Dr Alasdair Brooks
Teaching Fellow in Historical Archaeology
BA (St. Mary’s College of Maryland), MA, D.Phil. (both York)
Tel: 0116 2522732 Email: email@example.com
My BA is from St. Mary’s College of Maryland, a small American institution that sits directly on top of the 17th-century colonial capital of Maryland. I returned to my native UK to complete an MA in Archaeological Practice at the University of York, and then went back to the US, where I spent most of the next four years running the archaeology lab at Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest, Jefferson’s retreat home in central Virginia. I then crossed the Atlantic again to complete a DPhil (in the comparative trans-Atlantic analysis of 18th and 19th ceramics) back at York. Not satisfied with crossing the Atlantic, I then moved to Australia where I had two postdoctoral research fellowships at La Trobe University in Melbourne. I returned to the UK in 2007, joined the School of Archaeology and Ancient History in early 2009 as a Teaching Fellow in Historical Archaeology, and after a short break returned to the School in the same capacity in late 2011.
My research focuses on the international comparative analysis of 18th- and 19th-century material culture, with a focus on post-1750 ceramics. I am particularly interested in the role of British-manufactured material culture in global trade in the 19th century, and the transformations of meaning and interpretation – both on the part of the original consumer and the archaeologist – that occur when material culture made in Britain is used and discarded in other parts of the world.
Following on from my past research in the UK, the eastern United States and Australia, I am currently working with colleagues in Venezuela on the role of British-manufactured material culture in post-independence South America, particularly as regards the emergence of new nations into the global economy, and the role of British goods in the creation of postcolonial national identities.
I contribute to and/or coordinate some of the campus-based introductory modules in archaeology. I wrote Leicester's introductory level 1 distance learning module in historical archaeology, and I coordinate and contribute to both our campus-based and DL MA in Historical Archaeology courses. I also teach AR3065 / AR 7365 (Material Culture in Historical Archaeology).
Thanks to my broad international experience, I am able to supervise a wide geographical range of MA Dissertation topics in the historical archaeology of the post-1500 AD world for both campus-based and distance-learning students, but I particularly welcome supervisees interested in material culture.
Select Recent Publications
Brooks, Alasdair and Ana Cristina Rodríguez Yilo. In Press  A Venezuelan Household Clearance Assemblage of 19th-century British Ceramics in International Perspective. Post-Medieval Archaeology 46(2).
Brooks, Alasdair, Susan Lawrence, and Jane Lennon. In Press  The Parsonage of the Reverend Willoughby Bean: Church, State and Frontier Settlement in 19th-Century Colonial Australia. Historical Archaeology 45(4).
Brooks, Alasdair 2010 A Not So Useless Beauty – Economy, Status, Function, and Meaning in the Interpretation of Transfer-Printed Tablewares. In J. Symonds (ed.) Table Settings: The Material Culture and Social Context of Dining, AD 1700-1900. Oxbow Books, Oxford, pp. 154-162.
Brooks, Alasdair and Graham Connah 2007 A Hierarchy of Servitude: Ceramics at Lake Innes Estate, New South Wales. Antiquity 81: 133-147.
Brooks, Alasdair 2005 An Archaeological Guide to British Ceramics in Australia, 1788-1901, Australasian Society for Historical Archaeology, Sydney and La Trobe University Archaeology Program, Melbourne.
Brooks, Alasdair 2003 Crossing Offa’s Dyke: British Ideologies, Welsh Society and Late 18th- and 19th-Century Ceramics in Wales. In S. Lawrence (ed.), Archaeologies of the British. Routledge, London, pp. 113-137.
Brooks, Alasdair 2002 “The Cloud of Unknowing”: Towards an International Comparative Analysis of Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Ceramics. Australasian Historical Archaeology 20: 48-57.