Professor of Art History at California State University, Northridge, Peri is currently completing a book project that focuses on identity, dress, and the body in Oromia, Ethiopia. As president of the Arts Council of the African Studies Association (ACASA) she oversaw their first virtual triennial conference in June 2021.
Her love for exploration began while an undergraduate at UCSD. She spent Spring 1990 on an academic research trip in the Kingdom of Tonga, Polynesia studying the role of the female server in the kava ceremony and teaching art at Queen Salote College for Girls. She then spent her junior year (1991-1992) at the University of Ghana where she completed a certificate in African Studies and assisted in archaeological research on ancient terracotta figurines from the northern region. Before venturing to Emory University for her PhD, she spent 1993 working for the Bureau of Land Management documenting rock art in Grand Gulch, Utah and interning at the Institute of American Indian Arts Museum in Santa Fe. Peri has since conducted twenty years of field research in Ethiopia (in 1999-2000 as a Fulbright scholar) on the arts and culture of the Oromo ethnic group. She has curated 6 exhibitions in major museums on three continents and written 12 articles on this research material. In Fall 2010, the exhibition, Bareedina. Women of Eastern Oromia, traveled to the University of Minnesota, Augsburg College, and the Kultur Zentrum in Frankfurt, Germany.
Peri has served on the Board of Directors of the Oromo Studies Association and REAL, a non-profit organization that assists with educating young women in Ethiopia. In Fall 2021, her CSUN students will be working remotely with Athabascan youth at an elementary school in Tanana, Alaska through an alliance forged through a Flag Expedition spearheaded by Rodney and Jillian Moll.