Ximena Cordova

Assistant Professor Chair of Social Sciences

I finished my PhD in 2012, at Newcastle University (UK) and started to work as Assistant Professor in Northumbria University (UK). I also did a number of public outreach cultural events for Newcastle University (UK). I joined Zayed University in 2015, teaching history, social anthropology and area studies.


I am an interdisciplinary researcher working at the intersection between social anthropology, history and performance studies.  My research focuses on indigeneity as it transects with heritage politics, performance practices and nation-making processes.  I also have a background in digital anthropology, which I often use in my teaching and ethnographic work.


Having always lived as a ‘foreigner’, I am fascinated by discussions of identity. 


Ph.D.   Newcastle University (UK), Newcastle Upon Tyne, History and Cultural Studies (Latin America), 2012

M.A.   Goldsmiths College, University of London, London, Screen Documentary (Media and Communication Studies), 2004

B.A.(1st Honours)  University of Westminster,  London,  Modern Languages: French (English Literature minor),  2002

Current roles and Responsibilities

Chair of Social Sciences in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Website Coordinator for CHSS


Latin American Studies Association

Native American and Indigenous Studies Association

Association of Critical Heritage Studies


Spanish, French


Research and Professional Activities

I have published in peer-reviewed publications on the topic of indigeneity and performance practices in the Americas, and I also co-authored a book with Marcelo Lara Barrientos on cultural performance in Bolivia. I directed and produced films on the topic of migration and identity, and my work has been disseminated in the academic circuit. “Raising Daniela", a 23’ documentary about Colombian migrant children in London is regularly screened as part of “Strangers in my Garden”, a documentary collection on migration coordinated by the Palantír Film Visual Anthropological Foundation (Hungary).

My video work on Andean popular culture has been used for teaching on indigenous performance practices. My latest publication is part of a book series titled Key Concepts in Indigenous Studies (Routledge, in press), to be a textbook series for universities departments around the world in the discipline of Indigenous Studies.

Current Projects:

Current research focuses on the mediatory powers of festivals and the performance of cultural heritage in the Andes in the debates and shaping of identity and experience. I am revising colonial archives from the 16th and 17th centuries to trace cultural practices from then and their connections to festive practices today.


Cultural history, heritage studies, Andean history, Andean Catholicism, popular culture, Bolivia, indigenous studies, 20th century history Latin America, race, performance

Teaching Areas


COL 155 Imperial Encounters

COL 150 Emerging Civilisations

GEN 185 Research Methods and Scientific Development

ANT 261 Introduction to Culture and Society

ANT 430 World Regions: The Americas

Cordova, X. (2018, in press). Indigeneity and National Celebrations in Latin America: Performative Practices and Identity Politics. In Ganesh Devy and Geoffrey Davis (Eds.), Performance in Key Indigenous Concepts (book series), New Delhi and London: Routledge