ASA Home
About ASA
Online Community

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.

Join ASA

The ASA is headquartered at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. Mary Thomas, Executive Director, and Christopher Leadingham, Office Manager, can be reached via email at and, respectively.

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

40th ASA Annual Conference

EXTREME Appalachia!

March 9-12, 2017

Virginia Tech,
Blacksburg, Virginia

Learn more


ASA Timeline

1900-1920 Overview

Coal Industry developed, builds towns and camps, imports labor-diverse populations-union organizing-mine, disasters-coal mine wars-railroads,-massive timbering and development of national forests-early tourism-large resort hotels and mansions-settlement schools-missionaries-council of mountain workers- WWI-textile strikes in Elizabethtown, TN, Gastonia and Marion, NC (20’3 and 30’s)-prohibition and moon shining- radio and hillbilly music-beginning of chemical industry-Scopes Monkey trial

1900: Mountain Workers Conferences, Maryville College, Tennessee

1902: Hindman Settlement School Founded by Katherine Pettit and May Stone (known as the WTCU School until 1915); “Report of the Secretary of Agriculture in Relation to the Forests, Rivers, and Mountains of the Southern Appalachian Mountains” is issued by the Government Printing Office

1905: H.B. Ayres and W.W. Ashe, The Southern Appalachian Forests

1908: Russell Sage Foundation funded John C. Campbell to survey social and economic conditions of the Southern Mountains

1913: Council of Southern Mountain Workers and Southern Mountain Workers Conference organized; Pine Mountain Settlement School Founded by Katherine Pettit; Horace Kephart, Our Southern Highlands

1914: Berea College’s Mountain Collection (Weatherford-Hammond Collection since 1964) was founded

1921: John C. Campbell, The Southern Highlander and his Homeland

1925: Council of Southern Mountains Workers move office to Berea; John C. Campbell Folk School founded by Olive Dame Campbell; Mountain Life & Work commences publication

1929: Council of Southern Mountains hosts a conference of missionaries and educators calling for a “cooperative survey of the mountains”

1930 Overview

The Great Depression - New Deal, Welfare programs - CCC camps - WPA builds schools and public buildings - Smoky Mountain National Park - Tennessee Valley Authority - Government Surveys of Region - UMWA organizes coal mines - Prohibition ends - Folk Revival

1930: Southern Highland Handicraft Guild organized; Elizabeth Hooker, Religion in the Highlands

1932: Highlander Folk School founded by Miles Horton and Don West

1935: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture survey: Economic and Social Problems and Conditions of the Southern Appalachians. Helen Dingman of Berea College encouraged the project.

1935: Everett E. Edwards. References on the Mountaineers of the Southern Appalachians (USDA)

1937: Allen Eaton, Handicrafts of the Southern Highlands; Grace Leybourne, “Urban Adjustments of Migrants from the Southern Appalachian Plateaus”

1938: Morris G. Caldwell, “The Adjustments of Mountain Families in Urban Environments”

1940 Overview

World War II - migrations to north to work in defense plants - Manhattan Project - Oak Ridge - Lil Abner. Mechanization of coal - beginning of strip mining and migration to urban areas. UMWA Health and Welfare Fund - Blue Ridge Parkway - Second Home Recreation Development - Commercial Tourism

1940: Frank Smith moves from John C. Campbell Folk School to Berea and founds the Country Dancers; James Still, River of Earth

1943: Cratis Williams teaches Appalachian Ballads and Songs course at Appalachian State Teachers College

1948: Richard Chase, The Grandfather Tales

1950 Overview

Appalachian Studies for Urban Teachers, Social Service Workers by Loyal Jones and Council of Southern Mountains

1950: James Brown’s Harvard dissertation on the Beech Creek Community; Richard Drake teaches Appalachian history course at Berea College

1951: Perley F. Ayers became president of Council of Southern Mountains

1955: Wilma Dykeman, The French Broad

1954: Harriet Arnow, The Dollmaker (about urban migration); Roscoe Griffin leads the first “Workshop on the Southern Mountaineer” in Cincinnati.

1955: Wilma Dykeman, The French Broad

1956: Cratis Williams and Beulah Campbell organized workshop on Living Folk Arts of the Southern Mountain Peoples; Ford Foundation meets with President Weatherford Berea to plan a study of the Southern Appalachian Region

1957: Tom and Pat Gish buy and begin publishing The Mountain Eagle in Whitesburg, Ky.; Ford Foundation grants $250,000 to Berea College to fund an Appalachian regional survey. The survey is organized under the name of “Southern Appalachian Studies,” and W.D. Weatherford is named Director of Administration.

1959: Berea College begins summer workshop, The Urban Adjustment of Sothern Appalachian Migrants”