About Matthew Cook

Matthew Cook, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Historic Preservation and Cultural Geography at Eastern Michigan University as of Fall 2016. As of Winter 2019, I am also starting a Second Bachelor’s program in Music, studying voice at EMU (technically, my third bachelors degree—I might, ahem, have an addiction…)

I earned my Ph.D. (2016) and M.S. (2012) in Geography from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. I am a broadly trained cultural and historical geographer interested in race, social and spatial justice, public/critical pedagogy, popular culture, with regional interests in the United States (particularly the South), Europe, and Oceania. My ongoing research focuses on memory and race in the southern U.S., particularly on counter narratives that challenge normative understandings and perceptions of slavery in the American South, and my previous research has focused on urban change in Berlin, Germany (undergraduate thesis); the Stolpersteine Project in Germany and public memory of the Holocaust (master’s thesis);  and critical historical geographies of slavery in the American South (dissertation). My current research interests build on my dissertation focusing on geographies of memory, historical interpretation and race relations in the southern U.S. I will be expanding this research to other areas including southern Michigan.

Doubling as personal website and blog, this website primarily serves as both a central gathering listing point for professional accomplishments, research, and personal interests, particularly my thoughts on geography, photography, and life in general.

Personal Notes

  • In addition to my academic interests, I am also an avid, semi-professional (semi-trained, semi-occasionally paid!) singer. I discovered my passion for choral music during my undergrad at UT Martin, where I sang with the University Singers and the New Pacer Singers under the direction of Dr. Mark Simmons, including several choir tours across the United States.
  • In Knoxville while in grad school, I sang tenor and counter-tenor with the Knoxville Choral Society, Knoxville Chamber Chorale, and the Church Street United Methodist Parish Adult Choir from 2010 to 2016, and from 2012 with Orison, a Knoxville-based men’s chanting schola.
  • I currently sing with the Detroit Concert Choir, EMU Choir, and at Mariner’s Church in downtown Detroit.
  • In my spare time (of which there is very little!), I like to hang out with my wife, Karen, and pursue my passions of singing, photography, and reading. I am also a diehard fan of the St. Louis Cardinals and German International Fütbol (Soccer).

Geographic Musings