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Leah Perry

Dr. Leah Perry is Associate Professor of Literature, Communication, and Cultural Studies at SUNY-Empire State University and a Fulbright Scholar (Hungary 2017-18 and 2019; Romania 2022-2023). She is the author of The Cultural Politics of U.S. Immigration: Gender, Race, and Media (New York University Press, 2016), and Indigenous Dispossession, Anti-Immigration, and The Public Pedagogy of U.S. Empire (Ohio State University Press, 2024). Her work can also be seen in the book collections Cultural Studies and the ‘Juridical Turn’: Culture, Law, and Legitimacy in the Era of Neoliberal Capitalism (Routledge, 2016), American Shame: Stigma and the Body Politic (University of Indiana Press, 2016), and Migration, Identity, and Belonging: Defining Borders and Boundaries of the Homeland (Routledge, 2020), and in journals such as Cultural Studies and Lateral. Dr. Perry received her doctorate from George Mason University in Cultural Studies, a Master of Arts from New York University in Humanities and Social Thought, a Master of Arts and Religion from Yale Divinity School, and a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Manhattanville College. Her research and teaching interests encompass gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, migration, Indigenous studies, and media and popular culture. She previously served the American Studies Association as co-chair of the Committee on Gender and Sexuality Studies from 2014-2016.

Dr. Perry is dedicated to a student-centered intersectional feminist pedagogy that inspires in students a commitment to life-long learning and social justice. Influenced by bell hooks drawing on Paulo Freire, she strives to “teach to transgress.” Therefore, interdisciplinarity, variety, flexibility, and accessibility are the key words of her approach to teaching, which spans several academic disciplines including American Studies, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Race and Ethnic Studies, Critical Indigenous Studies, Cultural Studies, Media Studies, and Interdisciplinary Studies. Dr. Perry is also the co-founder of and faculty adviser to the university’s LGBTQI+ Student Club.


  • B.A. in English and World Religions from Manhattanville College
  • M.A.R. in Religion and the Arts from Yale University
  • M.A. in Humanities and Social Thought from New York University
  • Ph.D. in Cultural Studies from George Mason University