James Perez Viernes
Advisor and Author
James Perez Viernes, PhD, is from the village of Sånta Rita-Sumai and is a member of the Kotla, Ginza, and Miget clans of Sumay and Hagåtña. He earned a PhD in Pacific History in 2015 and an MA in Pacific Islands Studies in 2008 from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. He also holds a BA in English from the University of Guam, which was awarded in 2003.
Viernes is part of the core faculty of the Center for Pacific Islands Studies at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa serving as Outreach Director and Associate Professor. Prior to joining the center, he was Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator of the University of Guam’s (UOG) undergraduate Chamorro Studies Program. At UOG, he was also a Research Faculty of the Micronesian Area Research Center and graduate faculty in the Micronesian Studies and English master’s degree programs. In addition to scholarly work in the areas of gender, masculinities, and militarism in Micronesia and greater Oceania, he engages in collaborative work that highlights oral histories of Chamorro elders’ lived experiences.
Viernes’ research specializations are in gender and militarism in the Pacific. His doctoral dissertation, Negotiating Manhood: Chamorro Masculinities and US Military Colonialism in Guam, 1898-1941, explores the discursive nature of the US Navy’s first colonial administration of Guam in relation to Chamorro masculinities. He examines the intersections of masculinities and military colonialism through the lenses of American education, economic and development policy, military service, political leadership, and popular culture.
At the master’s level, Viernes’ research focused on the prewar village of Sumay and the displacement of its people by the US military in the aftermath of World War II to facilitate the construction of the present-day Naval Base Guam. His MA thesis garnered the Norman Meller Research Award for best Pacific Islands-focused work in the social sciences or humanities produced at the University of Hawaiʻi. That scholarly thesis was later revised and published as a commemorative book, Sumay: Rikuetdo para i Famagu’on-ta (A Legacy for Our Children). Viernes has published and presented his research in the US, Australia, and throughout the Pacific Islands region.
Guampedia Entries by James Viernes
Carlos C. Laguana
Carlos T. Laguana
Civil Rights and US Citizenship (1898-1950)
Francisco G. Franquez
Joaquin “Ding” Palomo
Jose Gumabon, Sr.
OPI-R: Organization of People for Indigenous Rights
Organic Act of Guam
James Viernes Masters Thesis:
Fanhasso I Taotao Sumay: Displacement, Dispossession and Survival on Guam