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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


40th Annual Appalachian Studies Conference

EXTREME Appalachia!

March 9-12
Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia

“Extreme Appalachia” is the theme for the 40th annual Appalachian Studies Conference. By "extreme" we mean the impassioned commitments people have to the region, the land, and Appalachian communities, ways of life, and livelihoods. We mean the ways extreme economics—excessive resource extraction and use, underfunding of public education and services, and dismal job opportunities—have sparked community resilience and activism that advance a sustainable future for the region. “Extreme Appalachia” also references exploitative pop culture products like reality television programming—as well as the countering power of the region’s visual, performance, and literary arts to nurture, provoke, and inspire. In the face of extremity, regionalist scholarship continues to augment ongoing struggles for racial, social, economic, and environmental justice.

The 2017 Program Committee invites proposals for panels, papers, posters, roundtables, performances, workshops, or organizing sessions. Papers and posters should feature original unpublished work in progress. The full call for participation with details for online submission will go out August 15. Scholarships are available. Deadline for proposals has been extended to October 14, 2016, at 11:59 p.m., with the preliminary program announced in December 2016.

Conference highlights

  • Keynote by Dr. James Hansen, director, Program on Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions, Columbia Univ.
  • Pre-conference grassroots activism training and intergenerational organizing workshop by Virginia Organizing
  • “Extreme Appalachia! Rage and Renewal” plenary designed by Barbara Ellen Smith and Steve Fisher

Virginia Tech - For the first time since 1994, the conference will be held on the Blacksburg campus of Virginia Tech. Blacksburg is located in the Ridge and Valley province of Appalachia, close to the Appalachian Trail, and 40 miles from the Blue Ridge escarpment and Roanoke, Virginia. Within easy day trips are the bituminous coalfields of southern West Virginia and far southwest Virginia, the Blue Ridge Parkway, Natural Bridge, the New River Gorge, and Mountain Lake nature preserve. Virginia Tech was created as Virginia’s land grant college in 1872. In the 1970s and 1980s it became a co-ed university supporting regional activism alongside Blacksburg local B. Lloyd, director of the Appalachian Peoples’ Service Organization. Jean Haskell and Betty Fine founded the Appalachian Studies minor at VT in 1985, and nearly all units on campus engage in regional research.

Solitude, home of Appalachian Studies @ VT

For further information:

Conference Chair: Anita Puckett,, (540) 231-9526

Program Chair: Emily Satterwhite,, (540) 231-8779

Local Arrangements Chair: Serena Frost

Community Liaison: Andy Morikawa

Program Committee: Beth Bingman, Theresa Burriss, Susan Clark, Joy Gritton, Tony Harkins, Karen Hudson, Bob Hutton, Jennifer Herald Koster, Doug Reichert Powell, and Barbara Ellen Smith

The mission of the Appalachian Studies Association is to promote and engage dialogue, research, scholarship, education, creative expression, and action among a diverse and inclusive group of scholars, educators, practitioners, grassroots activists, students, individuals, groups and institutions. Our mission is driven by our commitment to foster quality of life, democratic participation and appreciation of Appalachian experiences regionally, nationally and internationally.

2017 Conference Plenary - Extreme Appalachia: Rage and Renewal

Part 1:

Part 2:

Schedule of Sessions

The schedule of sessions is now available for the upcoming 2017 conference in Blacksburg, Virginia, March 9 – 12,2017.

All conference presenters and attendees must register and pay the conference registration fee.

PDF (1.1 M, updated 2/28/17)

Preliminary Program

The preliminary program is now available for the upcoming 2017 conference in Blacksburg, Virginia, March 9-12, 2017. The schedule of sessions will be posted to this page soon. We will send a notification by email once it is available.

All conference presenters and attendees must register and pay the conference registration fee.

If links in the preliminary program do not work, please copy and paste into your browser. Make sure that you copy all parts of the website address as some spill over into the next line.

PDF (17.8 M)

EXTREME Appalachia!

40th Annual Appalachian Studies Conference

Public Events (PDF, 2.8 M)

2017 Call for Participation

PDF (266K)

Proposal Submission Form

Proposals may be submitted via Marshall Digital Scholar beginning August 22 through October 14, 2016. 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.


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 9, 2017

2017 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.

2017 Conference Registration

Register by February 23, 2017, to receive the pre-conference rate!

Conference registration is handled by the University of Illinois Press. Please visit: to register for the 2017 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.

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, 2016.


A small number of "homestays" for seniors on fixed incomes is available at no charge. Please contact Anita Puckett,, for details and application. Please see the ASA website for accommodation updates.

Ask for the ASA rate for the following listings:

The Inn at Virginia Tech:
Rate $100/single, $120/double | (540) 231-8000
901 Prices Fork Rd, Blacksburg, VA | Located adjacent to campus, one mile from conference site.

Main Street Inn:
Rate $96/double, $5 parking | (540) 552-6246
205 S Main St, Blacksburg, VA | Located one block from campus, 1/2 mile from conference site.

Hilton Garden Inn:
Rate $109 | (540) 552-5005
900 Plantation Rd, Blacksburg, VA | Located 2 miles from campus.

Holiday Inn Express - Blacksburg:
Rate $115 | (540) 552-5636
1020 Plantation Rd, Blacksburg, VA | Located 2 miles from campus.

Holiday Inn Express - Christiansburg:
Rate $109 | (540) 382-6500
2725 Roanoke St, Christiansburg, VA | Located 12 miles from campus.

Beliveau Estate Winery/Bed and Breakfast:
Rate $199 | (540) 961-2102
5415 Gallion Ridge Rd, Blacksburg, VA | Located 12.5 miles from campus.

Nesselrod on the New River Bed and Breakfast:
Rate $105 | (540) 731-4970
7535 Lee Hwy, Radford, VA | Located 13.5 miles from campus.

The following listings do not have secured ASA rates:

Clay Corner Inn:
Rates $159 and up | (540) 552-4030
400 Harrell Street, Blacksburg, VA | Located one block from campus, .4 miles from conference site.

Mountain Lake Lodge:
Rate $129 | (800) 346-3334
115 Hotel Circle, Pembroke, VA | Located 17 miles from campus. For information about cabins, see

For reservations at other nearby hotels see

Information about housing and childcare options is provided for your convenience by the Appalachian Studies Association (ASA). ASA neither endorses or recommends any of these options. Members are solely responsible for making all housing and/or childcare arrangements and for determining which service/facility to use.

Past Conferences

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