Daisy Vargas (assistant professor in the Department of Religious Studies & Classics) specializes in Catholicism in the Americas; race, ethnicity, religion in the United States; Latina/o/x religion; and material religion. Her current project traces the history of Mexican religion, race, and the law from the nineteenth century into the contemporary moment, positioning current legal debates about Mexican religion within a larger history of anti-Mexican and anti-Catholic attitudes in the United States. In 2019, Vargas was chosen as one of the Young Scholars in American Religion at IUPUI’s Center for the Study of Religion & American Culture. She is involved in museum curatorial work, and she also serves on the advisory committee for Engaging Lived Religion in the 21st Century Museum at the Fowler Museum of UCLA. She is co-chair of the Religions in the Latina/o Americas unit, and steering committee member of the Catholic Studies unit for the American Academy of Religion, serves as curator of the American Religion journal’s “Sources, ” and is a board member of E-Feminist Studies in Religion.
Vargas received a BA from California State University Fullerton (Religious Studies; minor in Chicana/o Studies), her MA from the University of Denver (Religious Studies), and her PhD from the University of California Riverside (History). She teaches courses on religion and popular culture, global Christianities, religion and immigration, and contemporary Catholicism.