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Kiana Nadonza

Kiana Nadonza profile picture
  • Title: Graduate Student (Anthropology)
  • Additional Title: Graduate Employee (WGSS)
  • Phone: 541-346-5109
  • Office: 331 Hendricks Hall
  • Office Hours: Winter 2019: Thursdays 12:15-2:15 PM or by appointment
  • Affiliated Departments: Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies
  • Adviser: Philip W. Scher
  • Interests: Beauty pageantry, Philippines, gender, nationalisms and transnationalisms, cultural politics of beauty, globalization, media, cultural heritage, popular culture.
  • Website: Website


B.A. Anthropology, B.A. Women Gender & Sexuality, Concentration in Media Studies, University of Virginia (2015)


Kiana Nadonza is a cultural anthropologist whose research focus is in the Philippines and Filipino diaspora, with primary interests in beauty pageantry, gender, identity, media, postcolonial theory, political economy, and the cultural politics of beauty. Her master’s research examines how the Philippines’ participation in local and international beauty pageant practices relate to the construction of national and transnational identities, neocolonialism, cosmopolitanism, as well as how the country utilizes its pageant success to position itself as a serious contender in the face of globalization. 

Prior to joining the Department of Anthropology as a graduate student, Kiana worked in Charlottesville, VA, for museum education and special projects at the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection, as well as refugee resettlement services at the International Rescue Committee. Prior to her current research, her fieldwork primarily focused on indigenous communities in Madre de Dios, Peru, and Pastaza, Ecuador, at intersection with cultural autonomy, legal pluralism, and ecotourism.