Photo by Polina Osherov. 2017.

Photo by Polina Osherov. 2017.

2016-2019 Postdoctoral Researcher at Indiana University—Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) Arts and Humanities Institute (LINK)

2017 Water Rights Resident at the Santa Fe Art Institute (LINK)

Research interests are: Water, Energy studies, 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:


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