Dr. Katherine E. Ledford

Ph.D., Early American Literature, University of Kentucky, 2002

M.A., American Literature, University of Alabama, 1993

B.A., English, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1991

Katherine E. Ledford, professor of Appalachian studies.  Dr. Ledford teaches courses in Appalachian literature, global mountain literature, comparative mountain studies, and higher education pedagogy. In spring 2023, as a Fulbright Scholar, she taught graduate classes in the English department at Al Ahliyya Amman University in Amman, Jordan. Her teaching project, From the Appalachian Mountains to the Jordanian Highlands: Appalachian Literature as Cross-cultural Text, fostered understanding through literature. From 2009 to 2016 Dr. Ledford served as program director of Appalachian studies, advising and mentoring both graduate and undergraduate students. In 2023, she was inducted into the Cratis D. Williams School of Graduate Studies' Academy of Outstanding Mentors. Dr. Ledford co-edited Writing Appalachia: An Anthology, a comprehensive anthology of Appalachian literature published by the University Press of Kentucky in March 2020. Dr. Ledford also co-edited Backtalk from Appalachia: Confronting Stereotypes (2000) and the media section of the Encyclopedia of Appalachia (2006). A past president of the Appalachian Studies Association (2011-2012), she is founding chair of the association’s International Connections Committee, which fosters communication between Appalachian studies scholars and mountain studies scholars worldwide. 

Amazon.com: Writing Appalachia: An Anthology eBook: Ledford, Katherine,  Lloyd, Theresa, Stephens, Rebecca: Kindle Store

Praise for Writing Appalachia: An Anthology

"Weighing in at nearly three pounds, Writing Appalachia: An Anthology, edited by Katherine Ledford and Theresa Lloyd, is too big to pack but too wonderful to miss. It serves up the region’s iconic talents — James Still, Jesse Stuart and Harriette Simpson Arnow, to name a few — in appetizer sized portions to tempt a reader to go find their longer works. (And you should, especially Arnow’s “The Dollmaker.”) But the comprehensive sweep of this collection begins with Native American oral traditions, enslaved people’s narratives, and work songs, then moves through 20th-century classics into a modern chorus of queer and straight, white, Black and Indigenous voices. For any reader who needs it, this book will put away the stereotype of Appalachians as a dull monoculture." -- Barbara Kingsolver, "Read Your Way Through Appalachia," The New York Times

"Ledford and Lloyd have found the gateway to a region of literary riches, at once beautiful and sublime, by turns abundant and despoiled, and too often misrepresented and misunderstood. Hearing the chorus of clear and powerful voices represented here will surely help lift a veil that has for so long obscured many truths about the region. At last Appalachia is revealed in its full panorama. The collective story is both triumphant and heartrending." -- Morris Grubbs, editor of Every Leaf a Mirror: A Jim Wayne Miller Reader

"[A] seminal work of outstanding literary scholarship and unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library American Literary & Criticism Studies collections in general." -- Library Bookwatch

"Every movement for change has to have a vision of where it's going and a community well-grounded in its self-definition. Literature and stories are an integral and inspirational part of that journey. Writing Appalachia is a great volume showing how one region has fought and is fighting back against being cast as 'other.'" -- Daily Yonder

Reviews of and press about Writing Appalachia: An Anthology

Appalachian Mountain Books: https://apmtbooks.com/blogs/reviews/june-2020-reviews

WV Public Broadcasting: https://www.wvpublic.org/post/celebrating-aviation-and-appalachian-literature#stream/0 & https://www.wvpublic.org/post/anthology-covers-spectrum-appalachian-literature#stream/0 

Chapter 16: https://chapter16.org/28512-2/

Jefferson-Madison Regional Library's blog mention: https://jmrlblog.com/2020/08/10/then-there-was-the-shame-of-the-writer-who-doesnt-write/

The Daily Yonder: https://dailyyonder.com/review-an-anthology-of-appalachian-literature-unlaces-the-brogans-and-walks-on-new-ground/2020/08/28/

Midwest Book Review: http://www.midwestbookreview.com/lbw/may_20.htm

KY Forward, second review: https://www.kyforward.com/constance-alexander-how-to-best-define-appalachian-writing-well-that-depends/ 

Inside Appalachia teaser tweet: https://twitter.com/InAppalachia/status/1311007858922844163?s=20 

Southern Spaces intro excerpt (tag on on Twitter and Facebook): https://southernspaces.org/2020/writing-appalachia-excerpt/ 

Title: Professor
Department: Appalachian Studies

Email address: Email me

Phone: (828) 262-4087

Office address
108 Living Learning Academic (LLA) building in the Living Learning Center (LLC)