Rebecca Mendoza

Credentials: BA, University of Oregon / MDiv, Harvard Divinity School / PhD, Harvard University (present)

Denomination: Chicanx and Indigenous Traditions 

Specific Field: Cultural and Historical Studies of Religions


Rebecca is a Xicana born and raised in Colorado and the daughter and granddaughter of migrant farm workers. Rebecca is a doctoral student in the Committee for the Study of Religion at Harvard University, focusing on Latin American and Caribbean traditions. She has professional experience working in community organizing, advocacy, education, and storytelling. Broadly, Rebecca’s scholarship centers on Indigenous philosophy, material religion, and ritual survivance pertaining to kinship among humans, plants, animals, ancestors, and land in the Americas. Her interdisciplinary approach bridges ancient Mesoamerican materials and cosmovision with contemporary Indigenous, Mexican, and Chicanx communities. She was a Summer Pre-Columbian Fellow at Dumbarton Oaks, a Graduate Student Associate at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, and a Ford PreDoctoral Fellow. Rebecca wrote her master’s thesis on the topic of copalli (copal), an aromatic tree resin and incense central to rituals and relationships across Mesoamerica.