23 (2008).


  • “Fale aí, preta!”  In Ìrohìn, N˚ 23 (2008).

Art Exhibits:

  • Five photographs featured in exhibit organized by Art for Change entitled “¡Negros!  A Cultural Introspection into the Afro-Latino Diaspora” in Carlitos Café & Galeria, New York City, New York (2006).

Courses Taught

  • Africana Studies and Interdisciplinarity
  • Race, Rights and Rebellion
  • Narrating the Radical Self
  • Black Women’s Political Autobiography
  • Race, Gender and Urban Politics
  • Racial and Gender Politics in Contemporary Brazil
  • Theorizing the Black Diaspora