ASA 2020 Summer Update

Hello Appalachian Studies faculty & friends,

In case we haven’t had a chance to meet, I’m Jennifer Cramer, Chair of the Department of Linguistics at UK and the Program Chair of the upcoming Appalachian Studies Association (ASA) meeting here in Lexington in March 2020. Along with Kathy Newfont, Conference Chair for the meeting, and an excellent team of people from UK and elsewhere, we are well on our way to planning a fantastic gathering. ASA 2020 will take place March 12-15, 2020 in the Gatton Student Center (and other campus buildings). The theme is “Appalachian Understories: Growing Hope and Resilience from Commonwealth to Global Commons,” and we have a number of exciting events planned that will highlight stories of Black Appalachians, women, gender, and sexuality, health and healing, and hope spots. Oral history and film-making, along with literature, music, photography, and other art forms, will be among our featured “understories” exploration methods. We will also celebrate Appalshop’s 50th anniversary, revisiting the Whitesburg studio’s important documentary legacy and learning about the “understories” it continues to produce today.

If you can’t tell, we are very excited about the opportunity to showcase UK, Lexington, and most of all – you! We want to get everyone involved! How? There are a number of ways you can help. If you have students – undergrad or grad – who have potential to bring their work to the conference, please encourage them and send on any info about the call as it becomes available. You can also encourage them to volunteer to help with the conference. If you’re teaching classes that have an Appalachian focus in the spring, think about whether you can connect to the conference in some way (note: the conference is happening over UK’s Spring Break, so make sure students will have a way to stay in town). You should also think about how you can bring your work to the conference – get in touch with collaborators, activists, community contacts, etc. and put something together that highlights the wonderful work UK faculty are doing for the region. Lastly, tell everyone! If you have colleagues at UK who are not affiliated to the Appalachian Studies program but who might be interested, pass the word along to them. When we send flyers around, post them on your office door and hallways. Any help in these matters will be very helpful!

If you have questions or want to find other ways to get involved, please let me, Kathy, or Kathryn know.


Best wishes,

Jennifer Cramer 
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