Justin Perez
  • Title
    • Assistant Professor
  • Division Social Sciences Division
  • Department
    • Latin American & Latino Studies
  • Affiliations Research Center for the Americas
  • Phone
  • Email
  • Office Location
    • Merrill College Academic Building, 111
  • Office Hours Fall 2021: Thursday, 2:00pm-4:00pm via Zoom (email to schedule appt.)
  • Mail Stop Merrill/Crown Faculty Services

Summary of Expertise

HIV prevention and global health; queer studies; gender and sexuality; discrimination and rights; migration; ethnography; Peru and lowland South America


Research Interests

My research investigates how technological and biomedical developments in HIV prevention, alongside broader economic and political transformations in global health, shape queer subjects across Latin America. I extend these questions through ethnographic fieldwork among gay and transgender communities in Peru’s Amazonian region. My current book manuscript, Scandalous Stories before the End of AIDS, focuses specifically on the effects of the Tenth Round of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria in Peru. In following the implementation of (1) legal initiatives intended to address AIDS-related discrimination and (2) behavioral interventions intended to address risky sexual practices, the book shows how HIV prevention made visible broader imaginations about the subjects and social conditions necessary to engender a future “End of AIDS.”


Biography, Education and Training

I received my PhD in Anthropology from the University of California, Irvine in 2017. Prior to joining the Latin American and Latino Studies Department as an Assistant Professor, I was a University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow in LALS (2017) and held the Fund for Reunion-Cotsen Fellowship in LGBT Studies in the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts at Princeton University (2017-2019).

Honors, Awards and Grants

  • Hellman Fellowship, UC Santa Cruz Hellman Society (2021-2022)
  • Faculty Research Award, Research Center for the Americas (2019-2020)
  • William Hallam Tuck ’12 Memorial Fund Research Grant, Princeton University (2018)
  • Queer Hemisphere/América Queer Residential Research Group, University of California Humanities Research Institute (2016)
  • James Harvey Scholar, UC Irvine (2016)
  • International Dissertation Research Fellowship, Social Science Research Council (2014-2015)
  • Grassroots Development Ph.D. Fellowship, Inter-American Foundation (2014-2015)
  • Kenneth W. Payne Paper Prize, Association for Queer Anthropology (2014)
  • Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowship, Social Science Research Council (2013)
  • Graduate Research Fellowship Program Fellow, National Science Foundation (2012-2017)
  • Competitive Edge/DECADE Scholar, UC Irvine (2011)


Selected Publications

Peche problems: Transactional sex and the moral imaginaries of post-conflict Peru and a post-AIDS future. American Ethnologist (Forthcoming)


Scandalous denouncement: Discrimination, difference, and queer scandal in urban Amazonian PeruLatin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies (2021)


Un juego de palabras e insultos: el vóleibol como una práctica cotidiana queer en el PerúDebates en Sociología 51: 129-143 (2020) English (2011)


Global LGBT Politics at Scale: Memory and Rights in Early Twenty-First Century Peru, in The Oxford Handbook of Global LGBT and Sexual Diversity Politics, eds. Michael Bosia, Sandra McEvoy, and Momin Rahman, 89-102. New York: Oxford University Press (2020) 


“Virtual Hagiography and Sexual Rights: The Case of Daniel Zamudio,” in Sexual Diversity and Religious Systems: Transnational Dialogues in the Contemporary World, ed. Martin Jaime, 249-263. Lima, Peru: CMP Flora Tristán/UNMSM (2017)