After informally participating in Center activities for a number of years, Brooke Neely joined the Center of the American West as a Visiting Scholar in the fall of 2014. Brooke’s research focuses on collective memory and racial politics in the American West, and she primarily studies how these issues play out around the Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse memorials in the Black Hills of South Dakota. At the Center, Brooke will study public history efforts in the American West, exploring how museums and memorials can present complicated historical topics in more diverse and nuanced ways.
Prior to joining the Center, Brooke taught courses in sociology at Whitman College and the University of California, Santa Barbara. She received a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a B.A. in sociology from Whitman College. She has published articles in Ethnic and Racial Studies and other journals, and she has a book under contract with the University of Nebraska Press titled Unsettled Stone: Carved Mountains and the Politics of Race, Place, and Memory. When not at the Center, Brooke can be found running after her toddler daughter or enjoying a still moment with her husband.