Pegi Vail, Associate Director
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, unanticipated impact of global tourism on cultures, economies, and the environment–tracing some stories over 30 years. 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’s Culture and Media Program. Vail is a former Fulbright scholar who has additionally lectured on National Geographic and Smithsonian travel study tours. As 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. Vail serves as a judge on sustainable tourism initiatives for the World Travel Tourism Council’s Tourism for Tomorrow Awards and National Geographic’s World Legacy Awards.