Ph.D. Comparative Literature, Rutgers University, 2020
Dissertation: “Mythic Fertility, Impurity, and Creolization in the Works of Octavia E. Butler”
Bernie Mendoza, the Artemis A.W. and Martha Joukowsky Postdoctoral Fellow, is a Black Studies scholar working at the intersections of critical race theory, Black feminisms, and science fiction studies. His work focuses on the visionary work of Octavia E. Butler and other Black feminist science fiction and fantasy writers who seek to upend Western dualistic ways of thinking that structure our understanding of what it means to be human. He has a strong grounding in literary theory, gender and sexuality studies, as well as comprehensive training in 20th-21th century continental philosophy and feminist philosophy.
In the spring of 2022, Dr. Mendoza is teaching the GNSS course "Women of Color Feminisms." This course interrogates the constructs of race, gender, sexuality, and class from the standpoint of women of color feminist writers and thinkers. Students will draw from a range of materials, including Black feminist theory, literature, memoir, and film in order to examine how social differences are fundamentally entangled and co-produced. We will explore how systemic oppressions (such as racism, economic exploitation, and sexism) interact and rely upon one another to produce different social identities in particular geographic and historical contexts. The course will cover texts that have become foundational to intersectional feminist thought as well as texts that reflect how new generations of feminists are reinterpreting and expanding intersectional politics in order think about oppression and resistance and establish what real human liberation might ultimately entail. Writers and thinkers might include Angela Davis, Octavia Butler, Gayatri Spivak and Kim Tallbear.