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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


36th Annual Appalachian Studies Conference

Communities in Action, Landscapes in Change

March 22-24, 2013
Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina


We invite participation in the 36th annual Appalachian Studies Conference organized by the Appalachian Studies Association. This year’s theme is “Communities in Action, Landscapes in Change.” We encourage innovative proposals that explore all types of communities across the Appalachian region—historical, contemporary, and imagined ones—and the landscapes and environmental spaces that impact, and are impacted by, those communities.

Formats might include:
*  individual scholarly research papers and sessions
*  formed sessions
*  poster sessions presenting scholarly research OR documenting community work
*  panels and community presentations
*  performance or sharing of films, documentaries, videos, poetry, music, plays, art, and writing
*  roundtable conversations on contemporary issues, e.g. activism in the region, professional development, or a newcomer’s orientation to Appalachian studies 

All presenters must register for the conference and pay the registration fee of $155 ($105 for students), which also covers membership in the Appalachian Studies Association for one year and a one-year subscription to the Journal of Appalachian Studies.

Information about the Appalachian Studies Association may be found at: Directions to Boone and information about conference lodging, special speakers, and events will be available in August in an expanded call for participation. This preliminary CFP is for planning purposes.

IMPORTANT: Updated information for ASA 2013 conference participants

With the ASA conference approaching, we need to send you some updated information and a few announcements and reminders. Please read through this information carefully and let us know if you have any questions. If you proposed a group presentation, please share this e-mail with the members of your group.

When you arrive on campus, please proceed to the registration desk in Plemmons Student Union (signs will direct you from the Rivers Street Parking Deck). At registration you will receive a final conference program and addendum (there are many changes from the preliminary program) along with a name tag. Please wear your name tag throughout the conference. Your meal purchases are noted on the back of your name tag and you will need to present your name tag to be admitted into the dining hall. Information about the following is below:

We are excited to welcome all of you to Boone and Appalachian State University next week. Keep an eye on the weather and pack for possible changing conditions. March in our part of the mountains can be unpredictable.


Before 5:00 PM on Friday, conference attendees must park in the Rivers Street Parking Deck. After 5:00 PM on Friday and throughout the rest of the weekend, conference attendees may park in spaces in faculty/staff and student lots and the Rivers Street Parking Deck and the Belk Library Parking Deck that are not reserved with a permit number sign or otherwise restricted (Residence Hall Director, for example).

Conference attendees who exit the Rivers Street Parking Deck before 10pm on Friday will need to tell the parking attendant that they are participating in the ASA conference or they will be charged a parking fee. If the Rivers Street Parking Deck fills on Friday afternoon before 5pm, an ASA parking volunteer will direct conference attendees to additional parking.

Driving directions to the Rivers Street Parking Deck are available in the preliminary conference program found at

TECHNOLOGY (please read)

If you plan on showing a Power Point or accessing the internet during your presentation, please bring your own computer or device (tablet, notebook, etc.) to your session. It is highly recommended that presenters pre-load their presentations on their device or save it on a flash drive in case campus experiences problems with its network or wireless connections limiting down. Many rooms in Plemmons Student Union have built-in computers, but not all. If a built-in computer is present in your room, you are welcome to use it. You do not need a password to access a built-in computer. All presentation rooms are equipped with LCD projectors. Apple users (MacBooks, iPads, iPhones, etc.) should bring their own adapter to connect their device to the LCD projector. Wireless clickers for advancing slides are not available.

Conference attendees from off campus may access a free wireless network for university guests called “ASU-visitor.” To use the network, visitors will need to provide a valid e-mail address when prompted. Public access computers are available in Belk Library and Information Commons next door to the Plemmons Student Union. Cards may be purchased and money loaded onto them in dollar increments to allow visitors to print from those community access computers or to use the copier to make copies.

A/V Technicians will be available throughout the conference to help presenters. If you have special technology needs or questions before you arrive on campus, please contact Daniel Lightfoot, Plemmons Student Union Audio/Visual Services Manager, at or 828-262-8085.

at 4:30 on Friday

Please arrive on campus in time to attend the welcome reception and awards ceremony at 4:30 on Friday. For several years the awards ceremony has been a part of the banquet. We are trying something different this year to allow more time during the evening for awards recipients to be congratulated by their colleagues.


Our 2013 banquet is a bit different, too. Instead of including a program with speakers, the banquet will be a time for attendees to visit. It begins at 6:00 PM. The banquet, lunch, and brunch will take place in the Central Dining Hall across Sanford Mall from Plemmons Student Union.

KEYNOTE ADDRESS (change of location)

The venue for William Ferris's keynote address has changed from what was published in the preliminary program. We will gather in the Parkway Ballroom on the fourth floor of the new wing of Plemmons Student Union.The keynote address is free and open to the public, but all other conference activities are restricted to registered participants.


Posters will be available for viewing by conference attendees on Saturday only. Poster presenters may set up their posters beginning at 8:00 AM on Saturday and must remove them by 6:30 PM Saturday in the first floor hallway outside the Exhibit Hall and Silent Auction. Easels (with boards and binder clips, if required) will be available in the hallway for displaying posters. Poster presenters will be at the Poster Exhibit on Saturday from 2:00-3:15 PM (session 7.15) to discuss their projects.


If you are interested in sharing a ride to Boone or a hotel room once you arrive, please consult the ASA community board at


Presenters are encouraged to submit papers to the Journal of Appalachian Studies. Directions for submission are in the final conference program.


Scholarship recipients should go to the conference registration desk to sign in and receive a conference packet.


All presenters and participants must register and pay the conference registration fee. On-site registration is $155. Student on-site registration is $105. The keynote address is free and open to the public, but all other conference activities are restricted to registered participants.

Preliminary Program (Updated)

IMPORTANT: Updated information for 2013 conference participants

Print Call For Participation (Updated)
(PDF 450K)

Register for 2013 Conference

Pre-registration is now closed. You may register on-site at the registration table beginning at 9 a.m. on Friday, March 22nd. We look forward to seeing you at the conference!

Additionally, meal reservations are no longer available. There will be a limited number of tickets to sell on-site, so please check in at the registration desk early at the conference for available meals.

2013 Scholarship Application
Important Info

(NEW) Carpool and Lodging

Click here for a public message board created to help conference attendees coordinate trip planning (ride sharing, room sharing, and other arrangements).
No sign up is required.

in Boone & Blowing Rock

Call for Award Nominations (PDF)

Exhibitor/Advertiser/Sponsor Letter of Invitation (PDF)

Exhibitor/Advertiser/Sponsor Form (PDF)

Keynote Speaker William R. Ferris
William Ferris

Keynote Title: "The Changing Landscape of Regional Studies: Appalachia and the American South"

Abstract: Based on his experience as Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities from 1997-2001, Professor Ferris will reflect on how the NEH has supported Appalachian studies and regional studies in general. He will also discuss the relationship of Appalachia to the American South and the importance of its literature and music.


Katherine Ledford
Conference Chair and Immediate Past President
(828) 262-4087

Kathy Olson
Program Chair
(828) 898-8932

Sonya Long
Local Arrangements Chair
(828) 262-7660

Proposals must be e-mailed to: no later than October 12, 2012, with no exceptions.  Submit your proposal (approx. 250 words) within the text of your email AND as a single-spaced Word attachment.

Please use the following e-mail subject line format: [individual or group]proposal on [subject area]:[topic].

For example, “individual proposal on literature: Ron Rash’s female characters.” Inquiries only should be sent to Katherine Ledford or Kathy Olson at their university e-mail addresses listed above. Proposals should be sent to

Late, incomplete, mailed, or faxed submissions cannot be accepted. Submitting a proposal does not guarantee presentation at the conference. Applicants will be notified by November 9, 2012 of the program committee’s decision.  

The following information is required in your proposal:

  1. Proposal category: Individual paper/presentation OR group session.
  2. Type of Presentation: Paper, Poster/Exhibit, Panel/Roundtable, Film, Reading, or Workshop.
  3. Subject: Selected from list above. Choose one subject only, please.
  4. Contact information: Name(s), email address(es), and affiliation(s), if any, of ALL  participants and a 1-2-sentence biographical sketch of each participant.
  5. Title of your individual paper/presentation OR session. Individual papers/presentations will be limited to fifteen minutes. If you are proposing a session, include the title of each paper/presentation in the session.
  6. Abstract: A single-spaced abstract of 250 words describing your individual paper/presentation or session in the body of your e-mail AND attached as a Word file.  For a session, please submit an abstract from each presenter after the abstract describing the whole session.
  7. Media: Equipment needs.
  8. Volunteering to convene: Would you be willing to serve as the convener for a session other than your own? Duties include beginning and ending the session on time, ensuring equal time for each presenter, and preserving time for questions and comments.

Please choose ONE of these subjects when creating the subject line for your proposal:

  • Environment/Ecology
  • Natural Sciences
  • Social Sciences
  • Education
  • Health/Medical
  • Literature
  • History
  • Religion
  • Music
  • Communities
  • Identity/Diversity
  • Women and Gender Studies
  • Folklore/Folkways
  • Foodways
  • Visual Art/Craft
  • Tourism/Development
  • Economic Development/Poverty
  • Politics/Government
  • Labor/Organizing
  • Coal/Natural Gas
  • Urban Appalachians/Out-Migration
  • Performance [use for a reading or screening]

Past Conferences

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

2011 – Richmond, Kentucky
Eastern Kentucky University
March 11-13
River of Earth: Action, Scholarship, Reflection, and Renewal

Other past conferences

Past conference award winner