Dr. Elizabeth Brite
Elizabeth earned her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2011. Prior to her appointment in Purdue’s Honors College, she served as a Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in the Honors College at Auburn University, where she taught classes in sustainability, anthropology, and Central Asian studies.
Elizabeth is an archaeologist who has worked on research expeditions in many parts of the world, including Uzbekistan, India, Peru, California, and the American Southwest. Her research focuses on human-environmental interactions, with a particular interest in Central Asia and the ways that this region’s ancient societies engaged with the environment. Her research and writing has most recently explored the role of Central Asia in the spread of cotton as a global crop, and the impacts of Central Asian socio-political institutions on the development of irrigation agriculture. Through this and other research, Elizabeth emphasizes the ways that human environmental behavior is shaped by culture, and emerges as people’s daily practices intersect with natural processes, social and political landscapes, and the trajectories of specific human histories.
As a new Continuing Lecturer in the Honors College as of fall 2013, Elizabeth will teach HONR 29900: Afghanistan and Beyond, a course that explores the relevance of Central Asian culture and history in American life, and HONR 19901: Food, a course on food and culture that is part of the First-Year Seminar series, The Evolution of Ideas.