Pegi Vail


Ph.D. Dissertation:

Right of passage: Backpacker subculture and the “gentrification” of tourism in Bolivia


Pegi Vail (Phd Anthropology, 2004)
Vail is an anthropologist, filmmaker, and curator. Her current work focuses on the political economy of tourism in the developing world. Right of Passage, a book based on this research among backpackers in Bolivia, is forthcoming (Duke University Press). Gringo Trails, her documentary shot in West Africa, Southeast Asia, and South America explores the long term impact of travelers and their narratives globally. Vail has taught on Film and Culture at NYU and Columbia University Anthropology Departments; Tourist Productions in the NYU Performance Studies Program; and documentary filmmaking through the NYU Department of Anthropology’s Culture and Media Program. Vail is a former Fulbright scholar who has additionally lectured on National Geographic and Smithsonian travel study tours and serves as a judge for the World Travel and Tourism Council’s Tourism for Tomorrow AwardsAs a curator, she has collaborated with colleagues at NYC arts and cultural institutions such as the National Museum of the American Indian, American Museum of Natural History, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and through organizations such as the The Moth, the storytelling collective she was a founding board member and curator for. She currently serves on the Moth’s curatorial board and general council.