40th Annual Appalachian Studies Conference
March 9-12, 2017
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 Papers and posters should feature original unpublished work in progress.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 is October 1, 2016, with the preliminary program announced in December 2016.
- Keynote by Dr. James Hansen, director, Program on Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions, Columbia Univ.
- Dori Freeman, southwest Virginia singer/songwriter inspired by bluegrass, rhythm & blues, and old country
- 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, firstname.lastname@example.org, (540) 231-9526
Program Chair: Emily Satterwhite, email@example.com, (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.