An interdisciplinary scholar of the indigenous and colonial past, James F. Brooks is professor of history and anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has previous been a member of the faculty at the University of Maryland, UC Santa Barbara, and UC Berkeley, and has held fellowships at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and at the School for Advanced Research (SAR). He was the director of SAR Press, and then president of SAR from 2005-2013.
James currently serves as Chair of 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.
He is the recipient of numerous national awards for scholarly excellence. His 2002 book Captives & Cousins: Slavery, Kinship and Community in the Southwest Borderlands was awarded the 2003 Bancroft Prize, the 2003 Francis Parkman Prize from the Society of American Historians, and the 2003 Frederick Jackson Turner Award, from the Organization of American Historians, among other awards.
His latest book is Mesa of Sorrows: A History of the Awatovi Massacre, published by W. W. Norton. A scrupulously researched investigation of the mysterious massacre of Hopi Indians at Awat’ovi, and the event’s echo through American history, Library Journal called Mesa of Sorrows “An attractive, authoritative read.”