Matthew Cook, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Cultural Geography and Historic Preservation; Co-director of Geotourism and Historic Preservation BS Program

Matt Cook Strong Hall 140X



  • Ph.D. 2016, Geography, University of Tennessee at Knoxville
  • M.S. 2012, Geography, University of Tennessee at Knoxville
  • B.S. 2009, Geosciences, University of Tennessee at Martin
  • B.S. 2009, Communications, University of Tennessee at Martin

Interests and Expertise

Dr. Matthew Cook (aka Dr. Matt) studied cultural and historical geography at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville culminating in his dissertation, "A Critical Historical Geography of Slavery in the US South." His M.S., also from UT Knoxville, focused on public memory of the Holocaust in Germany. His bachelor's degrees in both Geosciences and Communications are from the University of Tennessee at Martin.

Dr. Cook is a third-year assistant professor, teaching primarily in the EMU Historic Preservation Program. His ongoing research and scholarly interests focus on the geographies of public memory, historical interpretation and race relations in the United States. Dr. Cook's current research addresses how museums around the country have responded to expanding geographies of racism and racial violence. Focusing specifically on African American historical and cultural narratives, the proposed project is the first stage of research in a larger planned study that asks, “What is the role of the museum in the 21st century?” and “How do American museums change and adapt their narrative emphases in response to contemporary events?”.

Dr. Cook's most recent article, "Counter-narratives of Slavery in the Deep South: the politics of empathy along and beyond River Road," is available in the Journal of Heritage Tourism. He has also published a recent chapter (with Dr. Amy Potter, Georgia Southern University) and a review of Rebecca Kinney's Beautiful Wasteland in the journal Historical Geography. Full citations are below:

  • Cook, M. R. 2016. Counter-narratives of slavery in the Deep South: the politics of empathy along and beyond River Road. Journal of Heritage Tourism 11 (3): 290–308. DOI: 10.1080/1743873X.2015.1100624.
  • Cook, M.R. 2017. Review of R. Kinney, Beautiful Wasteland: The Rise of Detroit as America’s Postindustrial Frontier. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2016. In Historical Geography 45 (1): 263–264.
  • Cook, M.R. and A.E. Potter. 2018. Unfinished geographies: Women’s roles in shaping Black historical counter narratives. In After Heritage: Critical Perspective on Heritage from Below, H. Muzaini and C. Minca, eds., 107–129. London: Edward Elgar Publishing. profile


  • GHPR 335  Historic Preservation
  • GHPR 446/556 Heritage Interpretation
  • GHPR 530  Introduction to Historic Preservation
  • GHPR 538  Historic Preservation and Tourism
  • GHPR 591/695  Place, Race and Ethnicity (Special Topics, taught Fall 2017 & Winter 2019)
  • GHPR 695  Seminar in Geographies of Memory (Variable Title Seminar, taught Winter 2018)
  • GEOG 107  Introduction to Geography
  • GEOG 110  World Regions
  • GEOG 311  History and Geography of the Modern World
  • GEOG 333W  Unsettled Geographies
  • GEOG/GHPR 577 Geographic Thought