Laurie Medina

  • Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology
  • Director, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies


314 Baker Hall, Anthropology; 300 International Center, CLACS

Research Interests

    Conservation, Protected Areas, and Environmental Government
    Indigenous Rights Struggles and the Production of International Indigenous Rights Law
    The performance of sovereignties, territories, and states
    Maya Studies
    Central America, Belize

Biographical Info

LAURIE KROSHUS MEDINA is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies. She theorizes contemporary forms of governance through the lens of ethnographic field research in Belize. Her current project involves three broad areas of focus. She explores the production and implementation of indigenous rights to lands and territories, both internationally and in Belize, as Maya communities seek to secure their tenure over lands via litigation before local and international judicial bodies, negotiations with the Belizean state, and the strengthening of Maya customary tenure practices. She also explores neoliberal forms of environmental governance, in which non-state actors such as NGOs or markets for protected nature govern both forests and human activity. Additionally, she interrogates the performative nature of states, sovereignties, and territories in the context of a claim by the neighboring state of Guatemala to Belizean territory.


  • Rinkus, Marisa A., Jennifer Rebecca Kelly, Wynne Wright, Laurie Medina, and Tracy Dobson. 2018.  Gendered Considerations for Safety in Conservation Fieldwork. Society and Natural Resources 31(12):1419-1426. DOI: 10.1080/08941920.2018.1471177.
  • Laurie Kroshus Medina. 2016. The Production of Indigenous Land Rights: Judicial Decisions Across National, Regional, and Global Scales. Political and Legal Anthropology Review 39 (S1): 139–153. ISSN 1081-6976, electronic ISSN 1555-2934. DOI: 10.1111/plar.12176.
  • Laurie Kroshus Medina. 2015. Governing Through the Market: Neoliberal Environmental Government in Belize. American Anthropologist 117(2):272-284.
  • Laurie Kroshus Medina. 2012 .  The Uses of Ecotourism: Articulating Conservation and Development Agendas in Belize. In Global Tourism: Cultural Heritage and Economic Encounters, Society for Economic Anthropology (SEA) Monographs #30, Sarah M. Lyon and E. Christian Wells, eds. Lanham, MD: Altamira Press. Pp. 227-250.
  • Laurie Kroshus Medina. 2010.  When Government Targets “The State”: Transnational NGO Government and the State in Belize. Political and Legal Anthropology Review 33(2): 245-263.
  • Nancy Ojeda Macias, Laurie Kroshus Medina, y Ann V. Millard. 2007.  Estrategias de la familia y el grupo domestico en la migracion agricola internacional. In Familias Mexicanas en Transicion: unas miradas antropologicas, David Robichaux, compilador. Mexico, D.F.: Universidad Iberoamericana. Pp. 307-320.
  • Laurie Kroshus Medina. 2005.   Ecotourism and Certification: Confronting the Principles and Pragmatics of Socially Responsible Tourism. Journal of Sustainable Tourism 13(3):281-295.
  • Laurie Kroshus Medina. 2004.  Negotiating Economic Development: Identity Formation and Collective Action in Belize. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.
  • Laurie Kroshus Medina. 2003.  History, Culture, and Place-Making: ‘Native’ Status and Maya Identity in Belize. In Perspectives on Las Americas, Matthew Gutmann, Felix Matos Rodriguez, Lynn Stephen, and Patricia Zavella, eds. Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 195-212. (Reprint of 1998 article from Journal of Latin American Anthropology.)
  • Laurie Kroshus Medina. 2003.  Commoditizing Culture: Tourism and Maya Identity. Annals of Tourism Research 30(2):353-368.
  • Laurie Kroshus Medina. 2003. La comercializatión cultural. El turismo y la identidad maya. Annals of Tourism Research En Español 5(1):86-103. (Spanish translation of 2003 article in Annals of Tourism Research.)
  • Dept. of Anthropology