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Anya Bonanno

UGA Arch
PhD Candidate

My research explores how property is practiced in everyday life. The current wave of development and policy interventions intended to increase land tenure security and women's property rights globally warrant a renewed investigation of what property means in situated contexts, how people make property real in place through relationships to others, and how the possibilities for making claims may become circumscribed by increasing land pressures. Specifically, my dissertation research explores how Limba women in northern Sierra Leone make claims to personal kitchen gardens in a context of recent state land interventions (a conservation area and hydropower dam). I seek to understand if and how social position (e.g., age, marital status, lineage) and uneven experiences of land pressure alter or constrain how women make property claims. While the broader purpose of this research is to draw attention to the many socio-material interactions shaping property, this project also aims to center women's narratives on their experiences with land-based development projects.  

I am also involved in collaborative research with colleagues from Franklin College's Writing Intensive Program and the English Department that explores feedback engagement and STEM graduate instructors' perspectives on writing in the sciences.

Broadly, my interests include: land and resource institutions, agrarian studies, feminist political ecology, the anthropology of development, environmental governance, ethnobotany, African studies, the scholarship of teaching and learning, and the pedagogy of writing in the disciplines.

Of note:


Recent Publications:

Harding, Lindsey, Joshua King, Anya M. Bonanno, and Joseph Powell. [in press]. "Feedback as boundary object: intersections of writing, response, and research." Journal of Response to Writing.

DePuy, Walker, Jacob Weger, Katie Foster, Anya M. Bonanno, Suneel Kumar, Kristen Lear, Raul Basilio, and Laura German. 2021. "Environmental governance: broadening ontological spaces for a more livable world." Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space.

German, Laura A., Anya M. Bonanno, Laura Catherine Foster, and Lorenzo Cotula. 2020. “‘Inclusive business’ in agriculture: evidence from the evolution of agricultural supply chains.” World Development 134.

Research Funding:

  • 2020-2021 U.S. Fulbright Researcher to Sierra Leone - U.S. Dept. of State
  • 2020 Dean's Award for Social Science Research - Graduate School, University of Georgia
  • 2019 Innovative and Interdisciplinary Research Award - Graduate School, University of Georgia
  • 2019 Melissa Hague Field Research Award - Dept. of Anthropology, University of Georgia
  • 2018 Graduate Research Award - Willson Center for the Humanities, University of Georgia


  • 2022 Willam J. Fanning Graduate Leadership Fellowship - Graduate School, University of Georgia
  • 2021 P.E.O. Scholar Award - P.E.O. International
  • 2021 Willam J. Fanning Graduate Leadership Fellowship - Graduate School, University of Georgia
  • 2020 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award - Center for Teaching and Learning, University of Georgia
  • 2020 Charles Hudson Excellence in Teaching Award - Dept. of Anthropology, University of Georgia
  • 2020 J. Peter Brosius Integrative Conservation Research Award - Center for Integrative Conservation, University of Georgia (Jointly received with co-authors on “Environmental governance: broadening ontological spaces for a more livable world” paper)
  • 2017 Best Graduate Paper Award - Southeast Regional Seminar on African Studies
  • 2017 Graduate Scholars: Leadership, Engagement and Development Fellow - Graduate School, University of Georgia
  • 2011 summa cum laude, Houghton College
Research Areas:

Ph.D. Environmental Anthropology, certificate in Online Teaching and Learning, University of Georgia, Expected 2023

B.A. Intercultural Studies, Houghton College, 2011

Articles Featuring Anya Bonanno
Monday, May 4, 2020 - 10:03am

The J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board awarded PhD candidate, Anya Bonanno, a 2020-2021 Fulbright U.S. Student Award to Sierra Leone.

Thursday, April 9, 2020 - 1:29pm

The UGA Graduate School awarded PhD candidate, Anya Bonanno, a Dean's Award for her research. The Dean's Award assists UGA Graduate students with their dissertation or thesis research by supporting students in collecting data or performing some other aspect of…

Tuesday, January 28, 2020 - 2:11pm

Walker DePuy, Katie Foster, Suneel Kumar, and Kristen Lear, along with co-authors Jacob Weger, Anya Bonanno, Raul Basilio, and Laura German, receive the J. Peter Brosius Integrative Conservation Research Award for their paper, “Environmental Governance:…

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