Welcome to the Department of Chicana/o Studies!

For general inquiries please contact us at chidept@ucdavis.edu or 530-752-2421, M-Th, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. & Fri. 9:30 a.m.- 12 p.m (PT).

For advising appointments, please use appointments.ucdavis.edu or contact Alma Martinez (almartinez@ucdavis.edu).

For information about our 2023-2024 course schedule, please view Major/Minor Tab for list. 

Susy Zepeda

Suzy Zepeda

Position Title
Associate Professor

  • Chicana/o Studies
2109 Hart Hall
Office Hours
Fall 2023
Thursdays 11am - 12:40pm and by appointment


  • Ph.D., Sociology Department, Designated Emphasis in Feminist Studies and Latin American & Latino Studies, University of California at Santa Cruz, 2012.
  • M.A., Sociology Department, University of California at Santa Cruz, 2007.
  • B.A., Dual major in Sociology and Women’s Studies, California State University at Long Beach, 2000.

Research interests areas:

Cultural memory, Xicana Indígena spirit work, Chicana/o cultural studies, decolonization, women of color feminisms, critical race and ethnic studies, feminist of color collaborative
methodologies, queer of color and Indigenous studies, oral and visual storytelling, archival research, and intergenerational healing.

Short Bio:

Susy Zepeda, Ph.D. is an associate professor in the Chicana/o Studies department at the University of California, Davis (Patwin land). Susy (she/they/ella) was born on Tongva lands in Monterey Park, California to Adela and Armando Zepeda, Mexican migrants from El Limon, Jalisco and Chínipas, Chihuahua respectively. Susy remembers often climbing el cerro (the mountain) as a child and visiting el rio in her mother’s hometown following the guidance of her abuelita, Rosario. Susy is a student rooted in remembering and practicing Traditional Indigenous medicine of this hemisphere, and more specifically of Mesoamerica. Susy is a former 5 th grade teacher for the Los Angeles Unified School District, and from 2013-2014, Zepeda was a Visiting
Assistant Professor with the Social Justice Initiative at UC Davis.

Dr. Zepeda’s scholarly work is intentionally transdisciplinary, decolonial, and feminist in a community-centered and grounded way. Her research and teaching focus on: Xicana Indígena spirit work, decolonization, critical feminist of color collaborative methodologies, oral and visual storytelling, and intergenerational healing. She established two courses at UC Davis, Decolonizing Spirit and Food Justice. Dr. Zepeda’s writing appears in the 2019 anthology Voices from the Ancestors: Xicanx and Latinx Spiritual Expressions and Healing Practices, and in 2020 published the essay, “Decolonizing Xicana/x Studies: Healing the Susto of De-indigenization” in Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies as part of the Dossier: Fifty Years of Chicana Feminist Praxis, Theory, and Resistance. Susy’s first book, Queering Mesoamerican Diasporas: Remembering Xicana Indígena Ancestries, published by the University of Illinois Press is part of the Transformations: Womanist, Feminist, and Indigenous Studies book series.

Affiliations: Cultural Studies, Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies

Selected Publications:

  • Zepeda, Susy. 2022. Queering Mesoamerican Diasporas: Remembering Xicana Indígena Ancestries
    Queering Mesoamerican Diasporas Remembering Xicana Indígena Ancestries
  • Susy Zepeda. 2022. “This Bridge: Intergenerational Story Archive, Re-Rooting Solidarity,” A Love Letter to This Bridge Called My Back, Eds. Gloria J. Wilson, Joni B. Acuff, and Amelia M. Kraehe, University of Arizona Press.
  • Susy Zepeda. 2021. “Ofrendando del Corazón: Queer Xicana Indígena Root Work.” Ofrenda Magazine. Issue no. 01: Jan/Feb. Intention.
  • Susy Zepeda. 2020. “Intergenerational Accountability.” Seen Journal. Fall, Issue 01. Pp. 41-46.
  • Susy Zepeda. 2020. “Decolonizing Xicana/x Studies: Healing the Susto of De-indigenization.” Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies. Spring. Vol 45, No 1. Pp. 225-241.
  • Susy Zepeda. 2019. “Creating an Altar for the Healing of our Younger Self” pp. 50-52 in Voices from the Ancestors: Xicanx and Latinx Spiritual Expressions and Healing Practices, Eds. Lara Medina and Martha Gonzales.
  • Susy Zepeda. 2019. “Decolonizing Spirit in the Classroom con Anzaldúa” pp. 372-374 in Voices from the Ancestors: Xicanx and Latinx Spiritual Expressions and Healing Practices, Eds. Lara Medina and Martha Gonzales.
  • Susy Zepeda. 2018. “Entry on Mujeres y Cultura Subterránea,” Women's Lives Around the World: A Global Encyclopedia: Volume 2: The Americas. Eds. Susan M. Shaw, Nancy Staton Barbour, Patti Duncan, Kryn Freehling-Burton, and Jane Nichols. ABC-CLIO Greenwood. pp. 258.
  • Susy Zepeda and Irene Reti, Eds. 2015. “With Conocimiento, Love, Spirit, and Community: Rosie Cabrera’s Leadership at UC Santa Cruz, 1984-2013.” Interviewed by Susy Zepeda. University of California, Santa Cruz. Regional History Project, University Library.
  • Susy Zepeda. 2014. “Queer Xicana Indígena Cultural Production: Remembering through Oral and Visual Storytelling,” Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society. Vol. 3, No. 1, pp. 119-141.
  • Susy Zepeda with the Santa Cruz Feminist of Color Collective. Winter 2014. “Building on ‘the Edge of Each Other’s Battles’: A Feminist of Color Multidimensional Lens.” Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy. Special Issue: Interstices. Vol. 29, No. 1, pp. 23-40.  http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/hypa.2014.29.issue-1/issuetoc
  • Susy Zepeda. “Mapping Queer of Color Methodology,” A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, 2009. Vol. 15: No. 4, pp. 622-3. Duke University Press. http://glq.dukejournals.org/content/15/4.toc
  • Susy Zepeda and Sandra Alvarez, “Womyn Image Makers: A Colectiva of Queer Indígena Visionaries,” Spectator: USC Journal of Film and Television Criticism. Chicana Spectators and Media Makers: Imagining TransCultural Diversity. Ed. Osa Hidalgo de la Riva. Spring 2006, Vol. 26. No. 1, pp. 127-134.


  • Post-Tenure Start-Up Award, P.L.A.C.E. with CAMPSSAH Initiative, 2022
  • Committee on Research, Small Grant in Aid of Research, UCD, 2022
  • Publication Assistance, UC Davis Office of Research, 2021
  • Mental Health Grant Award, UC Davis Campaign, 2021
  • Academic Senate Research Travel Award Program, UCD, 2017
  • UC Davis Hellman Foundation Fellowship, UC Davis, 2016
  • Committee on Research, Small Grant in Aid of Research, UCD, 2016
  • Faculty Development Award, UC Davis, 2015
  • UC MEXUS Dissertation Research Grant, 2010
  • Lionel Cantú Graduate Award, Chicano Latino Research Center, UCSC, 2010
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, 2005-2008
  • Eugene Cota-Robles Fellowship, UCSC, 2003-2005