Maria Garcia

     María Luz García works primarily in the Ixil Maya region of Guatemala and in Ixil diasporic communities in the United States as a linguistic and cultural anthropologist.  Her research considers how Ixil speakers make use of the resources of their language to construct and reflect social realities. One area of her work focuses on historical memory of the recent period of violence in Guatemala as circulated in Ixil speech genres.  This research was particularly meaningful when applied in her analysis of the trial of former de facto president José Efraín Ríos Montt for genocide of the Ixil (conditionally accepted for publication in American Anthropologist).  This 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. She has also recently begun work with Ixil communities in the United States considering both Ixil community-making in this new context and how Ixil speakers interact with U.S. institutions, particularly legal institutions. Garcia’s research includes description of the Ixil language, linguistic and ethnographic characterization of indigenous ways of speaking, and attention to the social and political realities of historical memory in Guatemala.

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