ETSU Appalachian Studies program receives NEH grant

Published 9:35 am Wednesday, May 17, 2023

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East Tennessee State University’s Center of Excellence for Appalachian Studies and Services has received a nearly $50,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to begin developing an online, open-access version of its acclaimed Encyclopedia of Appalachia.
The grant is part of $35 million in NEH grants awarded to 258 humanities projects across the country and is one of only five awarded in Tennessee. Dr. Ron Roach, director of the Center, will lead the project and serve as a general editor.
“Our Center of Excellence is delighted to lead this multi-year project that will involve scholars from across ETSU and the Appalachian region,” said Roach. “This is the only encyclopedia focused on Appalachia, and the online version will allow people across the world to access reliable content about this remarkable region for years to come. We are grateful to the NEH for its support of this important initiative.”
 The online encyclopedia will be produced in partnership with The University of Tennessee Press, which also published the print edition of the work in 2006. That edition contained more than 2,000 articles and 1,832 pages of text and included work by more than 1,000 contributors.
 Leading scholars from across the region, including ETSU professors, will serve on the initial editorial advisory board for the project: Dr. Theresa Burriss (Radford University), Drs. Daryl Carter and Tom Lee (ETSU), Dr. Keith Green (Berea College), Dr. Meredith McCarroll (Bowdoin College), Dr. Emily Satterwhite (Virginia Tech), and independent scholars Drs. Donald Davis and William Turner.
 In addition to Roach, three ETSU staff and faculty members from the Center will serve as general editors: Dr. Jeremy Smith, director of the Archives of Appalachia; Dr. Rebecca Adkins Fletcher, assistant director of the Center; and Dr. Ted Olson, professor of Appalachian Studies.
 “These 258 newly funded projects demonstrate the vitality of the humanities across our nation,” said NEH Chair Shelly C. Lowe (Navajo). “NEH is proud to support exemplary education, preservation, media, research, and infrastructure projects that expand resources for Americans, support humanities programs and opportunities for underserved students and communities, and deepen our understanding of our history, culture, and society.”
 ETSU’s Center of Excellence, founded in 1984, has a long history of producing leading scholarship about the region and includes the Archives of Appalachia, the Reece Museum, the Regional Resource Institute, and the Institute for Appalachian Music and Culture. The Center also publishes an online magazine, Appalachian Places. The Center is part of the Department of Appalachian Studies. More information is available at

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