Liza Grandia

Liza Grandia

Position Title
Associate Professor

2419 Hart Hall

Office Hours
Winter Quarter 2020

Associate Professor, UC Davis since 2012.            

B.A. summa cum laude, Yale University, 1996
Ph.D. in Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley, 2006
Postdoc in the Program in Agrarian Studies, Yale University, 2006-07

Mellon New Directions Fellow for project "Toxic Trespass" for advanced training in environmental health and toxicology, 2017-19

Recent op-eds:

• LA Times, January 17, 2019, "Guatemala's democracy is under assault. Again."

• Globe Post, January 14, 2019, "As Guatemala's coup unfolds, US must act to prevent humanitarian crisis."

UC Davis affiliations:

  • Director of the Indigenous Research Center of the Americas (IRCA)
  • Associate director of the Native American Language Center (NALC)
  • Affiliated with Community and Regional Development (CRD), International Agricultural Development (IAD), Hemispheric Institute of the Americas (HIA), and Human Rights Studies (link)

Research interests:

Q'eqchi' Maya; Belize & Guatemala; peasants, and agrarian change; corporate trade and globalization; foreign aid and empire; biodiversity conservation; political ecology and environmental justice; the politics of cancer; and theories of the commons.

DOWNLOAD Liza Grandia's CV here (last updated 08/2018)


  • Office:  2419 Hart Hall, please be fragrance free when you visit
  • Tel: 530-752-0357, Fax: 530-752-7097​
  • Email: emgrandia at
  • Skype: lizagrandia
  • Office hours: Fall Quarter 2019, variable times.... sign up here.


Join the Q'eqchi' Scholars Network: Facebook group and/or the listserv

Fragrance Free UCD:  Facebook page and Scent-sitive Aggies discussion group 

Courses Taught (with syllabi and Facebook groups)

Books and films:

Grandia’s first two books concern the agrarian struggles of the Q'eqchi' Maya, Guatemala's second largest indigenous group.

Tz'aptz'ooqeb' (published in Spanish in 2009 by one of Guatemala's leading social science research institutions, AVANCSO) explores the recurring dispossession of the Q'eqchi' people over the past five centuries by the Church, coffee, cattle, conservation, charity, and corporate trade.

A film derived from these, "Territory: The Path to our Roots" ("Li Qana'aj: Li B'e Re Xtawb'al li Qaxe"), documents how Q'eqchi' smallholders are losing their parcels to African palm plantations and cattle ranchers in the wake of land administration projects.

Always sharing research back with Q'eqchi' villages, her booklet "And Where To Work?" in Spanish and Q'eqchi', co-authored with community organizers, helped mobilize 159 Q'eqchi' villages in the ACDIP peasant federation into new strategies for territorial defense.  


Liza Grandia has collaborated with ProPetén in Petén, Guatemala since 1993 in the areas of reproductive health, organic agriculture, ethnobotany, gender equity, environmental justice, and agrarian reform and since over the last decade with ACDIP, the Indigenous Peasant Association for Integrated Development of Petén

Across the border in Belize, Dr. Grandia accompanied Maya communities as an expert witness in two constitutional land cases in 2007 and 2010 that resulted in historic rulings in favor of the Q'eqchi' and Mopán Maya plaintiffs. To encourage such collaborative activism between academics and indigenous communities, Dr. Grandia coordinates the Q'eqchi' Scholars Network. Anyone interested in joining this listserv should contact her by email.

Through the Indigenous Research Center of the Americas, she worked with cartographer and graduate students to develop a collaborative map of the historical context of the Dakota Access PipelineDOWNLOAD THE STANDING ROCK MAP IN HISTORICAL CONTEXT  or​ Share on social media. 

In her local civic life, she founded and coordinates the Woodland Coalition for Green Schools.

Major Reports / Monographs:

Articles and chapters

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