I am an author, an artist, and Limited-Term Assistant Professor in the Department of Writing and Linguistics at Georgia Southern University. I work with nineteenth and cooke_2018.jpgtwentieth-century American literature. I am particularly interested in the history of science and medicine (especially psychoanalysis, psychiatry, and psychology), the Gothic,  disability studies, rhetoric, narrative theory, and cultural studies. My research is based on cross-disciplinary exploration as a means of illuminating reciprocal networks of influence between cultural productions and the lived realities of social actors.

My book, Moral Panics, Mental Illness Stigma, and the Deinstitutionalization Movement in American Popular Culture, Cooke FINAL copyargues that cultural fascination with the “madperson” stems from the contemporaneous increase of chronically mentally ill persons in public life due to deinstitutionalization—the mental health reform movement leading to the closure of many asylums in favor of outpatient care. The book explores almost a century of growth regarding public associations of violent crime with mental illness in public health, law, and socioeconomic disparities alongside narratives of the “psychopath” in horror, crime, and thriller fiction, film, and drama.


My teaching theories and practice are informed by the promotion of multiple intelligences in the classroom as well as the ethics of writing, critical reading, and research. My course materials and assignments are experiential in nature and so reflect my desire to synthesize different modes of teaching in such a way as to bring out each student’s particular learning style or styles. I have taught students from diverse backgrounds and students at various stages in academic development.

Currently I am writing and illustrating a Southern Gothic graphic novel.

You can read some of my poetry here.