BOONE, N.C. — Dr. Zack Vernon, assistant professor in the Department of English at Appalachian State University, is co-editor of “Summoning the Dead: Essays on Ron Rash” — the first book-length collection of scholarship on award-winning author Ron Rash. Vernon collaborated with Dr. Randall Wilhelm, assistant professor of English in the College of Arts and Sciences at Anderson University, to edit the collection, which was published in February 2018 by The University of South Carolina Press.
The volume features the work of respected scholars in Southern and Appalachian studies, providing interdisciplinary approaches to Rash’s fiction, nonfiction and poetry.
Contributors to the collection include Dr. Mae Miller Claxton, associate professor in Western Carolina University’s Department of English and editor of “Conversations with Ron Rash”; Dr. Jesse Kendall Graves, associate professor in the Department of Literature and Language at East Tennessee State University; and Dr. Martha Greene Eads, professor in the Department of Language and Literature at Eastern Mennonite University, who has given several scholarly presentations on Rash’s work.
“Summoning the Dead” contains two essays by Vernon: “The Hum of Resurrection: Raising Rash to Critical Light” and “Strange Agrarianisms: Transmutations of ‘I'll Take My Stand’ in James Dickey’s ‘Deliverance’ and Ron Rash’s ‘One Foot in Eden.’”
From the publisher: “Firmly rooted in the mountain South, Rash’s artistic vision weaves the truths of the human condition and the perils of the human heart in a poetic language that speaks deeply to us all. Through these essays, offering a range of critical and theoretical approaches that examine important aspects of Rash’s work, Wilhelm and Vernon create a foundation for the future of Rash studies.”
Rash is the John Parris Distinguished Professor of Appalachian Studies at Western Carolina University. He is the recipient of numerous awards for his poetry and fiction, including a National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Fellowship, two O. Henry awards and the Frank O’Connor Award for Best International Short Fiction.
About Dr. Zack Vernon
Vernon specializes in American literature and film. In particular, his work examines the intersections among environmental activism, philosophy, film and literature from the Romantic period to the present. Vernon also has an abiding interest in studying the literary, cultural and material history of Appalachia and the U.S. South.
His research has appeared in a range of scholarly books and journals, including Journal of American Studies, Southern Cultures and ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment.
Vernon received his doctorate in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He holds an M.A. in English from North Carolina State University and a B.A. in English from Clemson University.
Vernon is the editor of “Ecocriticism and the Future of Southern Studies,” a book-length collection of scholarship that applies interdisciplinary environmental humanities research to analyses of the U.S. South. The book is currently under contract with Louisiana State University Press.
In 2015, Vernon won the premiere Alex Albright Creative Nonfiction Prize for his essay titled “Boone Summer: Adventures of a Bad Environmentalist.” The essay was published in the 25th issue of the North Carolina Literary Review (NCLR) in 2016.
About the Department of English
The Department of English at Appalachian State University is committed to outstanding work in the classroom, the support and mentorship of students, and a dynamic engagement with culture, history, language, theory and literature. The department offers master’s degrees in English and rhetoric and composition, as well as undergraduate degrees in literary studies, film studies, creative writing, professional writing and English education. Learn more at https://english.appstate.edu.
About the College of Arts and Sciences
The College of Arts and Sciences is home to 16 academic departments, one stand-alone academic program, two centers and one residential college. These units span the humanities and the social, mathematical and natural sciences. The College of Arts and Sciences aims to develop a distinctive identity built upon our university's strengths, traditions and unique location. The college’s values lie not only in service to the university and local community, but through inspiring, training, educating and sustaining the development of its students as global citizens. There are approximately 6,100 student majors in the college. As the college is also largely responsible for implementing Appalachian's general education curriculum, it is heavily involved in the education of all students at the university, including those pursuing majors in other colleges. Learn more at https://cas.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier, public undergraduate institution in the state of North Carolina, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls more than 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.
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