Greetings Appalachian Studies Community,
On behalf of the Appalachian Studies Association, I write to you today to share some news regarding the next ASA Conference. As I’m sure you know, the ASA annual meeting was set to be held in Athens, Ohio in 2021, hosted by Ohio University. After much discussion, the ASA Steering Committee has decided that we will instead host a virtual conference for 2021, with hopes of returning to an in-person conference in 2022 at West Virginia University.
We know that there will be many challenges with hosting a virtual conference, and that this is not what our membership is used to; however, in light of the continuing health threat that is COVID-19, we believe this is the best option. This is uncharted territory for us, but we are excited about the possibilities of a virtual conference, including encouraging members who may not be able to travel to participate remotely.
As we plan the program, we are looking for ways to incorporate some of what was lost in cancelling the 2020 Conference. We are also taking this opportunity to strengthen our commitment to social justice and are working to highlight voices from Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.
Additional information, including a call for proposals, is coming soon. In the meantime, we hope that you will be looking forward to a new way of gathering to ensure that everyone stays safe and healthy. The Conference Planning Committee is working hard to present plenaries and performance events that represent ALL of Appalachia and embrace the beautiful diversity of our people and our region.
Please stay safe and healthy,
Natalie Sypolt, President, Appalachian Studies Association