Jessica Bissett Perea completed her Ph.D. in Musicology at the University of California, Los Angeles in June 2011 and is currently in residence at Berkeley's Department of Music as a UC President's Postdoctoral Fellow. She specializes in North American music history with a focus on traditional and contemporary Alaska Native and Circumpolar Inuit performing arts, modern jazz cultures, and the histories of traditional musics in the United States (including folk, popular, and classical). Reflecting these interests, her research is broadly concerned with issues of difference in musical life, e.g. racial and gendered difference, as well as relationships between music and politics. Her dissertation focuses on scenes from contemporary Inuit musical life in Alaska since statehood (1959 to the present), in which she contextualizes the lived experiences and movements of a diverse cadre of Alaska Native musicians engaged in traditional, folk, gospel, and popular music genres against the backdrop of an ongoing Alaska Native self-determination movement. Her collaborative research approach and dedication to teaching and community outreach were recently recognized with a 2010 Alaska Native Visionary Award, presented by the Alaska Native Heritage Month committee and board of directors. In January 2010 Jessica was invited to join the faculty at San Francisco State University's Department of American Indian Studies, College of Ethnic Studies, where she has developed courses on Native American women studies, Alaska Native cultural history, and Inuit music studies. She has presented her research at several national conferences, including those hosted by the Society for Ethnomusicology, the Society for American Music, and the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association. Jessica holds a Bachelor of Music Education with high honors from Central Washington University, a Master of Arts in Music from the University of Nevada, Reno, and performs as a double bassist and vocalist in jazz, classical, and Native American music contexts. Her teaching experiences also include undergraduate courses on: Blues in American Music; A History of Jazz; Film and Music; Music, Media, and Consumer Society; and A History of Popular American Song. Perea was born in Anchorage, Alaska and raised forty miles north in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley. She is an enrolled member of the Knik Tribe
Why You Joined the Lab:
Would like to establish connections and collaborate with other scholars interested in sound studies.
I am a Music and Religious Studies Double Major at UC Berkeley. My foci are vocal performance and Judaism. I have a real passion for both subjects, how they relate to one another (i.e. sacred music), and how they relate to people and their cultures. I wish to become a professor of either music or religion/theology.
Why You Joined the Lab:
I am working with the Arts Research Center at UC Berkeley. I would really like to learn about how the UC education system functions and find how it may improve - especially since I am hoping to become a university professor myself.