Kiana Polanin

Kiana Polanin


Dr. Max Deardorff


College of Liberal Arts and Sciences






National Society of Collegiate Scholars

Academic Awards

Daniel J. Koleos Undergraduate Research Award 2021, Fall Semester 2018 Dean's List, Fall Semester 2019 Dean's List, Fall Semester 2020 Dean's List, Spring Semester 2020 Dean's List


Royals For A Reason

Research Interests

Women in Colonial Latin America

Hobbies and Interests

I love singing, dancing, playing sports, such as golf and tennis, and going to the beach.

Research Project

Breaking Barriers: How Inheritance Law in Colonial Latin America Provided Women with Social, Proprietary, and Legal Mobility

In colonial Latin America, women were often confined physically, socially, and economically; however, they were afforded specific legal rights under Spanish Law, specifically wills and doweries, that stemmed primarily from inheritance. Inheritance via wills protected the rights of women, as gender was not a determining factor that controlled or reduced the amount of inheritance received. Further, A woman’s ownership of a dowry afforded her direct control over property and therefore provided an avenue for social and legal mobility. My thesis will utilize various archival documents, such as women’s wills and lawsuits throughout colonial Latin America, in order to analyze how women owned and controlled property, thus increasing their avenues of social, economic, and legal mobility.