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Amy Cooter - Vanderbilt University. Nashville, TN, US

Amy Cooter Amy Cooter

Senior Lecturer | Vanderbilt University


Expert on various topics related to right-wing groups, extremist violence, neo-Nazi nationalism and militias.

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Amy Cooter is a senior lecturer in sociology at Vanderbilt University with research interests pertaining to Race & Ethnicity, Masculinity, Nationalism, and Crime & Deviance.

She is a recognized expert on US domestic militias and related nostalgic groups that are commonly grouped under the terms "right-wing" or "patriot groups," and has been studying them for more than a decade. Unlike the vast majority of nostalgic group researchers, she does not rely solely on online materials or media reports of these groups, but rather observes group members in ethnography and asks them directly about their motives and perceptions through interviews and surveys. She considers public sociology to be an important part of her job, and in addition to consultations with journalists and other academics around the globe, she has also served as an expert consultant on a federal hate crime trial (United States of America vs. Curtis Wayne Allen, Patrick Eugene Stein & Gavin Wayne Wright; Case Number 16-M-6151-GEB).

Areas of Expertise (10)


Domestic Militias

Nostalgic Groups

Patriot Groups


Nationalism and Identity Politics

White Nationalism

Right-Wing Groups


Race & Ethnicity

Education (2)

Vanderbilt University: B.A., Sociology and Psychology 2005

University of Michigan: Ph.D., Sociology 2013

• Dissertation: "Americanness, Masculinity, and Whiteness: How Michigan Militia Men Navigate Evolving Social Norms" • Committee: Genevieve Zubrzycki (chair), Alford Young, Kiyoteru Tsutsui, Matthew Countryman • Research supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program 2007-2010

Selected Media Appearances (2)

Capitol riots: Are US militia groups becoming more active?

BBC  online


Amy quoted by BBC on domestic militia groups.

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Mix of extremists who stormed Capitol isn’t retreating

Associated Press  online


Amy quoted on groups active at the January 6th insurrection.

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