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photo credit: Willie Carver Jr

Rural Reimagined: A Grand Challenge for Appalachia
March 20-22, 2025
Tennessee Tech University
Cookeville, Tennessee

48th Annual Conference


As the 48th Annual Appalachian Studies Association Conference approaches,

Tennessee Tech University would like to welcome submissions.

The 2025 Program Committee invites proposals for:

panels, papers, posters, roundtables, performances, and/or workshops.

Call for exhibitors and advertisers and specific information will be in the

Call for Participationout on September 1, 2024

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Program Chair

Erin Hoover is an Assistant Professor of English at Tennessee Tech University, where she teaches creative writing and courses in editing and publishing. She is the author of two poetry collections: Barnburner (Elixir, 2018), which won the Antivenom Poetry Award and a Florida Book Award, and No Spare People (Black Lawrence, 2023). Hoover curates and hosts a monthly reading series, Sawmill Poetry, and she produces “Not Abandon, but Abide,” an interview series of women and genderqueer poets for the Southern Review of Books. Currently, Hoover is a board member of the Southern Literary Festival, which each year hosts a conference for undergraduate writers at a member school. In the past, she has served on the executive committee of the C.D. Wright Women Writers Conference, helping to plan the annual conference held in Arkansas.

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Conference Chair

Born and raised in Georgia, Monic Ductan is now a Tennessean and an Associate Professor of English at Tennessee Tech University. She has degrees from Georgia State University, Georgia College, and the University of Southern Mississippi. Monic’s book, a loosely linked collection of stories called Daughters of Muscadine, focuses on working-class Black women, estrangement, and family life in rural Georgia. Monic won the 2023 Weatherford Award for Daughters of Muscadine, and the Georgia Center for the Book included Muscadine on its list, “Books All Georgians Should Read” in 2024. She is also the recipient of a Tennessee Arts Commission grant in fiction. Monic’s work has appeared in numerous literary journals, including Kweli, Shenandoah, Oxford American, Still, and Appalachian Review. She is at work on her first novel, a book about a woman uncovering police corruption in a small, Southern town.

Campus Arrangements Chair

Colleen L. Mestayer (Ph.D., University of Southern Mississippi, 2016) is currently a senior lecturer of communication at Tennessee Technological University. Her areas of interest include community engagement, message strategies and their impact on interpersonal relationships in nonprofit and for-profit organizations and in educational entities. She has published works on teamwork and instructional technology for college classrooms, as well as religious communication in organizational settings. She currently serves her state and regional communication association’s annual conferences and is involved with a downtown engagement project for Cookeville’s historic downtown area. Prior to academia, Dr. Mestayer had an accomplished marketing career which gave her great insight into the role of communication in the business world.

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