Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5334 USA
- Ph.D., History and Women's Studies, University of Michigan, 2017
- M.A., History, University of Michigan, 2011
- B.A., History, City University of New York (CUNY), 2009
Dr. Ángela Pérez-Villa is a historian of Latin America, with a particular interest in the legal, social, and gender history of Colombia. She holds a PhD from the University of Michigan's Joint Program in History and Women's Studies. Prior to arriving at WMU in 2019, Dr. Pérez-Villa held a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. At WMU, she has developed a dynamic research agenda that takes into account her interests in colonial and contemporary histories of gender, race, violence, and the law. She has presented her research at national and international conferences, has published in English and Spanish, and is currently working on her first book.
Her first book project explores the subtle (and not-so-subtle) ways that gender and the law shaped social relations of power in Colombia at a critical historical turning point from Spanish colony to independent state in the early nineteenth century. It specifically seeks to show how during the wars of independence, political power and legal practice in southwestern Colombia were disputed and reconfigured locally on the terrains of family, sexuality, and gender. Her interdisciplinary training allows her to reconstruct narratives that uncover historical actors absent from official accounts, centralizing the experiences of poor women and men of color –free and enslaved—who lived and interacted with the legal system during wartime.
As a first-gen professor, Dr. Pérez-Villa enjoys mentoring and working with students from different backgrounds including transfer, non-traditional, and immigrant students. Outside of work, she likes to watch professional cycling and ride her bike around town when the weather allows it. If asked, she will tell students about the day she signed up for her first metric century bike ride at an event in St. Augustine, Florida and ended up completing not 100k but 100 miles in six hours!
Dr. Pérez-Villa teaches general education and upper-level courses on World History after 1500; Colonial Latin America; Slavery and Freedom in Latin America and the Caribbean; and Women’s History. She has experience lecturing in the classroom as well as in hybrid and asynchronous modalities.