Professor Brooks holds the William S. Vaughn Visiting Faculty Fellowship at the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities, Vanderbilt University, for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Personal Statement:

I am an interdisciplinary scholar of the Indigenous and Colonial past, having held professorial appointments at the University of Maryland, UC Santa Barbara, and UC Berkeley, as well as fellowships at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, the School for Advanced Research, and Vanderbilt University’s Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities. In 2002 I became director of SAR Press, and between 2005 and 2013 served as president of SAR. I recently concluded ten year’s service on the Board of Directors of the Western National Parks Association, which supports research, preservation and education in 67 National Parks, including Bandelier National Monument, Chaco Culture National Historical Park, and Channel Islands National Park. A Trustee of the Santa Barbara Mission Archive/Library and the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation, I also, with Randy Bergstrom, co-direct the UCSB Public History program.  Among my greatest pleasures, I am editor of The Public Historian, the flagship journal of that discipline.


Brooks is the recipient of numerous national awards for scholarly excellence. His 2002 Bancroft Prize-winning Captives & Cousins: Slavery, Kinship and Community in the Southwest Borderlands focused on the traffic in women and children across the region as expressions of intercultural violence and accommodation. He has also published the edited volumes Confounding the Color Line: the Indian-Black Experience in North America (2002), Women and Gender in the American West (2004), Small Worlds: Method, Meaning, and Narrative in Microhistory (2008), Keystone Nations: Indigenous Peoples and Salmon in the North Pacific (2012), and Linking the Histories of Slavery: North America and its Borderlands (2015). His book Mesa of Sorrows: A History of the Awat’ovi Massacre appeared from WW Norton in 2016, and garnered the 2017 Caughey Prize for the most distinguished book on the American West from the Western History Association, and the 2017 Ermine Wheeler-Voeglin Book Award for best book-length contribution to the field from the American Society for Ethnohistory.