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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


Conference History

2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012
2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007
2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002
2001 | 2000 | 1999 | 1998 | 1997
1996 | 1995 | 1994 | 1993 | 1992
1991 | 1990 | 1989 | 1988 | 1987
1986 | 1985 | 1984 | 1983 | 1982
1981 | 1980 | 1979 | 1978 | 1977

2016 - 39th Annual Appalachian Studies Conference

“Voices from the Misty Mountains: Diversity and Unity, A New Appalachia”

March 18-20, 2016
Shepherd University, Shepherdstown, WV

ASA President: Anita Puckett
Conference Chair: Sylvia Shurbutt
Program Chair: Rachael Meads
2016 Conference Program (pdf)

2015 - 38th Annual Appalachian Studies Conference

“Many Mountains, Many Musics”

March 27-29, 2015
East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN

ASA President: Sylvia Shurbutt
Conference Chair: Chris Green
Program Chair: Amy Collins
2015 Conference Program (pdf)

2014 - 37th Annual Appalachian Studies Conference

“New Appalachia: Known Realities and Imagined Possibilities”

March 28-30, 2014
Marshall University, Huntington WV

ASA President: Chris Green
Conference Chair: Linda Spatig
Program Chair: Marianna Linz
2014 Conference Program (pdf)

2013 - 36th Annual Appalachian Studies Conference

“Communities in Action, Landscapes in Change”

March 22-24, 2013
Appalachian State University, Boone, NC

ASA President: Linda Spatig
Conference Chair: Katherine Ledford
Program Chair: Kathy Olson
2013 Conference Program (pdf)

2012 - 35th Annual Appalachian Studies Conference

“The Wide Reach of Appalachia”

March 23-25, 2012
Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, Pennsylvania

ASA President: Katherine Ledford
Conference Chair: Jim Dougherty
Program Chair: Jim Calahan
2012 Conference Program (pdf)

2011 - 34th Annual Appalachian Studies Conference

“River of Earth: Action, Scholarship, Reflection, and Renewal"

March 11-13, 2011
Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, KY

ASA President: Alan Banks
Program Chair: Anne Blakeney & Rob Weise
Over 700 in Attendance
Appalachian Volunteers Participate
Real-life “Rosie the Riveters” Participate
2011 Final Conference Program (pdf)

2010 - 33rd Annual Appalachian Studies Conference

“Engaging Communities”

March 19-21, 2010
North Georgia College & State University, Dahlonega, GA

ASA President: Alice Sampson
Program Chair: Cassie M. Robinson
2010 Conference Program (pdf)

2009 - 32nd Annual Appalachian Studies Conference

“Connecting Appalachia through Traditional and Contemporary Arts, Crafts, and Music”

March 27-29, 2009
Shawnee State University, Portsmouth, OH

ASA President: Carol Baugh
Program Chair: Deanna Tribe
2009 Conference Program (pdf)

2008 - 31st Annual Appalachian Studies Conference

“The Road Ahead: The Next Thirty Years of Appalachian Studies”

March 28-30, 2008
Marshall University, Huntington WV

ASA President: Shaunna Scott
Program Chair: Chris Green
Watch Keynote Address by Silas House
2008 Conference Program (pdf)

2007 - 30th Annual Appalachian Studies Conference

“Piecing the Appalachian Experience”

March 23-25, 2007
Maryville College, Maryville, TN

ASA President: Chad Berry
Program Chair: Kathie Shiba
2007 Conference Program (pdf)

2006 - 29th Annual Appalachian Studies Conference

“Both Ends of the Road: Making the Appalachian Connection”

March 17-19, 2006
Sinclair Community College, Dayton, OH

ASA President: Phillip Obermiller
Program Chair: Thomas Wagner
2006 Conference Program (pdf)

2005 - 28th Annual Appalachian Studies Conference

“Vital Words and Vital Actions: Partnerships to Build a Healthy Place”

March 18-20, 2005
Radford University, Radford, VA

ASA President: Melinda Wagner
Program Chair: Parks Lanier
2005 Conference Program (pdf)

2004 - 27th Annual Appalachian Studies Conference

“Building a Healthy Region: From Historical Trauma to Hope and Healing”

March 26-28, 2004
Cherokee High School, Cherokee, NC

ASA President: Thomas S. Plaut
Program Chair: Carol Boggess
2004 Conference Program (pdf)

2003 - 26th Annual Appalachian Studies Conference

“Building a Healthy Region: Environment, Culture, Community”

March 28-30, 2003
Berea College and Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, KY

ASA President: Gordon McKinney
Program Chair: Alan Banks
2003 Conference Program (pdf)

2002 - 25th Annual Appalachian Studies Conference

“Voices from the Margins — Living on the Fringe”

March 15-17, 2002
Unicoi State Park, Helen, GA

ASA President: Helen M. Lewis
Program Chair: Patricia Beaver
2002 Conference Program (pdf)

2001 - 24th Annual Appalachian Studies Conference

“Standing on the Mountain, Looking to the Future”

March 30-April 1, 2001
Snowshoe Mountain Resort, Pocahontas County, WV

ASA President: Sally Ward Maggard
Program Chair: Sandra Barney
2001 Conference Program (pdf)

2000 - 23rd Annual Appalachian Studies Conference

“Regional Stewardship for the Millennium: Integrating Cultural, Social, and Scientific Development in Appalachia”

March 24-26, 2000
University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN

ASA President: James B. Lloyd
Program Chair: Jane Woodside
2000 Conference Program (pdf)

1999 - 22nd Appalachian Studies Conference

“The Power of Place and Struggles for Justice: Appalachia at Century’s Turn”

March 19-21, 1999
Southwest Virginia Center for Higher Education, Abingdon VA

ASA President: Stephen L. Fisher
Program Chair: Tal Stanley
Keynote Speaker: Jo Carson
Papers: women; place and social justice
Music: Hazel Dickens
Over 700 in attendance
Community Groups participate
1999 Conference Program (pdf)

1998 - 21st Appalachian Studies Conference

“Building Sustainable Mountain Communities”

March 20-22, 1998
Appalachian State University, Boone NC

ASA President: Howard Dorgan
Program Chair: Susan Keefe
Keynote Speaker: Lee Smith
Performance: Ron Rash reads from “From Mountain to Mill”
Over 500 in attendance
First Silent Auction held
1998 Conference Program (pdf)

1997 - 20th Appalachian Studies Conference

“Urban Appalachia”

March 14-16, 1997
Fort Mitchell, KY

ASA President: Dwight B. Billings
Program Chair: Kate Black & Shauna Scott
Presentation: Affrilachian Poets
Music: Jean Ritchie
Co-Sponsored by Urban Appalachian Council, Cincinnati, OH
1997 Conference Program (pdf)

1996 - 19th Appalachian Studies Conference

“Appalachia at the Crossroads: Looking Outward, Looking Inward”

March 29-31, 1996
Unicoi State Park, Helen, GA

ASA President: John C. Inscoe
Program Chair: Curtis Wood
Keynote Speakers: Helen Lewis and George Reynolds, Foxfire Tour
Discussion: Deborah McCauley’s Appalachian Mountain Religion
1996 Conference Program (pdf)

1995 - 18th Appalachian Studies Conference

“City, Town, and Countryside: Appalachian Community in Change”

March 17-19, 1995
West Virginia University, Morgantown WV

ASA President: Ronald L. Lewis
Program Chair: Ken Sullivan
Keynote Speaker: Denise Giardina
Welcome: Jesse White, Appalachian Regional Commission
Papers: women’s health care; tobacco economy, visit to Arthurdale
Appalshop Film: “Beyond Measure”
Music: Carl Rutherford, Kate Long, and Melvin Wine
Last Year of Youth Conference
1995 Conference Program (pdf)

1994 - 17th Appalachian Studies Conference

“Appalachia and the Politics of Culture”

Virginia Tech, VA

ASA President: Alice Brown
Program Chair: Elizabeth Fine
Keynote Speaker: Archie Green
Discussion: The Kentucky Cycle
Talk: Congressman Rick Boucher
Papers: gender roles; the Celtic connection

1993 - 16th Appalachian Studies Conference

“Appalachian Adaptations to a Changing World”

Johnson City, TN

ASA President: Rebecca Hancock
Program Chair: Norma Myers
Keynote Speaker: Noah Adams
Paper: Howard Dorgan’s “The No-Heller Baptists”
Music: ETSU Brass Band
1st Cratis D. Williams Service Award Given

1992 - 15th Appalachian Studies Conference

“Diversities in Appalachia: Images and Realities”

Asheville, NC

ASA President: Roberta T. Herrin
Program Chair: Tyler Blethen
Keynote Speaker: David Whisnant
Paper: Sally Maggard’s “Will the Real Daisy Mae Please Stand Up”
Presentation: Jean Speer’s “From Stereotype to Regional Hype”
Performance: Jewel Ridge Theater Group
Sponsored by Western Carolina University

1991 - 14th Appalachian Studies Conference

“Environmental Voices: Cultural, Social, Physical, and Natural”

Berea College, Berea, KY

ASA President: Wilburn Hayden
Program Chair: Garry Barker
Keynote Speaker: Wilma Dykeman
Discussion: David Fischer’s Albion’s Seed
Appalshop Film
Presentation: Gurney Norman’s “Fat Monroe”
Presentation: “Don’t Let it Acid Rain on Our Appalachian Parade”
This conference was dedicated to the memory of Harry Caudill, an Appalachian author and activist from Letcher County, KY.

1990 - 13th Appalachian Studies Conference

“Southern Appalachia and the South: A Region Within a Region”

Unicoi State Park, Helen, GA

ASA President: Doyle Bickers
Program Chair: John Inscoe
Keynote Speaker: Eliot Wigginton, The Foxfire Experience
Papers: John Hennen, Sandra Ballard, Clyde McCoy, and Benita Howell
Music: The Foxfire Boys, Norman and Nancy Blake

1989 - 12th Appalachian Studies Conference

“Transformation of Life and Labor in Appalachia”

West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV

ASA President: Loyal Jones
Program Chair: Ronald Lewis
Keynote Speaker: Jim Comstock, editor of West Virginia Hillbilly (newspaper)
Paper: Kate Black’s “Roving Pickets”
Performance: Storytelling by Andrena Belcher
Film: “Powerhouse for God” by Jeff Tipton

1988 - 11th Appalachian Studies Conference

“Mountains of Experience: Interdisciplinary, Intercultural, International”

Radford University, Radford, VA

ASA President: Grace Toney Edwards
Program Chair: Parks Lanier, Jr.
Keynote Speaker: Marilou Awiakta
Presentation: Appalkids of Pulaski high School
Paper: Joan Moser’s “Appalachian Folk Medicine”
Paper: Mary Anglin’s “The Rise and Fall of Mica”
Music: Gospel Singing
1st Appalachian Studies Youth Conference

1987 - 10th Appalachian Studies Conference

“Remembrance, Reunion, and Revival: Celebrating a Decade of Appalachian Studies”

East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN

Conference Chair: Jean Haskell Speer
Program Coordinator: Parks Lanier, Jr.
Poetry Reading: Bettie Sellers, Rita Quillen, and Don Johnson
Presentation: “Old Regular Baptists” by Howard Dorgan and Marshall Family
Presentation: “Interview with Harriet Arnow” by Sandra Ballard
Music: ETSU Bluegrass Band

1986 - 9th Appalachian Studies Conference

“Contemporary Appalachia: In Search of a Usable Past”

Appalachian State University, Boone, NC

Conference Chair: Ronald D. Eller
Program Coordinator: Carl Ross
Ron Eller spoke on “The Search for Community in Appalachia”
Paper: Steve Fisher’s “The Nicaraguan Revolution”
Music: Clint Howard Band and Frank Proffitt Family
Appalachian Film and Drama Panel: Jerry Williamson, Sharon McCrumb, Jean Speer, and Gerald Wood

1985 - 8th Appalachian Studies Conference

“The Impact of Institutions in Appalachia”

Berea College, Berea, KY

Conference Chair: Richard Drake
Program Coordinator: Anne Campbell
Keynote Speaker: Loyal Jones on “A Tribute to Cratis Williams”
Paper: Mary Beth Pudup’s “Beyond the ‘Traditional’ Mountain Subculture”
Presentation: “Dick and Jane Revisited” by Bill Best and Jim Wayne Miller
Discussion: David Whisnant’s All That is Native and Fine

1984 - 7th Appalachian Studies Conference

“The Many Faces of Appalachia, Exploring a Region’s Diversity”

Unicoi State Park, Helen, GA

Conference Chair: Charlotte Ross
Program Coordinator: Sam Gray
Welcome: Lt. Governor Zell Miller
Paper: Carl Ross’s “20th Century Politics in North Georgia”
Music: Eller Brothers

1983 - 6th Appalachian Studies Conference

“Continuity and Change”

Pipestem Resort State Park, WV

Conference Chair: Jim Wayne Miller
Keynote Speaker: Don West, Appalachian South Folklife Center
Paper: John Inscoe’s “Mountain Masters”
Presentation: Grassroots Poetry Project by Gurney Norman and George Ella Lyons
Music: Jane Sapp, Etta Baker, Sparky Rucker, and Reel World String Band

1982 - 5th Appalachian Studies Conference

“Appalachian Futures: Past and Present”

Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

Conference Chair: Patricia D. Beaver
Program Coordinator: Richard M. Simon
Keynote Speaker: Sue Thrasher
Paper: Harry Caudill’s “The Burden of Liberalism”
Presentation: Citizens for the Preservation of Floyd County

1981 - 4th Appalachian Studies Conference

“Open” theme

Blue Ridge Assembly, Black Mountain, NC

Conference Chair: John Stephenson
Program Coordinator: Cliff Lovin
Reading: “Appalachian Women in Literature” read by Sidney Farr
Film: “Coal Mining Women”
Appalshop Reception announcing film history of Appalachia

1980 - 3rd Appalachian Studies Conference

“Appalachian America: Labor, Land, Urban Life, Education, and Culture”

Johnson City, TN

Conference Chair: Joan Moser
Program Coordinator: Martha McKinney
Paper: The Roles of Transnational Corporations by Myles Horton and Helen Lewis
Reading: “Sut Lovingood: Appalachian Super Star” read by Robert Higgs
More than 300 persons attend
Reception held at Down Home Picking Parlor honoring Jim Wayne Miller’s book The Mountains Have Come Closer

1979 - 2nd Appalachian Studies Conference

“Land Use”

Jackson Mill State Camp, WV

Conference Chair: Sharon Lord
Program Coordinator: Dennis Lindberg
Speaker: Gordon Ebersole on “Dams, Kilowatts, and the Corps”
Featured Study: Land Ownership
Music: Singing by Mike Kline

1978 - 1st Appalachian Studies Conference

“Where Do We Go From Here?”

Berea, KY

Conference Chair: Richard Drake
Program Coordinator: Stephen L. Fisher
Keynote Speaker: Bob Scott, Federal Co-Chairman of Appalachian Regional Commission
Speakers: John Gaventa, Archie Green, and Jim Wayne Miller on “Which Side Are We On?”

1977 - Founding Meeting of ASA Conference

Berea, KY