Skip to main content

Paige West

Tow Asssociate Professor of Anthropolgy
School of the Arts
Anthropology Department
Department of Anthropology, Barnard College and Columbia University, 3009 Broadway, New York, New York 10027
Email: or

Paige West joined the faculty in 2001, the year after earning her Ph.D. in cultural and environmental anthropology. Dr. West's general research interest is the relationship between society and the environment. More specifically, she has written about the linkages between environmental conservation and international development, the material and symbolic ways in which the natural world is understood and produced, the aesthetics and poetics of human social relations with nature, and the creation of commodities and practices of consumption. She has conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Papua New Guinea (PNG), Australia, Germany, England, and the United States. Dr. West is the Chair of the Columbia University Seminar on Ecology and Culture. In 2002 Dr. West received the American Anthropological Association's Anthropology and Environment Junior Scholar award for her work, in 2004 she received the American Association of University Women Junior Faculty Fellowship and the American Council of Learned Societies Faculty Fellowship, in 2006 she received the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Fellowship, and in 2007 she was named a Fellow by the Association of Social Anthropology in Oceania. In 2008 she founded the journal Environment and Society: Advances in Research, which is published by Berghahn Books, and for which she serves as editor. Dr. West is currently the chair-elect of the Association of Social Anthropology in Oceania and the past president of the Anthropology and Environment Section of the American Anthropological Association. In 2013 Dr. West will deliver the Schoff Lectures at Columbia University.

Research & Other Works
An Anthropology for 'the Assemblage of the Now'
"Such a site for play, this edge:" Surfing, Tourism, and Modernist Fantasy in Papua New Guinea
Making the Market: Specialty Coffee, Generational Pitches, and Papua New Guinea
Translation, Value and Space: Theorizing an Ethnographic and Engaged Environmental Anthropology
Holding the Story Forever: The Aesthetics of Ethnographic Labor
Global assemblages, resilience, and Earth Stewardship in the Anthropocene
Tourism as Science and Science as Tourism: Environment, Society, Self, and Other in Papua New Guinea
Environmental Conservation and Mining: Between Experience and Expectation in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea
Ecotourism and Authenticity: Getting Away from It All?
Submit Content

Share your research or scholarly works to be posted on the site.