May 5, 2014
A Professor Walks Into a Bar ...
Bryan Thomas for The Chronicle
Paige West had worked rooms like this as a bartender, but never as an academic.
A professor of anthropology at Columbia University and Barnard College, Ms. West found herself on a recent rainy Tuesday night standing in the center of a dimly lit, long, narrow space in Pouring Ribbons, a second-floor bar on Avenue B in the East Village.
She was here to talk about the cultural and economic importance of surfing to the people of Papua New Guinea. It was a tough room. She was