Unpacking and Unpacking ASA

It’s been a while since my last post but not without reasons For starters, another wrestling season in the the books. The team had a pretty good run this year and I couldn’t be prouder. In other news, I finally closed on a house. Signed the papers on March 3rd (Friday), moved in over the next two days. Then, the next weekend, I went to the annual Appalachian Studies Conference. So needless to say, I’ve been busy and I still haven’t unpacked everything…it’s a process. Nor have I had the opportunity to unpack the various sessions and highlights of this year’s conference; post forthcoming. Now that I seem to have gotten over this hill of a busy schedule, I plan on updating the blog on a more frequent basis. Starting with a follow up post about this year’s ASA Conference. Until then, enjoy this piece from the legendary and recently deceased Chuck Berry.


40th Annual Appalachian Studies Association Conference

The count down has begun. In almost two months I will be presenting at the 40th Annual Appalachian Studies Association Conference. This is one of my favorite academic conferences so needless to say, I am excited to be able to attend and present. This year’s conference will be held at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA. I’m hoping to get there a day early in order to enjoy some sights and sounds. My presentation is scheduled for Friday, the first day of the conference. Details are blow. Continue reading “40th Annual Appalachian Studies Association Conference”

Tonight: The Mine Wars

Go inside the coal miners’ bitter battle for dignity at the dawn of the 20th century with The Mine Wars. The struggle over the material that fueled America led to the largest armed insurrection since the Civil War and turned parts of West Virginia into a bloody war zone. 


Tonight, on PBS (check your local listings). As an Appalachian enthusiast, who is currently teaching a class on Appalachian identity and stereotypes, I am beyond thrilled about this documentary.

Check out a brief video here.

39th Annual Appalachian Studies Association Conference

I recently learned that my proposal to the 2016 Appalachian Studies Association Conference has been accepted. I have presented at this conference a few times over the past couple of years and it is a thrill every time. I have had the opportunity to read papers in front of academics in the field and to have prominent historians, such as Dr. John Inscoe, critique my papers. Each time I have presented at this conference I learned and evolved as a young scholar looking to finish his masters degree. This year, I amm going to the conference with a paper more personal in nature. I recently began “modernizing” the history of my hometown and county. Specifically, I am looking at antebellum Catoosa County and its relationship with slavery. Here is the proposal I submitted.  Continue reading “39th Annual Appalachian Studies Association Conference”

Slavery and Interstate Commerce in Appalachia

As mentioned before, I am undertaking a new project that involves the study of slavery in Catoosa County. In order to do so, I am building a sturdy base by examining historiography related to slavery in the ‘Deep South’ in comparison to slavery in Appalachia. Today I came across Wilma A. Dunaway’s Women, Work, and Family in the Antebellum Mountain SouthAlthough slavery is not the main focus of the book, Dunaway does provide some keen insight into slavery in Appalachia as she explains its effect on women and the family. Take for example this passage:  Continue reading “Slavery and Interstate Commerce in Appalachia”

710: A New Project

1864 Historical Atlas (Retrieved from GeorgiaINFO: An Online Almanac)

Seven hundred and ten. That is the number of slaves counted in the 1860 Federal Census for Catoosa County (GA). As one can imagine, there have not been too many histories published about this single northwest Georgia county. What little histories there are, make little to no mention about the seven hundred and ten slaves counted among the 5,082 county residents in 1860. As someone who grew up in Ringgold, the county seat of Catoosa,  I remember little to no history of slavery in the country ever being mentioned. There are no markers nor are there any memorial days designated to recognize those unknown persons; at least to my knowledge. I know that is not uncommon for the entire South but for Catoosa County, this is something I wish to rectify. Hence, my new project. I want to attempt to paint of picture of what slavery looked like in Catoosa from its inception in 1853 to slavery’s demise in 1865. Continue reading “710: A New Project”

“Genuine Negro Jig”

I’m putting the final touches on Total War Before Sherman (pt. 2). In the meantime, let me introduce you to the Grammy Award winning Carolina Chocolate Drops. They’ve got a lot to say, a lot to reinvent, and a lot energy…..and that’s before they pick up their instruments.

(Note: Don Flemons is no longer with the group, but he does have his own album out. I’m looking forward to hearing it.)

Connecting Communities through Seeds

Jonathan WinskieAppalachianHistory.net recently featured a post from a good friend of mine, Jonathan Winskie. For those of you unaware, Joanthan is the red headed menace on the About Me page. His post focuses on heirloom seeds and their ability to forge “metaphoric ‘bridges'” by serving as “vessels to facilitate deep and powerful connections between community members, students and potentially, the future.” Continue reading “Connecting Communities through Seeds”

Thank You Silas House: ASA Keynote Speech, 2014

One of the highlights of the Appalachian Studies Association Conference was the keynote speech given by Silas House. Silas is a national best selling writer, activist and professor at Berea College. His speech entitled, Our Secret Places in the Waiting World: Becoming a New Appalachia, was a truly uplifting and motivating speech. Continue reading “Thank You Silas House: ASA Keynote Speech, 2014”

Falling Behind

I have yet to come up with a catchy title for a bullet list of mini-posts as good as Andy Hall’s Canister or Brooks Simpson’s News and Notes. I am also still wrapped up in my incredible experience at the 37th annual Appalachian Studies Association conference at Marshall University. My next several posts will likely be about that experience, but there is a lot that I am neglecting. So, here’s my list of items that do not warrant a full post of their own. Continue reading “Falling Behind”