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Elizabeth Mazzolini

Associate Professor of English
University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences


Mountaineering deaths, climbing technology, consumerism, material culture, garbage, culture of waste

Head shot of Elizabeth Mazzolini, University at Buffalo environmental studies, waste studies and consumerism expert.

Elizabeth Mazzolini has researched topics at the intersection of culture, society and the environment.

She co-edited “Histories of the Dustheap,” a collection of essays that examines the cultural and societal significance of garbage, waste and refuse.

She also authored “The Everest Effect,” which examines the cultural significance of Mount Everest in the West. Among other topics, the book explores how technologies such as modern communications systems and supplemental oxygen have contributed to the commodification of the mountain, resulting in environmental degradation.

Mazzolini can speak to media about these issues, and about tragedies on Mount Everest. She can discuss why the mountain remains alluring — including for less experienced climbers — despite the dangers of summiting and the environmental costs of mountaineering.

In addition to her work on Everest, Mazzolini has published on the topic of how drug epidemics — including the crack, methamphetamine and opioid epidemics in the United States — relate to a sense of place.


Elizabeth Mazzolini, PhD
Associate Professor of English
University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences