Bernardo R. Vargas
Crossing Latinidades Mellon Fellow
& Ph.D. Candidate in Philosophy at
the University of North Texas
My primary area of research centers on questions of oppression and liberation, particularly in regard to racial identity, racism, and environmental justice as they relate to Mexican Americans and Latinxs in the US.
I inform my approach from multiple rich disciplines: Africana Studies, Indigenous Studies, Decolonial Theory, and Latinx Studies. Within these broader disciplines, I am particularly engaged with Latinx Studies, History, Sociology, and Latino Critical Legal Theory. An environmental justice approach integrates my concern with the ongoing history of environmental racism toward BIPOC, namely Latinxs, and their resistance to such discrimination through decolonial approaches to environmentalism. I specialize in critical philosophy of race, environmental justice, and decolonial thought, focusing on the relationship between Latinxs, food, farm workers, racial formation, and environmental racism.
Crossing Latinidades Mellon Humanities Fellow
Starting in August 2023, I will begin my Crossing Latinidades Mellon Humanities Fellowship, where I will be a junior peer and researcher in the Climate and Environmental Justice Crossing Latinidades Humanities Research Working Group with faculty from the various members of the Alliance of Hispanic Serving Research Universities including Teresa Cordova (UIC), Michael Mendez (UCI), Ariadna Reyes (UT Arlington), Rachel Havrelock (UIC), Ralph Cintron (UIC), and Rosa Cabrera (UIC).
This Working Group reveals how Latina/o/x communities confront environmental injustices and adapt to extreme climate events. The three regions studied in this project are: Chicago, Los Angeles, and the Dallas- Fort Worth Metroplex. The overarching research question of this research project is: how do low-income Latinx communities experience, adapt, and resist extreme climate events? The supporting research questions are: 1) how does climate change increase/trigger the current inequities experienced by vulnerable Latinx communities? 2) What adaptation strategies have households and communities developed to improve their living conditions and adapt to climate change challenges? This endeavor contains five research projects under its umbrella: (i) Disparate Disaster Impacts on Undocumented Migrants; (ii) Chicago Latinx Voices on Environmental & Climate Change Racism; (iii) Experiences of Slow Violence along the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal; (iv) Crossing Humboldt Park and Puerto Rico; and (v) Climate Justice, Sustainability, and the Informal City
Minorities and Philosophy (MAP_
I am also a co-founder and current organizer of the Minorities and Philosophy (MAP) chapter at the University of North Texas. MAP’s mission is to address structural injustices in academic philosophy and to remove barriers that impede participation in academic philosophy for members of marginalized groups. I also serve as an undergraduate and graduate MAP Mentor to help minorities navigate academia. For more information about the chapter, click here.