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Christina Leza

Christina Leza

Associate Professor, Chair

Christina Leza is a linguistic anthropologist and Yoeme-Chicana activist scholar whose research interests include Indigenous peoples of the Americas, Indigenous rights, discourse and identity, racial and ethnic discourses, grassroots activism, cognitive anthropology, and the U.S.-Mexico border.  Her most recent research has focused on Indigenous activist responses to U.S.-Mexico border enforcement.  She has also examined broader discourse patterns among indigenous grassroots activists in the U.S. and Latin America.  Her publications include Divided Peoples: Policy, Activism and Indigenous Identities on the U.S.-Mexico Border (University of Arizona Press), and "Hip Hop is Resistance: Indigeneity on the U.S.-Mexico Border" in the edited volume Music and Modernity among First Peoples of North America (Wesleyan University Press).

Activities & Interests

Major Interests
  • Linguistic anthropology
  • Ethnic and racial identities
  • Indigenous peoples
  • Discourse and ideology
  • Racist discourses
  • Grassroots social movement
  • U.S.-Mexico border and Latin America



2019. Divided Peoples: Policy, Activism and Indigenous Identities on the U.S.-Mexico Border. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.

2019. “For Native Americans, U.S.-Mexico border is an imaginary line.” The Conversation, March 19.

2019. “Hip Hop is Resistance”: Defining Indigeneity on the U.S.-Mexico Border. In Music and Modernity among First Peoples of North America. Victoria L. Levine and Dylan Robertson, eds. Pp. 69-90. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press.

2019. Handbook on Indigenous People’s Border Crossing Rights Between the United States and Mexico, an online community resource. Co-authored by the Alianza Indígena Sin Fronteras / Indigenous Alliance Without Borders. 

2018. Indigenous Identities on the U.S.-Mexico Border. Journal of the Southwest 60(4): 914-936.

2018. The Representation of Indigenous Lifeways and Beliefs in U.S.-Mexico Border Indigenous Activist Discourse. Semiotica: Journal of the International Association of Semiotic Studies 224: 223-248.

2017. Book Review: Fixing the Books: Secrecy, Literacy, and Perfectibility in Indigenous New Mexico by Erin Debenport. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 27(2): 252-254.

2015. The Divided Yoeme (Yaqui) Nation. Wicazo Sa Review 30(2): 5-27.

2009. Book Review: Arguing with Tradition: The Language of Law in Hopi Tribal Court by Justin B. Richland. Political and Legal Anthropology Review 32(2): 354-358. 

2007. “Where are you from?”: The Problem of Identity for the “Native” Anthropologist. Arizona Anthropologist 18: 95-99.

2002. Grammatical Images of Perception and Legitimacy: An Example from Jacaltec Maya. Texas Linguistic Forum 45: 76-83.

Regular Classes

Regular classes
  • AN105: Language and Culture
  • AN256: Language Socialization
  • AN260: Language and Gender
  • AN262: Studying Language as Social Action
  • AN311: Language in Culture and Mind: Cognitive Anthropology
  • AN312: The Language of Racism


    • Ph.D., University of Arizona, 2009