Claudia Holguín Mendoza

Department: Hispanic Studies
Assistant Professor
# of years at UCR:
2.5 years
Top three texts I would take to a desert island:
“Graciela Iturbide’s Mexico: Photographs,” The Tao Te Ching,” and “The Dispossessed” by Ursula Le Guin.
Favorite things to do:
Hiking and gardening.
Something people might be amazed to know about me:
I can cook very tasty food.
An “adventure” I am looking forward to, post-pandemic…
Theme songs:
Betty Davis as an inspiration.
Learn more about Claudia’s work at

One of the many photos taken during Claudia’s writing retreats/hiking trips to Joshua Tree National Park.

Q: My research agenda summed up in one sentence:

I study the intersectional relationship between language, race, class, and gender in the Mexican borderlands and Mexico, as well as Critical Pedagogies in higher education.

Q: What do you hope to learn from studying these relationships?

I want to develop practical and concrete ways to increase our critical awareness about race, class, gender, ability and other social constructs inside and outside the classroom.

Q: What experiences led you to this research focus?

I was a volunteer teacher for adult literacy in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, while I was a college student in the late 90s. Since then, I have personally witnessed how Critical Pedagogies work by empowering students.

Q: What are you working on currently?

I am so excited about my current collaboration with a wonderful group of Mexican women scholars developing Critical Pedagogies for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Mexican university students.

Q: What do you love about your work in higher education ….and what would you change if you could?

I love teaching and collaborating on exciting projects, but I would change assessment. I would like to change how we evaluate our students and how we assess faculty’s work as well.

Q: Any favorite resources to share?

“English with an Accent: Language, Ideology and Discrimination in the United States” by Rosina Lippi-Green.

Q: What advice would you give to new teachers/instructors?

Create an intimate safe space to share personal experiences that can potentially impact student’s learning more than any particular lesson plan.