Matthew Cook

Dr. Cook's headshot on EMU's campus

Associate Professor of Cultural Geography and Historic Preservation

Geography & Geology

140X Strong Hall

(734) 487-8485

[email protected]


  • Ph.D., Geography, University of Tennessee at Knoxville, 2016
  • MS, Geography, University of Tennessee at Knoxville, 2012
  • BS, Geosciences, University of Tennessee at Martin, 2009
  • BS, Communications, University of Tennessee at Martin, 2009

Interests and Expertise

Dr. Matthew Cook (aka Dr. Matt to his students) 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 MS, also from UT Knoxville, focused on public memory of the Holocaust in Germany. He holds B.S. degrees in Geosciences and Communications from the University of Tennessee at Martin.

In 2021, Dr. Cook was awarded EMU's Ronald W. Collins Distinguished Faculty Award for Teaching I (awarded to faculty with less than five years of teaching experience).

Dr. Cook's research interests focus on geographies of memory, historical interpretation, and race relations in the United States. His current NSF-funded project (Award #2026316, The Role of Museums in the Landscape of Minority Representation) addresses how museums around the country respond to expanding geographies of racism and racial violence. Focusing specifically on African American historical and cultural narratives, the  three-year study 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 co-authored articles are:

  • Cook, M.R., C.F. Bright, P.L. Carter, and E.A. Modlin. 2022. Dead Labor: Fetishizing chattel slavery at contemporary Southern plantation tourism sites. ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies 21 (5): 520–539.
  • L. Schumann III, A.E. Potter, and M.R. Cook. 2021. “The South Got Something to Say”: Resilient Heritage Amidst Uncertain Futures. Southeastern Geographer 61 (4): 303–321. DOI: 10.1353/sgo.2021.0026


  • GHPR 335 Historic Preservation
  • GHPR 415/515 Place, Race and Ethnicity
  • GHPR 443/543 Historic Preservation and Tourism
  • GHPR 561/GEOG 531 American Cultural Landscapes
  • GHPR 695 Seminar in Geographies of Memory (Variable Title Seminar)
  • GEOG 110 World Regions
  • GEOG 112 Introduction to Travel & Tourism
  • GEOG 313 Geography of Michigan
  • GEOG 333W Unsettled Geographies
  • GEOG/GHPR 577 Geographic Thought


Dr. Cook advises students in Heritage Preservation (HP Minor and assigned HP MS students), Geography (undergrad majors/minors), and directs the Geotourism & Historic Preservation BS program.