Matthew Cook

Dr. Matt Cook visiting Salzburg, Austria

Assistant 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) 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. His bachelor's degrees in both Geosciences and Communications are from the University of Tennessee at Martin.

Dr. Cook's continuing research interests build on his dissertation focusing on geographies of memory, historical interpretation and race relations in the southern United States. His ongoing research project 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 in an edited volume on Dark Tourism and Pilgrimage.

  • 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. 2020. Dark tourism and pilgrimage in the museum? Considering the case of Emmett Till’s Casket. In Dark Tourism and Pilgrimage, D. Olsen and M. Korstanje, eds., 176–184. Wallingford, UK: CABI.

Take a look at Dr. Cook's Academia Profile.


  • GHPR 335 Historic Preservation
  • GHPR 415/515 Place, Race and Ethnicity
  • GHPR 438/538 Historic Preservation and Tourism
  • GHPR 446/556 Heritage Interpretation
  • GHPR 561/GEOG 531 American Cultural Landscapes
  • GHPR 695 Seminar in Geographies of Memory (Variable Title Seminar)
  • GEOG 110 World Regions
  • GEOG 311 History and Geography of the Modern World
  • GEOG 333W Unsettled Geographies
  • GEOG/GHPR 577 Geographic Thought


Dr. Matt Cook advises students in Historic Preservation (HP Minor and assigned HP MS students) and directs the Geotourism & Historic Preservation BS program.