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Honors Program

Gail A. Perez

Associate Professor, Retired; Adjunct Lecturer of English

Gail Perez, PhD, came to the university in 1992 to teach American ethnic literature.  Since that time, she has co-founded the Ethnic Studies major and now has a joint appointment with Ethnic Studies.  She teaches courses in U.S. women of color,  multicultural California, introduction to ethnic studies, and creative writing.  She has advised MEChA, has given the Chicano Graduation Keynote, and has been nominated as a USD Woman of Impact three times.  Her research interests include pedagogy, social space and race, and literature by women of color. In 2013 Perez was awarded the esteemed Davies Award for Teaching Excellence.


Ph.D., Stanford University, English
M.A., University of Michigan, English
B.A., University of San Diego, English

Scholarly and Creative Work

Perez’s interests are wide-ranging. She has presented papers on pedagogy,  on the relationship of Chicanos to African American culture, and on the creation of Ethnic Studies at USD. In collaboration with students, she presented video ethnographies on education and students of color. Her published work is on pedagogy, on the work of Ana Castillo, and on immigration detention centers, in addition to reviews of the films, Alambrista and Invisible Mexicans of Deer Canyon.  Her current interest is in matters of neighborhood self-determination as it plays out artistically, economically, and through maintaining a sense of peoplehood.  This has resulted in a conference presentation on local grassroots businesses and in her current membership in the San Diego Chicano History Project.

Teaching Interests

Perez has taught many courses at USD including Multicultural California, Literature and Work, Chicano Lives,  Women of Color and Spirituality,  Perspectives on the Civil Rights Movement,  Introduction to Creative Writing, and a team taught section of Introduction to Ethnic Studies.  She co-created the first introduction to ethnic studies and advanced ethnic studies courses at the university.