Home | People |

Jose Juan Perez Melendez


  • Ph.D., History, University of Chicago, 2016
  • M.A., History, University of Chicago, 2011
  • M.S., Urban Education, Mercy College, 2008
  • B.A., History, Princeton University, 2005


Professor José Juan Pérez Meléndez is a historian of Latin America and the Atlantic who specializes on nineteenth-century Brazil. His research centers on political, business and migratory dynamics that have shaped governmental mechanisms of population control and transport in the Americas. Before arriving at Davis, Professor Pérez Meléndez completed a postdoctoral stay as a Max Weber Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence. He is currently writing Peopling for Profit: Colonization and the Brazilian Empire, 1808-1878, a book that charts the formation of early migration policy in Brazil in counterpoint to global processes.

Research Focus

Latin America and the Caribbean, Brazil, the Atlantic in the Age of Revolutions, migrations, slavery, nineteenth-century business and companies, colonization, informal politics.

Selected Publications

  • “Reconsidering Colonization Policy in Brazil: The Regency Years and the World Beyond,” Revista Brasileira de História (2014)
  • Peopling for Profit: Colonization and the Brazilian Empire, 1808-1878 (book manuscript in progress)


Political, social and intellectual history of Latin America and the Caribbean; Brazil and the Lusophone Atlantic; nineteenth-century world history; migration history.

  • Fall 2017: History of Modern Brazil (1808-2017)
  • Spring 2018: Migration History Now: Paradigms, Crises, and Challenges in Latin America and Beyond
  • Spring 2018: Graduate Seminar: Historiography of Brazil


  • Max Weber Postdoctoral Fellowship, European University Institute (2016-2017)
  • American Council of Learned Societies Dissertation Completion Fellowship (2015-2016)
  • Fulbright-Hays DDRA Fellowship (2013-2014)