Sarah E. Cowie

Cowie Profile

Associate Professor, Anthropology
Ansari Business, Room 507
(775) 682-7524

Office Hours Fall 2019: Wednesdays 9:30-11:30 AM or by appointment


  • 2008-2009  Hunt Postdoctoral Fellow, Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research.
  • 2008  PhD Anthropology (archaeology and sociocultural anthropology), University of Arizona.
  • 1996  MS Industrial Archaeology, Michigan Technological University.
  • 1994  BA Archaeology, Mount Holyoke College.

Specializations and Research Interests

Historical archaeology of the American West and Southeast, social theory, power relations, structure and agency, identity, landscapes, archaeology of working communities, industrial archaeology, indigenous historical archaeology, cultural heritage, cultural resource management (CRM), decolonizing methods and collaborative archaeology.

Ongoing Research

  • Collaborative archaeology and archaeology of institutional life at Stewart Indian School, Nevada.
  • Developing recommendations for improved tribal-federal relations regarding heritage consultation.
  • Definitions of cultural heritage; tangible and intangible heritage.
  • Culture contact, persistence, communities of practice; Creek farmsteads in Georgia.
  • Archaeology of St. Mary's Hospital, Nevada: Bodily Discipline and the Politics of Health.
  • Archaeology of Environmental Injustice.


  • ANTH 202 Archaeology
  • ANTH 442a/642a Historical Archaeology
  • ANTH 442b/642b Industrial Archaeology
  • ANTH 448/646 Archaeology Field School
  • ANTH 705 Graduate Seminar in Archaeology and Prehistory
  • ANTH 706 Seminar in Anthropological Problems: Archaeology of Power
  • ANTH 706 Seminar in Anthropological Problems: Historical Archaeology

Selected External Grants and Awards

  • 2019   Mark E. Mack Community Engagement Award from the Society for Historical Archaeology. Awarded to the Collaborative Archaeology at Stewart Indian School project. The team includes participants from UNR Anthropology Department, Nevada Indian Commission, Washoe Tribal Historic Preservation Office, and several Native tribes and communities in the Great Basin.
  • 2016  Kavli Frontiers of Science Fellow, National Academy of Sciences.
  • 2016  Inductee, Academy of Sciences and Arts, Michigan Technological University.
  • 2016    Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). Conferred at ceremonies in Washington DC, May 2016 (see White House blog).  Associated grant from DoD Army Research Office: Governmentality and Social Capital in Tribal/Federal Relations Regarding Heritage Consultation.
  • 2013    Society for Historical Archaeology's John L. Cotter Award, an early career award presented "for her research on power dynamics in a broad range of historical contexts, which has expanded the interdisciplinary reach and influence of historical archaeology."  Conferred at the SHA's annual meeting (Leicester, England, January 11, 2013).
  • 2012    Army Research Office's Young Investigator Program. Governmentality and Social Capital in Tribal/Federal Relations Regarding Heritage Consultation.
  • 2012 Historic Preservation Fund, National Park Service. Early Virginia City: Archaeology of Religion, Institution, and Industry.
  • 2011 Survey of Early Sites Associated with Virginia City, Nevada (Comstock Archaeology). Nevada State Historic Preservation Office. Sarah Cowie (Principle Investigator) and Steven Holm (Field Director).
  • 2011 Proposal development grant, Army Research Office. To support a Study of Tribal-Federal Relations Regarding Heritage Management, in Preparation for YIP Proposal Development.
  • 2009 Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship, Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. Eight-month fellowship to support writing of a book manuscript.
  • 2003 Dissertation Research Award. Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. To support research and writing on Fayette, Michigan.

Peer-Reviewed Publications


Cowie, Sarah E., Diane L.Teeman, and Christopher C. LeBlanc, Editors.
    (In Press)   Collaborative Archaeology at the Stewart Indian School. University of Nevada Press.

Cowie, Sarah E.
     2011 The Plurality of Power: An Archaeology of Industrial Capitalism. New York: Springer.


  • Cowie, Sarah E.   (In preparation). Archaeology of Environmental Injustice.
  • Cowie, Sarah E., and Lisa Machado (Revising to resubmit to Historical Archaeology). Bodily Discipline and Healthcare in a Mining Boomtown: Archaeology of St. Mary's Hospital in Virginia City, Nevada.
  • Springer, Ian, and Sarah E. Cowie  (In preparation).  Geochemical Analysis of Landscapes in Historical Archaeology.
  • Cowie, Sarah E.  (2015).   Bridging Social Anthropology and Industrial Archaeology at a Georgia Grist Mill.  North American Archaeologist 36(1):33-57.
  • Cowie, Sarah E.  (2015).   Farmstead and Universe: Early Nineteenth-Century Built Environment at the Ochillee Creek Site on Fort Benning, Georgia.  Journal of Alabama Archaeology, [2012] 59(1&2):21-38.
  • Cowie, Sarah E. and Lisa Machado (2013). History, Technological Innovation, and Potential for Industrial Archaeology at the Old Savage Mine Site, Virginia City, Nevada.  Nevada Archaeologist 26:1-15.
  • Cowie, Sarah E., Christopher C. LeBlanc, Mary M. Farrell, and Nicholas C. Laluk  (2008). Multivocality in the Forest: A New Approach to Tribal Relations on the Coronado National Forest, Arizona. Arizona Anthropologist 19:1-16.
  • Faulker, Charles T., Sarah E. Cowie, Patrick E. Martin, C. Shane Mayes, and Sharon Patton (2000). Archaeological Evidence of Parasitic Infection from the 19th Century Company Town of Fayette, Michigan. Journal of Parasitology 86(4):846-849.

Selected Technical Reports and Monographs

  • 2005 (Sarah E. Cowie, Laura S. Bergstresser, Nancy E. Pearson, and Susan J. Wells) Guidelines for Archeological Recording and Evaluation of Abandoned Mining Properties. Publications in Anthropology 89. Western Archeological and Conservation Center, National Park Service, Tucson, Arizona. 240 pp.
  • 2001 Early Nineteenth Century Evidence of the Creek Square Ground Plan: Phase II Archaeological Testing and Limited Phase III Data Recovery of the Ochillee Creek Site. Southern Research, Columbus, Georgia. 135 pp. + appendices.
  • 2000 Early Settlement and Industry in Georgia and Alabama: Phase II Testing at Five Historic Sites on Fort Benning, Georgia. Southern Research, Columbus, Georgia. 179 pp. + appendices.
  • 2000 (Sarah E. Cowie, Rita Folse Elliott, and Debra J. Wells) A Reconnaissance Survey of Selected Historic House Sites in the Lower Valley, Ida Cason Callaway Foundation, Inc., Pine Mountain, Georgia. Southern Research, Columbus, Georgia. 113 pp. + appendices.
  • 1999 (Sarah E. Cowie, Rita Folse Elliott and George Price) An Archaeological Survey of the Augusta Canal Headgates Area, Columbia County, Georgia. Southern Research, Columbus, Georgia. 61 pp. + appendices.
  • 1999 (Sarah E. Cowie Rita Folse Elliott, and George Price) Archaeological Survey and Testing of the Bartram Trail Tract, Columbia County, Georgia. Southern Research, Columbus, Georgia. 104 pp. + appendices.
  • 1999 An Archaeological Survey for the Proposed Oxbow Marina, Muscogee County, Georgia. Southern Research, Columbus, Georgia. 49 pp. + appendices.
  • 1998 Archaeological Data Recovery of Sites 9Ck1043 and 9Ck1045, Proposed S.R. Reinhardt College Parkway Expansion, Cherokee County, Georgia. Southern Research, Columbus, Georgia. 63pp. 

Professional Memberships

  • American Anthropological Association (AAA)
  • Society for American Archaeology (SAA)
  • Society for Historical Archaeology (SHA)
  • Society for Industrial Archeology (SIA)
  • Nevada State Board of Museums and History
  • Editorial Board Member for the International Journal of Historical Archaeology (IJHA)