Academic Appointments

Assistant Professor, Department of Native American Studies at the University of California, Davis (2013–present)

UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Music at the University of California, Berkeley (2011-2013)


  • PhD, Musicology, University of California, Los Angeles
  • MA, Music, University of Nevada, Reno
  • BME, Music Education, Central Washington University

Download CV

Research and Teaching Interests

Music, sound, performance, and improvisation studies; Critical Native American and Indigenous methodologies, theories, and praxes; Critical Indigeneity, race, gender, and feminist studies; Relational studies of Indigenous-Black experiences in the Americas; Arts and activism in North Pacific and Circumpolar Arctic communities.


Jessica Bissett Perea is an interdisciplinary scholar whose work intersects the larger fields of Native American & Indigenous Studies (NAIS) and Music & Sound Studies. She specializes in Critical NAIS approaches to performance, media, and improvisation studies, and histories of Indigenous arts and activism in North Pacific and Circumpolar Arctic communities. Her first monograph Sound Relations: Native Ways of Doing Music History in Alaska (forthcoming 2021) will appear in the “American Musicspheres” series edited by Mark Slobin and published by Oxford University Press.

Dr. Perea’s research, teaching, and service priorities are informed by her lived experiences and academic training. She was born in Anchorage, Alaska and raised on her ancestral Dena’ina [Athabascan] homelands forty miles north in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley. She is an enrolled member of the Knik Tribe and a shareholder in Cook Inlet Region, Inc. (an Alaska Native Corporation). Dr. Perea studied double bass and vocal performance, music education, and history at Central Washington University before pursuing an MA in Music at the University of Nevada, Reno. She completed her Ph.D. in Musicology at the University of California, Los Angeles and was awarded a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Music at UC Berkeley. Dr. Perea currently works as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Native American Studies at the University of California, Davis, with affiliations in Human Rights Studies, Performance Studies, Feminist Theory and Research, Cultural Studies, and Writing, Rhetoric and Composition Studies.

Dr. Perea’s work develops new directions for decolonial and transdisciplinary research, the significance of which has been recognized via peer-reviewed funding, presentations, and publication opportunities. Her research has been supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Hellman Fellows Program, the Society for Ethnomusicology, the UC Institute for Research in the Arts, the UC Center for New Racial Studies, the UC Humanities Research Institute, the UC President’s Office, and more. Her innovative research, teaching, and dedication to community outreach were recognized with a 2010 Alaska Native Visionary Award, presented by the Alaska Native Heritage Month committee and board of directors, a 2015 UC Davis Native American Community Honoring, presented by the Native American Culture Days and Powwow Committees, and a 2020 Outstanding Graduate Program Advising and Mentoring Award from the UC Davis Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies.