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The Appalachian Studies Association was formed in 1977 by a group of scholars, teachers, and regional activists who believed that shared community has been and will continue to be important to those writing, researching, and teaching about Appalachia.

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The ASA is headquartered at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. Mary Thomas, Executive Director, can be reached via email at

Telephone: (304) 696-2904
Fax: (304) 696-6221
Mailing Address:
    Appalachian Studies Association
    One John Marshall Drive
    Huntington, WV 25755

41st ASA Annual Conference

Re-stitching the Seams: Appalachia Beyond Its Borders

April 5-8, 2018

Millennium Hotel,
Cincinnati, Ohio

Learn more


41st Annual Appalachian Studies Conference

Re-stitching the Seams: Appalachia Beyond Its Borders

April 5-8, 2018
Millennium Hotel, Cincinnati, Ohio

The 41st Annual Appalachian Studies Association Conference will be held outside the official borders of Appalachia for the first time in more than a decade. As we move beyond the third generation of Appalachians living in urban migrant centers, and cities within the region’s traditional boundaries continue to grow, what it means to be Appalachian is evolving to encompass these communities, as well as rural areas and small towns. We find common ground and purpose in shared geographic origins, values, and similar challenges to life and livelihood. Even as we emerge onto ever changing landscapes, our seams line up. How might we best work together, regardless of our location, to address the larger issues facing the region’s extended family and to develop the social, cultural, and economic resilience necessary for future generations to thrive?

For the first time in ASA history, a community organization, the Urban Appalachian Community Coalition (UACC) will be the stand-alone host for the conference. The coalition is an outgrowth of the groundbreaking Urban Appalachian Council, a key nucleus for urban Appalachian services, research, and advocacy. Its members believe strongly that the Appalachian spirit can be a positive and powerful force in making progress toward individual and community health, transformation, and empowerment. UACC welcomes this partnership with ASA as they continue their long collaboration with Appalachian people to improve quality of life and foster research and creative expression related to regional identities and heritage.

It is thus only fitting that the 2018 ASA gathering will have community as its focus and will highlight in particular six essential themes key to Appalachians’ future: Diversity and Inclusion, Economic Sustainability, Education, Environmental Sustainability, Health, and Migration (please see the Preliminary Call for Participation for further explanations). We hope to draw on the diverse voices and experiences of artists, youth, educators, researchers, workers and business owners, health care providers, and grass roots movers and shakers to share creative expression, important historical insights, useful data and studies, richly textured ideas, inventive plans, and workable solutions that will strengthen our connections and foster mutual support.

The conference will be held in downtown Cincinnati at the Millennium Hotel, with activities taking place at various locations within walking distance or accessed by streetcar. Downtown Cincinnati is experiencing a Renaissance with a lively cultural and entertainment scene. Conference participants will have the opportunity to explore the ever-evolving story of Appalachian peoples in the area, as well as experience world-class museums and theater, electric nightlife, thriving urban parks, and the 2018 season opener for the first professional baseball team in the U. S., the Cincinnati Reds! Check out all the larger metropolitan area has to offer at Downtown Cincinnati's entertainment page.

The Urban Appalachian Community Coalition and Cincinnati welcome the ASA!

For further information contact:
Debbie Zorn, Conference Chair,
Joy Gritton, Program Chair,
Omope Carter Daboiku, Local Arrangements Chair,

Preliminary Program

PDF (2.9M)

2018 Call for Participation

PDF (3.4M)

Proposal Submission Form

Proposals may be submitted via Marshall Digital Scholar beginning August 15 through October 16, 2017. Individuals named in accepted proposals are not automatically registered for the conference. ALL conference attendees must register and pay the conference registration fee prior to attending the conference.

2018 Conference Registration

Register by March 9, 2018, to
receive the pre-conference rate!

Conference registration is handled by
the University of Illinois Press. Please visit:
to register for the 2018 conference. You may also pay by check by completing the registration form and mailing along with payment to:

Journals Division
University of Illinois Press
1325 South Oak Street
Champaign, IL 61820

Please make checks payable to the Appalachian Studies Association. Do not email credit card orders.


The ASA provides scholarships to those unable to attend the annual conference because of financial reasons. We truly love funding people. It is part of our mission. In the past we have been able to fund most of those who have requested a scholarship. Our funds are limited so we continue to prioritize our scholarships according to those with the most need. This year, we envision the same process.

Deadline: February 23, 2018

2018 Conference Scholarship Application Form

Ride/room sharing

To coordinate with others for sharing rides and lodging for the upcoming conference, click here to visit our message board.

Exhibitors, Advertisers, and Sponsors

To exhibit, advertise, or help sponsor a break or reception please use this form. Orders should be placed by November 15, 2017.


PDF (123K)

Past Conferences

2017 – Blacksburg, Virginia
Virginia Tech
March 9-12
EXTREME Appalachia!

2016 – Shepherdstown, West Virginia
Shepherd University
March 18-20
Voices from the Misty Mountains: Diversity and Unity, a New Appalachia

2015 – Johnson City, Tennessee
East Tennessee State University
March 27-29
Many Mountains, Many Musics

2014 – Huntington, West Virginia
Marshall University
March 28-30
New Appalachia: Known Realities and Imagined Possibilities

2013 – Boone, North Carolina
Appalachian State University
March 22-24
Communities in Action, Landscapes in Change

2012 – Indiana, Pennsylvania
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
March 23-25
The Wide Reach of Appalachia

Other past conferences