Sarah E. Cowie, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Sarah Cowie


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 the University of Nevada, Reno Department of Anthropology; 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 D.C., May 2016. An 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).1

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.

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)


  • Hunt Postdoctoral Fellow, Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, 2008-2009
  • Ph.D., Anthropology (archaeology and sociocultural anthropology), University of Arizona, 2008
  • M.S., Industrial Archaeology, Michigan Technological University, 1996 
  • B.A., Archaeology, Mount Holyoke College, 1994