María Luz García

A photo of Maria Garcia

Associate Professor

Sociology, Anthropology and Criminology


[email protected]


Interests and Expertise

  • Linguistic anthropology
  • Cultural anthropology
  • Historical memory
  • Ethnography


María Luz García works in the Ixhil Maya region of Guatemala as a linguistic and cultural anthropologist. Her research is concerned with how Ixhil speakers make use of the resources of their language in order to construct and reflect social realities. In particular, her work focuses on the expression of historical memory of the recent period of violence in Guatemala in various Ixhil genres of speech. This research includes linguistic description of the Ixhil language, linguistic and ethnographic characterization of indigenous ways of speaking and attention to the social and political realities of historical memory in the Guatemalan context. Her work has implications for understanding practices of community formation in Maya regions, how periods of violence are incorporated into local understandings of history and how language use constitutes social and political action. García's research has been supported by the Social Science Research Council, the Fulbright Programs and the Endangered Languages Documentation Programme. She is currently collaborating with a team of linguists, teachers and community members on the production of a National Science Foundation supported grammar of the Ixhil language. Most recently, her work has been published in the American Ethnologist.