Xhercis Méndez is an Assistant Professor in Philosophy and African American and African Studies. She received her doctorate from the Philosophy, Interpretation and Culture Program at Binghamton University, along with certificates in Feminist Theory and Latin American and Caribbean Area Studies. As a scholar-activist her research departs from engaged philosophy that centers those bodies systematically devalued, marginalized and targeted for demise. Her work brings together Women of Color and Decolonial Feminisms, Sexuality Studies, and Afro-Latinx/diasporic Religion and Philosophies in order to develop decolonial feminist methodologies, ingredients and tools for the (re)making of social relations, histories, intimacies, normative value systems, and resistant possibilities.
She has authored several articles to that end, including but not limited to the following: “Notes Toward a Decolonial Feminist Methodology: The Race/Gender Matrix Revisited” (2015), “Transcending Dimorphism: Afro-Cuban Ritual Praxis and the Rematerialization of the Body” (2014), and the forthcoming article for Radical History Review, “Which Black Lives Matter? Gender, State-Sanctioned Violence, and ‘My Brother’s Keeper’” (2016). She is currently working on her manuscript entitled, An Other Humanity: Decolonizing Feminism through Methodological Interventions from the Dark Side.
Tied to her research and her experiences as a first generation college graduate, Xhercis is committed to diversifying not only academic spaces, but also the processes through which knowledge is produced. Her pedagogical approach includes emphasizing a diversity of thought in the selection of readings, often including non-canonical texts produced by women and communities of color, queer, and gender non-conforming folks of color. She also works to create intellectual spaces where a diversity of experiences can find a voice, experiences largely marginalized within her own educational trajectory. Drawing upon her experiences as a former McNair scholar and Clark Fellow she has mentored and created workshops designed to prepare first generation students to face the challenges and possibilities of higher education.