Chatham University

Hollander Lecture in Women’s Leadership

Tuesday, March 13, 2018
4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
Beckwith Auditorium, Buhl Hall

Cost: Free and open to the public

Dr. Alison Brooks is a paleoanthropologist and Paleolithic archaeologist who has worked at numerous locations in Africa, France, the Levant, and northern China. A pioneering woman in her field, she is an expert on early modern humans, Paleolithic archaeology, physical anthropology, paleoanthropology, ethnoarchaeology, and geochronology and she is an important figure in the debate over when, where, and why modern Homo sapiens originated.

"My main research has been on understanding the origins of our own species, Homo sapiens sapiens, by documenting the emergence of our characteristic behavioral patterns, including symbolic behavior, long distance social contacts, technological innovation, complex economic strategies, and, in general “living in our heads”, -- creating a social, symbolic and even physical world which guides and is the focus of our daily lives. I have argued that our behavioral capabilities appear first in Africa, well before the time when our species migrated to Eurasia and prevailed over the Neanderthals. I have also demonstrated that the emergence of these capabilities was a gradual process and not due to a sudden “mutation event” for language or any other specific capability. To help determine the age of the new discoveries, I worked on developing new dating techniques, as well as on how climates changed in Africa during the Ice Age."
-Dr. Brooks

Dr. Brooks is a Professor of Anthropology at the George Washington University and also works for the Smithsonian Institution as a Research Associate. She is the author of numerous articles and books, and has not one, but three articles in the forthcoming edition of the journal, Science, about her site in Kenya and its implications for human origins. She is a Fellow at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has been Awarded the Medal of Honor (Médaille d'Honneur) of the City of Toulouse, and Doctor of Letters honoris causae, Russian Academy of Sciences. Dr. Brooks earned her BA from Radcliffe College, and her MA and Ph.D. from Harvard University.

Registration and Directions

Registration has closed. Please contact Melody Harris at for additional information.

Fee : Free and open to the public

Event Contact Information

Melody Harris
(412) 365-1578