Matthew A. Cook

Matthew A. Cook

Professor of Postcolonial and South Asian Studies

-- North Carolina Central University
HWL Affiliation: Visiting Faculty Fellow
Year Visiting: 2012 to 2013

Matthew Cook's proposal merges anthropology with history to examine the linguistic codification of South Asian writing systems by the British colonial state.  Focusing on the 1856 British declaration that an Arabic-style script would be the writing system for the Sindhi language in what is now southern Pakistan, he will explore questions of how language underwrote imperial dominance in what is today a key world region.  The outcome of the project will be a series of VoiceThread and visually enhanced podcast presentations for an interdisciplinary capstone course in South Asian Studies at North Carolina Central University.  The theme of the course is language, culture, and power.  The digital presentations created during his fellowship will serve as templates for future case studies of other South Asian writing systems.

In addition, he will collaborate with Duke faculty, including Sumathi Ramaswamy and Rich Freeman, to develop a virtual reality historical atlas of South Asia. 

Professor Cook will be based in the Center for South Asian Studies in the John Hope Franklin Center for Interdisciplinary Studies.

Professor Cook earned both Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Philosophy degrees in Anthropology at Columbia University, Master of Arts in Asian Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, and Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and South Asian Studies at the University of California Santa Cruz.  He joined the faculty of North Carolina Central University in 2008 and has extensive teaching experience at other universities, including Duke.


"Humanities at Large" Visiting Faculty Fellows Conference March 23-24, 2017
Visiting Faculty Fellow


Past HWL Fellows Continue Their Crosstown Collaboration
Past HWL Fellows Continue Their Crosstown Collaboration
-- Sep 7 2016
Two past HWL Visiting Faculty Fellows were instrumental in the recent launch of a new Franklin Humanities Institute program, the North Carolina Central University-Duke University Digital Humanities... Read More


Humanities Writ Large word cloud
Writing and the Inscription of Power in South Asia
-- Apr 5 2013 - 3:30pm
Visiting Faculty Fellow Matthew Cook and Duke professor Rich Freeman are convening a workshop to explore questions of how writing literally under-wrote projects of cultural dominance and resistance... Read More