Dr. Perez is a historian in UNC's College of Arts and Sciences, His current research explores the character of an emerging national society in 19th century Cuba.
His most recent books include: "Cuba in the American Imagination" (2008); "The Structure of Cuban History: Meanings and Purpose of the Past" (2013); and "Cuba: Between Reform and Revolution" (5th edition, 2014).
His book "On Becoming Cuban: Identity, Nationality, and Culture" was the winner of the 2000 Bolton-Johnson Prize. "To Die in Cuba: Suicide and Society" was the winner of the 2007 Elsa Goveia Prize.
He is director for the Institute for the Study of the Americas and the former managing editor of the journal, Cuba Studies. The ISA is dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge of the Latin American experience in the Western Hemisphere. It builds on a long-standing and distinguished tradition of scholarly interest in the diverse regions that make up Latin America, including Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean.
Latin American studies at UNC extends to a range of programs and initiatives, including the Latino Migration Project, the Yucatec Maya Summer Institute, Environmental Studies in the Galápagos, the Jewish Studies in Buenos Aires Summer Program, UNC in Costa Rica, and a many other community and campus programs, lectures and films.
Areas of Expertise (4)
Latin American Culture
Elsa Gloveia Prize (professional)
2007 Awarded for the book "To Die in Cuba: Suicide and Society".
George Perkins Marsh Prize (professional)
2007 Awarded for the book "Winds of Change: Hurricanes and the Transformation of Nineteenth Century Cuba".
Guggenheim Fellowship for Humanities: Iberian and Latin American History (professional)
2001 Awarded for the book "Winds of Change: Hurricanes and the Transformation of Nineteenth Century Cuba." The Guggenheim Foundation offers fellowships to further the development of scholars and artists by encouraging them to engage in research in the arts.
2000 Bolton-Johnson Prize (professional)
This prize was awarded for the book, "Becoming Cuban: Identity, Nationality and Culture."
University of New Mexico: Ph.D., History 1970
University of Arizona: M.A., History 1966
- American Academy of Arts and Sciences : Fellow
- Academia de Historia (Cuba): Fellow
Media Appearances (8)
"The Man Americans Loved to Hate"
November 26, 2016
"U.S.-Cuba Relations Still Far From Normal"
Progressive Media Project
August 21, 2015
“What Cuba Deal Says to Latin America"
December 17, 2014
Louis A. Perez Jr.: Remarkable U.S.-Cuba changes
Providence Journal online
U.S. and Cuban diplomats are meeting to re-establish diplomatic relations, and Presidents Obama and Raul Castro chatted amiably in Panama last month. It's a remarkable turn of events given the two countries' history.
Would Che Guevara oppose warmer US-Cuba relations?
"Ahead of what would be an historic meeting between Cuba's President Castro and American President Obama at the Summit of the Americas in Panama, some critics ask whether warmer US-relations are a betrayal of the island's revolutionary past."
US needs to keep past in mind with Cuba
OpEd by Dr. Pérez for Newsday: "On Dec. 17, 2014, the United States and Cuba moved to restore diplomatic relations after a half-century of Cold War-era acrimony. U.S. President Barack Obama's dramatic announcement of the historic shift was accompanied by the release of American Alan Gross, who had been held in Cuba for five years, and an exchange of imprisoned spies."
Cubans Curious To See If Diplomatic Shift Leads To Democracy
Perez is interviewed in this segment, which explored the following: President Obama announced diplomatic relations will be restored with Cuba. Travel and trade restrictions will be relaxed. What does this mean for Cubans who have been pushing for democracy?
Want change in Cuba? End U.S. embargo
Dr. Pérez, special to CNN, on how the "Cuban embargo can no longer even pretend to be plausible," and more.
Event Appearances (9)
“Cuba from the Nineteenth Century to the Present"
Key Note Address, Year of Cuba Program, October 2017 Western Kentucky University
“The Quandary of Cuba-U.S. Relations"
Dean Rusk International Studies Program, February 2017 Davidson College
Keynote, “Context of Rapprochement"
History Forum, February 2016 University of North Carolina at Charlotte
"Cuba and the United States Engage Normalization"
Lecture, October 2015 Boston University
Keynote Address, “Rethinking the Pathways to the Cuban Past"
Cuban Heritage Center Conference, March 2014 Miami, Florida
Keynote Speaker: Eqbal Ahmed Lecture, “Pathways and Pitfalls toward U.S.-Cuba Normalization”
Eqbal Ahmed Lecture Hampshire College
Historical Context: Cuba Between Reform & Revolution
"Covering Cuba in an Era of Change" Columbia Journalism School, New York City
Keynote Address, “Rethinking Pathways to the Cuban Past,” Centre for Research on Cuba/Cuban Research Forum
Centre for Research on Cuba/Cuban Research Forum University of Nottingham, United Kingdom
New Directions in Cuban Studies
Keynote Lecture Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion, University of Miami
Recent articlesby Louis Perez
Change Through Impoverishment: A Half Century of Cuba-U.S. Relations,” NACLA, December 14, 2015, https://nacla.org/news/2015/12/13/change-through-impoverishment-half-century- cuba-us-relations “Change Through Empowerment: A Half Century of Cuba-U.S. Relations,” NACLA, December 17, 2015, https://nacla.org/news/2015/12/16/change-through-empowerment-half-century- cuba-us-relations “Between Memory and History: U.S.-Cuba Rapprochement in a Time of Remembrance,” The American Historian, 8 (May 2016), http://tah.oah.org/may-2016/. Posted as “Between Memory and History: U.S.-Cuba Rapprochement in a Time of Remembrance,” May 2016, Process: A Blog for American History, http://www.processhistory.org/perez-cuba/ “New Policy, Old Politics: Change and Changelessness in US-Cuba Relations,” Hemisphere: A Magazine of the Americas, 25 (Summer 2016): 16-17. “Fidel Castro: A Life–and Death–In Context,” NACLA, November 29, 2016, https://nacla.org/news/2016/11/29/fidel-castro-life%E2%80%94-and-death%E2%80%94-context “The Cuban Revolution and Resistance to the United States,” Oxford University Press Blog, December 13, 2016, http://blog.oup.com/2016/12/cuban-revolution-resistance-us/ “The Cost of Covert Operations in Cuba,” NACLA, December 16, 2016, https://nacla.org/news/2016/12/16/cost-covert-operations-cuba “Rethinking Pathways to the Cuban Past,” in Antoni Kapcia, ed., Rethinking Past and Present in Cuba (London: University of London/Institute of Latin American Studies, 2018), pp. 15-27.
“Change Through Impoverishment: A Half Century of Cuba-U.S. Relations"NACLA
Dec. 14, 2015
"Approaching Change and Changelessness in the Historiography of Cuba"Cuba Studies, 43
“As Cuba and the United States Reengage: The Presence of the Past"Origins: Current Events in Historical Perspectives, 8
“The United States Reengages Cuba: The Habits of Power"Implications of Normalization: Scholarly Perspectives on U.S.-Cuban Relations, American University in Washington, D.C.
“Cuba as an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder"Center for Democracy in the Americas blog