New Faculty Highlight: Bernadette Pérez

October 1, 2020

Bernadette Pérez joined the History Department this Fall, as the newest addition to our faculty. Pérez is a historian of race and environment in the United States, specializing in the histories of Latinx and Indigenous peoples. She earned her Ph.D. in U.S. History from the University of Minnesota. She holds an M.A. in Latin American Studies from the University of California, Berkeley and a B.A. in International Relations from the University of Colorado, Boulder (her hometown). Professor Pérez is working on her first book, American Sugar: Violence and Power in the Colorado Beet Fields. Her manuscript centers the generations of Mexicano, Nuevomexicano, Tejano, Indigenous, and Japanese American migrant workers who labored in Colorado's sugar beet fields in the 20th century. The Organization of American Historians, the Western History Association, the Council on Library and Information Resources, and the Mellon Foundation generously supported her research in local archives, corporate records, U.S. and Mexican state archives, and ethnographic collections.

Of joining UC Berkeley’s Department of History, Pérez says: “I’m thrilled to join such an intellectually generous and engaged department. I am most excited about working with Cal’s fantastic students on issues of environmental justice and racial inequality. I feel incredibly lucky to be so close to the Bancroft Library and the Ethnic Studies Library. Given the vibrancy of Bay Area communities, I could not have asked for a better place to land. Looking forward to Fall 2020!”