Skip to Content

Kiana Nadonza

Kiana Nadonza profile picture
  • Title: Graduate Student (Anthropology)
  • Additional Title: Graduate Employee (WGSS)
  • Office: 331 Hendricks Hall
  • Office Hours: Spring 2019: Mondays and Wednesdays 1:45-2:45 PM
  • Affiliated Departments: Asian Studies, Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies
  • Adviser: Philip W. Scher
  • Interests: Philippines, beauty pageantry, gender, (trans/)nationalisms, political economy.
  • 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, and political economies of Southeast Asia. Her master’s research examines how the Philippines’ participation in local and international pageant practices shape constructions of (trans/)national identities, cultural politics of beauty, as well as the country's positionality in context to 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.