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An Appalachian Symposium edited by J. W. Williamson

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This book compiles some of the most important presentations at the Appalachian Symposium which was held at Appalachian State University in honor of Cratis Wlliams from April 7th to 9th, 1976. This was a crucial gathering in the development of an institutionalized Appalachian Studies movement. The first step was the first stand-alone Appalachian Studies Conference at Clinch Valley College in October of 1970. Billy Best chaired the Education Commission of the Council of the Southern Mountains (CSM) and he proposed the idea of a conference to celebrate Appalachian Studies which the Commission approved. I was the representative of the Education Commission to the Board of the CSM, and I took our proposal to hold this conference to the Board that approved it. Our conference was held at the College where Helen Lewis was then teaching and had some excellent academic participation, but nothing compared to this Symposium five years later. And this Symposium was pretty directly a clear step towards the founding of an annual Appalachian Studies Conference two years later in 1977, and then the Appalachian Studies Association. A huge portion of the key people in this effort, inspired by the formation of African-American Studies, are represented in this book, including Wilma Dykeman, Ron Eller, Jean Ritchie, Loyal Jones, Joan Moser, Henry Shapiro, Betty Smith, and Steven Fisher.