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Invitation to Submit to ASA 2020 Digital Collection


Since March of 2020, the Appalachian Studies Association has been working to recover from the sudden cancellation of our conference in Lexington, Kentucky. Though the catastrophe resulting from the coronavirus has confirmed that cancellation was the right choice, we are deeply saddened all the same. Those of us with experience in planning the ASA conference or other conferences and gatherings of similar magnitude, understand how disappointed the planning team at the University of Kentucky was to see their efforts not come to fruition. Many ASA members have reached out to commend and recognize the Lexington program committee for their work, and for that support the UK team is truly grateful.

With that in mind, the Appalachian Studies Association issues a call to those who would have been present in Lexington earlier this year, to submit their presentations and performances to the ASA 2020 Digital Collection. Though COVID-19 took away our cherished place for fellowship and movement building in person, we choose to create a new opportunity to continue celebrating the brilliant and uplifting work of our association online, even when we cannot come together as one.

Our commitment to the “understories” of Appalachia demands our continued attention. The work of highlighting Black Appalachians, Indigenous and Latinx Appalachians, health and healing, Appalachian forests, women, gender and sexuality, Appalshop’s first fifty years, and the important places and efforts we call “hope spots,” must absolutely continue, even as we struggle to navigate the pressures of pandemic and isolation.

Our Request:

In recent years, ASA has gathered from its previous conferences, a digital archive of papers, presentations, and performance materials on Marshall University’s institutional repository and archival system, Marshall Digital Scholar (MDS) located at: It is our hope that this year we can capture some of the creative energy that would have been present at the conference, and use it to expand this digital archive and imbue it with the resplendent artistry, cutting edge scholarship, and magnificent talent we get to witness every year at our conference. While papers will be archived on MDS, the Appalachian Studies Association is also actively creating a permanent webpage, the ASA 2020 Digital Collection, to highlight and amplify the work and vision of the ASA 2020 program team.

We ask that you please consider submitting a form of the work you planned to share at ASA 2020. We know that the crisis of the pandemic is far from over, and that many of our members now find themselves in a moment of overwhelming stress, pain, and insecurity. We hope this digital archive will serve as a reminder that we in ASA are fundamentally an association of members: committed to supporting one another in good times and bad through scholarship, care, and solidarity. We also see this Digital Collection as a way of honoring the tireless work and generosity of the 2020 program team and our hosts at the University of Kentucky.

Format and Details:

We encourage those who can, to record virtual presentations and submit the video files, so that we can offer an experience as close to an in-person concurrent session as possible. Many of us have been forced to familiarize ourselves with virtual meeting and presentation software much more than we ever expected to, and now we can put those new skills to work! Slide presentation files, papers, and other written materials are also welcome. We encourage you to be creative in your contributions as well!

Submissions are due July 10, 2020, by 5PM (EST)

To submit, please email Gretchen Beach:

External links, PDFs, Word docs, audio files, .jpgs, powerpoints, and slides are accepted. Automatic citations for submitted presentations are provided by Marshall University.

If you have any questions about formatting please contact

Please send general questions about the ASA 2020 Digital Collection to Jordan Laney (

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