Zoë West

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Zoë West is an anthropologist and oral historian whose work centers on labor, migration, and human rights. Her current research explores the promises and challenges of alternative labor organizing models for marginalized workers. Zoë positions herself at the intersection of grassroots and academic work, rooted in the commitment to helping social movements use research and documentation to fuel and strengthen their work. In this vein, she also actively supports groups in building power through creative strategy, deeper internal processes, and strong workshop and training programs. As a founding member of Rhiza Collective, Zoë develops frameworks for implementing collaborative research, transformative leadership development, narrative and healing work, and political education. As part of her work with Rhiza Collective, she recently returned from facilitating a series of workshops with refugees in Greece combining healing/psychosocial support, advocacy, and theater/storytelling. Another current project is developing an international toolkit and training of trainers program for activists and grassroots communities engaged in struggles at the intersection of human rights and environmental justice. She edited and compiled the oral history collection Nowhere to Be Home: Narratives from Survivors of Burma’s Military Regime (McSweeney’s/Voice of Witness, 2011), which was recently published in Burmese (NDSP Books, 2016). Zoë received her PhD in social anthropology from the University of Oxford.

Zoë West

Courses Taught

  • Human Rights & Oral History: Testimony, Memory, and Trauma