Jewel Pereyra is a doctoral candidate in Harvard's American Studies program, where she holds a secondary in women, gender, and sexuality studies. Her research spans 20th- and 21st-century Asian American literature and performance, comparative studies of race and ethnicity, US empire, and popular music and aesthetics.
At Radcliffe, Pereyra is completing her dissertation, “Afro-Filipina Aesthetics: Transnational Sound Cultures and Dance Performances.” Drawing on archival research conducted in France, the Philippines, and the United States, her project historizes Filipina and Black women performers and their relationships across a number of global entertainment circuits across the 20th century. She analyzes how Filipina and Black women performers formed what she calls Afro-Filipina aesthetics, strategic forms of self-fashioning of their bodies through dress, gestures, and vocals to alter their legibility as racial, gendered, and national citizen-subjects. In turn, their aesthetics reveal the intimate relations that these migratory performers had with one another.
Pereyra holds a BA in English and gender studies from UCLA and an MA in English from Georgetown University. Her research has been supported by the American Society for Theatre Research, the Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, the US Fulbright Program, and various internal grants at Harvard. Her writing appears in MELUS: Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the United States and Post45: Contemporaries.