Pilar Pérez Awarded 2023-2024 Center Research Fellowship

Pilar Pérez, Professor of History at the National University of Río Negro, Argentina, has been awarded the 2023-2024 Center Research Fellowship at the USC Dornsife Center for Advanced Genocide Research. She will arrive at the Center in January 2024 and will give a public lecture about her research near the conclusion of her one-semester residency.

During her residency at the Center, Professor Pérez will conduct research in the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive exploring testimonies by Guatemalan genocide survivors. She plans to explore the topic of territory — territoriality, space, and the creation of place. How did the Guatemalan genocide affect people’s perception of territory? What were the places people occupied during and after the mass violence? What new kinds of territory and inhabiting of territory resulted from the genocide and its impacts? What do the survivors share about the loss of territory, about the formation of new places, and about the bonds they lost and new bonds they formed with land and with social place during and after the genocide? These are just some of the questions she hopes to explore

Professor Pérez earned her PhD in History from the National University of Buenos Aires. In addition to her role as Professor of History at the National University of Río Negro, she is Researcher at the National Scientific and Technical Research Council at the IIDYPCa, Bariloche. She has authored two books — Archivos del silencio. Estado, indígenas y violencia en Patagonia Central 1878-1941 (Prometeo Libros, 2016) and ¿Quién mata a Lucas Muñoz? Versiones sobre la vida, desaparicion y muerte de un policía rionegrino (Teseo, 2019). In addition, she has edited or coedited two other books, including the recently published El papel del archivo. Políticas e historias de la documentación pública y privada en Nor-Patagonia (2022), authored over a dozen book chapters, and authored or co-authored more than 25 journal articles

Her research has focused on the past and present of the Indigenous Mapuche people, the privatization of public land, and the campaigns by the military and security forces against Indigenous peoples in Patagonia, which Professor Perez has argued constitute genocide. She is also directing a project on the construction of archives and the relation between archives, hegemonic history, and community memory. She has been a member of the Red de Investigadorxs en Genocidio y Política Indígena en Argentina since 2005. This network brings together research, activism and communications on the Indigenous topic in Argentina and works on the acknowledgement and reparation of the genocide perpetrated against Indigenous peoples of the country

Professor Pérez is also a radio host and producer, a screenwriter, and an actress. Most recently, she was screenwriter and actress in the “Archivos del no- desierto” documentary series for Encuentro Channel, and she served as anchor and producer for “Una historia para escuchar,” a weekly program about the silenced history of Patagonia for Radio Nacional Bariloche

The Center is reestablishing the Center Research Fellowship for senior scholars after a hiatus of several years. The fellowship was established in 2014 and last bestowed in the 2018-2019 academic year. The Center Research Fellowship enables one senior scholar from any discipline to spend a semester in residence at the USC Dornsife Center for Advanced Genocide Research using the Visual History Archive and other unique research resources for innovative research projects. Read more about past Center Research Fellows here.