Sam Cook

Sam Cook

Sam Cook

Director, American Indian Studies


644 McBryde Hall 
225 Stanger Street 
Blacksburg, VA 24061


(540) 231-9596


Department Membership



  • Indigenous Political Economies and Ecologies
  • American Indian Law and Policy
  • Indigenous Knowledge Systems,
  • Appalachian Cultures
  • Human Ecology and Sustainability

Professional Activities

  • Coordinator of American Indian Studies Program, Virginia Tech
  • External Graduate Faculty, Department of History, University of Maine
  • American Anthropological Association
  • Association of American Indian and Indigenous Anthropologists
  • Native American and Indigenous Studies Association


  • Ph.D. University of Arizona
  • M.A. University of Arizona
  • B.A. Radford University

Research Interests

    Awards and Honors

    2009 - College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences Excellence in Outreach Award, Virginia Tech

    2005 - Certificate of Excellence for Service to the Commission on Equal Opportunity and Diversity, Virginia Tech

    2003 - Mooney Award, Monacans and Miners, presented by the Southern Anthropological Society

    Selected Publications


    Cook, Samuel R.  Monacans and Miners: Native American and Coal Mining Communities in Appalachia. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2000.  329 pp.

    Book Chapters

    Cook, Samuel R. “Cycles of Ethnogenesis: (re)Birth of the Monacan Nation.” In Jeff J. Corntassel and Tom Holm, eds., The Power of Peoplehood: Contemporary Indigenous Community-Building. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, in press.


    Cook, Samuel R. “General Anthropology: Where the Lines Blur.” General Anthropology Bulletin (2014): in press.

    Cook, Samuel R., and Thomas Klatka.  “’Whose, Blood, Sweat, and Tears…’: Reclaiming African History and Collaborative Anthropology in Virginia’s New River Valley.” Practicing Anthropology 32 (4): 35-39.

    Cook, Samuel R. “’You Can’t put a Price on it’: Activist Anthropology in the Mountaintop Removal Debate.”  Collaborative Anthropologies 1: 138-162.

    Cook, Samuel R., Johns, John L. and Karenne Wood.  “The Monacan Nation Pow Wow: Symbol of Indigenous Survival and Resistance in the Tobacco Row Mountains.”   Southern Anthropologist vol. 30, no. 2 (2005): 1-19.

    Sponsored Research

    2009 - Virginia Tech, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, South Atlantic Humanities Innovation Grant for research and curriculum development on critical Indigenous theory, $500.

    2008 - Virginia Indian Pre-College and Oureach Initiative. Co-organizer and advisor, 2008-present. Participants since 2008: 83. Funded by Terry-Lynne Poemer foundation grant, $50,000 for five years.

    2004 - Virginia Foundation for the Humanities General Program Grant for the Brush Mountain Oral History Project, $6,000.

    Additional Information

    Current Projects:

    • Indigenous Natural Resource Management among Virginia Indian Nations (an applied collaboration with Monacan horticulturalists and Pamunkey watermen)
    • Understanding Anthropology within the Context of Indigenous Agency (an examination of the impact of indigenous peoples interactions within anthropology on the discipline, past and future)
    • Creating Linkages Between African Slave Descendant Communities and Cultural Sites in Southwest Virginia (an ongoing collaboration with descendant communities and archaeologist Thomas Klatka, Virginia Department of Historic Resources)