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Dr. Elizabeth Brite

Clinical Associate Professor and Associate Head of Academic Affairs

Liz BriteBiography

Liz Brite is an anthropological archaeologist and honors educator. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles and held a postdoctoral teaching fellowship at the Honors College, Auburn University before joining the John Martinson Honors College in 2014. She is also affiliated faculty in the Department of Anthropology.

Brite’s research examines water, agriculture, and the human ecologies of Central Asia, with particular focus on the Aral Sea Basin. She was a 2018 National Geographic Explorer and maintains collaborations with the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Uzbekistan and partners in the U.S. and abroad for archaeological research. In the John Martinson Honors College, Brite teaches interdisciplinary honors courses that examine human-environment relations across time and space. She is also a practitioner of critical, international service-learning and the editor of the Purdue Journal of Service-Learning and International Engagement.


2020 Exceptional Early Career Award, Purdue University

Recent Publications

Brite, E., B. Colón, G. Johnson, J. Harris, N. Borders, and K. Malerbi. 2022. Refashioning Origins in the Anthropocene: Reflections on Pedagogical Practice. Anthropocenes: Human, Inhuman, Posthuman 3(1):

Rouse, L., P. Doumani Dupuy, and E. Brite. 2022. The Agro-pastoralism debate in Central Eurasia: Arguments in favor of a nuanced perspective on socio-economy in archaeological context. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 67: 101438.

Brite, E. 2021. The Origins of the Apple in Central Asia. Journal of World Prehistory 34: 159-193.

Brite, E., E. Fletcher, H. K. Cooper, S. Amirov, A. Iskanderova, A. Toreniyazov, F. Kidd, and G. Khozhaniyazov. 2021. Abu Muslim Qala: An Iron Production Site along Central Asia’s Medieval North-South Trade Routes. Antiquity 95(383): e27, 1-10.

Brite, E. 2018. The Hydrosocial Empire: The Karakum River and the Soviet Conquest of Central Asia. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 52: 123-136.


Selected Courses: 

HONR-19901: Evolution of Ideas: Food
HONR-19902: Evolution of Ideas: Water
HONR-39900: The Holocene
HONR-39900: The Anthropocene
HONR-39900: Beyond Afghanistan (service-learning)

Contact Info

HCRS 1081

10th Anniversary Image