Southern Appalachian Culture Series (deadline: Aug 1, 2010; conference: October 1 & 2, 2010)

full name / name of organization: 
Southern Appalachian Culture Series / Ron Rash Festival
contact email: 

Southern Appalachian Culture Series
Call for Papers

Gardner-Webb University is accepting presentation submissions for its inaugural symposium of the Southern Appalachian Culture Series, to be held October 1-2, 2010. This inaugural symposium will feature presentations on the work of Appalachian poet and novelist Ron Rash, although we also invite and encourage other papers that deal with any aspect of Southern Appalachian culture, literature, or tradition. In addition to a special panel of prominent Appalachian writers, the symposium will offer concurrent sessions of presentations by writers and scholars, including graduate and undergraduate students. The symposium will also host Ron Rash for an interview and evening reading. Finally, Gardner-Webb's campus will showcase Appalachian music, crafts, and food.

Possible presentations on Southern Appalachia include, but are not limited to, the following topics:

literature of Southern Appalachia
historical or travel writing
nature and the environment in Southern Appalachian literature
mass-media portrayals, stereotyping, and mythologizing
Piedmont mill culture
the effects of outmigration
National Parks in Southern Appalachia
Cherokee culture and language
roles of gender, class, and race in Southern Appalachia

Email 250-word abstracts for presentation topics to Dr. Matt Theado at Please include all contact information and a brief biographical sketch. Attach abstracts as Word or Rich Text Format and write "SoApp Presentation Submission" in the subject heading. Upon acceptance, all presenters must register online at the Southern Appalachian Culture Series website: Deadline for applications: August 1, 2010. Earlier applications are appreciated. Early registration discounts are available, as is information about hotel and transportation availability.

Ron Rash currently holds the John Parris Chair in Appalachian Studies at Western Carolina University. His family has deep roots in the Southern Appalachian Mountains, and most of his writing reflects his connection to the region. Rash grew up in Boiling Springs, North Carolina, home to Gardner-Webb University, and earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Gardner-Webb and Clemson universities, respectively. Rash is the author of three books of poetry: Eureka Mill (1998), Among the Believers (2000), and Raising the Dead (2002); four books of short stories: The Night The New Jesus Fell to Earth (1994), Casualties (2000), Chemistry (2007), and Burning Bright (2010); and four novels: One Foot in Eden (2002), Saints at the River (2004), The World Made Straight (2006), and Serena (2008). His poetry and fiction have appeared in dozens of journals, magazines, and anthologies, including The Longman Anthology of Southern Literature, Sewanee Review, Georgia Review, Kenyon Review, Southern Review, Shenandoah, and Poetry. Rash has been honored with many awards, including an NEA Poetry Fellowship, the Sherwood Anderson Prize, an O. Henry Award, and received the James Still Award by the Fellowship of Southern Writers. Two of his latest books, Serena and Chemistry, were both finalists for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction.