Faye Ginsburg, Director

In addition to her role as Director of the Center for Media, Culture, and History, Faye Ginsburg is David Kriser Professor of Anthropology, founding and ongoing Co-director of the Center for Religion and Media, founder of the interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Culture and Media, and founding co-Director of the NYU Council for the Study of Disabilities. Her work over the years as a filmmaker, writer and curator has focused on movements for social transformation, and the key role played by cultural activists in these processes, from her multiple award winning book, Contested Lives: The Abortion Debate in an American Community, to her several edited collections on reproduction and gender, to her groundbreaking collection, Media Worlds: Anthropology on New Terrain, to her forthcoming book, Mediating Culture: Indigenous Media in a Digital Age. She is a recipient of numerous awards for her work including research support and Fellowships from the MacArthur, Guggenheim, Spencer, Rockefeller and Ford Foundations, as well as support from the Pew Charitable Trusts for the inauguration of the Center for Religion and Media. She is currently working on research on Cultural Innovation and Learning Disabilities. Dr. Ginsburg is also a Vice-President of the Dysautonomia Foundation.


Pegi Vail, Associate Director

Vail is an anthropologist, filmmaker, and curator whose academic work has focused on visual anthropology, Indigenous media and on the political economy of tourism in the developing world. Her award-winning documentary Gringo Trails (Icarus Films/Andana Films) looks at the long term cultural and environmental effects of global tourism. 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. She is a former Fulbright scholar who has additionally lectured on 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 boardmember, curator, and storytelling alumna for. Vail additionally has served as a judge for the World Travel Tourism Council’s Tourism for Tomorrow Awards and currently for National Geographic’s World Legacy Awards. Most recently, she was the cultural consultant for Felix & Paul Studios’ “Nomads” virtual reality experience for Oculus / Samsung. More info: