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Kiana Nadonza

Kiana Nadonza profile picture
  • Title: Graduate Student
  • Affiliated Departments: Asian Studies, Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies
  • Adviser: Philip W. Scher
  • Interests: Philippines, beauty pageantry, gender, (trans/)nationalisms, postcolonial feminism, urban anthropology, globalization, Southeast Asian political economies.
  • Website: Website


M.A. Anthropology, University of Oregon (2019). B.A. Anthropology, B.A. Women Gender & Sexuality, and 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, cultural heritage and tourism, postcolonial theory, and political economies of Southeast Asia. Her PhD research examines how the Philippines’ participation in local and international pageantry shape constructions of nationalism, ethnic and regional identities, cultural politics of beauty, as well as the country's positionality within globalization. She is of Waray ancestry (Baras, Guiuan).

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.