Photo by Polina Osherov. 2017.

Photo by Polina Osherov. 2017.

Assistant Professor (Visual & Media Anthropology)

University of British Columbia | Okanagan Campus | Sylix Okanagan Nation Territory

Department of Community, Culture, and Global Studies in the Irving K Barber School of Arts and Science (LINK)

Research interests are: Water rights, sensory ethnography, digital open access publishing, arts-based ethnography, Indigenous material and visual culture, repatriation, oral histories, contemporary Indigenous art, curatorial theory, performance theory, and museum studies.

Fiona P. McDonald completed her PhD (2014) in the Department of Anthropology at University College London (UCL) in visual anthropology & material culture (Supervisors: Professor Susanne Kuechler and Professor Christopher Pinney). Her dissertation is entitled, Charting Material Memories: a visual and material ethnography of the transformations of woollen blankets in contemporary art, craft, and Indigenous regalia in Canada, Aotearoa/New Zealand, and the United States . This project was undertaken as both an historic and contemporary visual and material ethnography of the material nature and transformations of woollen (trade) blankets that were produced in the United Kingdom since the seventeenth century. Her work addresses both historical and contemporary uses of woollen blankets through a direct examination of the pluralistic histories that things and objects have when re-worked and recycled by contemporary artists and customary makers in North American and Aotearoa New Zealand. Fiona is currently translating this research in to a book project.

Fiona is also the co-founder of Ethnographic Terminalia Collective (ETC) (est.2009), an international curatorial collective that curates exhibitions at the intersections of arts and anthropology. ETC have curated and organized exhibitions and workshops across North America (Philadelphia, New Orleans, San Francisco, Montreal, New York, Austin, Chicago, Denver, and Vancouver) where they aim to move academic research beyond the academy through public engagement.

Please contact Fiona McDonald directly to request a copy of her current CV:


Indiana University—Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) Arts and Humanities Institute, Postdoctoral Researcher                               January 2016 - June 2018

University College London (UCL), Department of Anthropology (UK), Doctorate of Philosophy, Material Culture & Visual Anthropology            September 2014

University College London (UCL), The Horniman Museum, & The British Museum (UK), Advanced Ethnographic Object Analysis Training        May 2010

University of Auckland, Department of Māori Studies (New Zealand), Graduate Specialization Degree in Māori Studies (with distinction)         May 2007

University of Alberta, Department of Art & Design (Canada), Master of Arts, History of Art, Design, and Visual Culture (with distinction)            December 2006

University of Alberta Teaching Services (Canada), Graduate Teaching Certificate                                                                                                   May 2005

University of Alberta, Department of Art & Design (Canada), Bachelor of Arts (Major: Art History; Minor: Linguistic Anthropology)                     November 2003