Journal of Appalachian Studies: Interviews with Authors


Social and economic justice in our society is more important than ever and especially salient for the Appalachian region where inequalities have persisted for decades.  Researchers, scholars and students need to be aware of these injustices, and understand the ways we can collectively address these injustices through research and scholarship.  We created a Special Issue in the Journal of Appalachian Studies to highlight the ways that researchers are understanding and addressing economic and social justice in Appalachia.  We invite you to share an hour with us on from 3:00—4:00pm on March 5th, 2021. Hear from some of the authors on their research projects, and learning ways that you can incorporate social and economic justice concepts to your teaching and learning. 

Co-sponsored by the Department of Anthropology, Sociology, and Social Work (College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences) and the Associate Provost for Research and Economic Development

Recording of event available here.

Featured Authors

Amanda Wray


Amanda Wray is Associate Professor at University of North Carolina Asheville where she teaches women, gender, and sexuality studies as well as writing and rhetoric courses. Her work focuses on equity and anti-racist rhetorics, oral history research, and community engagement in higher education. Check out the LGBTQIA+ Archive @wnc_lgbtqia

Ryan Sharp


Dr. Ryan Sharp is an Associate Professor in the Park Management and Conservation program at Kansas State University.  Dr. Sharp has conducted studies at several parks and protected areas domestic and abroad focusing on the delicate balance between conservation and equitable access. 

James Maples


Dr. James Maples is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Eastern Kentucky University. His research agenda examines rural economies in transition with a focus on utilizing outdoor recreation as a sustainable base of economic growth. 

Michael Bradley


Dr. Michael J. Bradley is an Associate Professor in the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Hospitality Administration at Arkansas Tech University. His professional and academic interests include human dimensions of natural resource and wildlife; beer, wine, and spirits; and recreation and tourism as economic development tools.

Stephanie McSpirit


Dr. Stephanie McSpirit is a Foundation Professor of Sociology at Eastern Kentucky University. McSpirit's research has focused on Appalachian communities, the local environment and rural heritage.   Current research is through the Kentucky Oral History Commission, where she and her team are collecting the histories and traditions surrounding the mountain saddle horses of the  eastern Kentucky region. 

Shaunna L. Scott


Shaunna Scott is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Kentucky. She has served as the editor of the Journal of Appalachian Studies at UK, the Director of Appalachian Studies, and the President of the Appalachian Studies Association. She and Kathryn Engle are currently co-editing a volume documenting movements, practices and theories of just transition in Appalachia.

Jacqueline Clark


Jacqueline Clark is a Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Ripon College in Ripon, Wisconsin. Her scholarly and public writing focuses on social inequalities; the sociology of health and illness; and the sociology of jobs and work. Jackie is from western North Carolina, and loves to share her experiences in and knowledge of the Appalachian region with her students in the Midwest.

Matthew Richards


Matthew Richards is an Assistant Professor in Communication Studies at Appalachian State University. A West Virginia native, generally Matt's research examines issues of class, gender, violence,and resistance, often specifically focusing on the Appalachian region. He strives to bring Appalachian studies to rhetorical theory and vice versa. When he is not reading, writing, or teaching, Matt enjoys cooking (and eating), biking, jiu jitsu, and spending time with his wife and dog.

Erin Presley


Erin Presley is an Associate Professor in the Department of English at Eastern Kentucky University. She teaches courses in Rhetoric and Composition and Appalachian Studies, and her research explores the natural overlap between those two areas of study, including her recent publication on service-learning pedagogy in eastern Kentucky in the Journal of Appalachian Studies.