CAS Zoomer - Contested Cuisines: Southern and Appalachian Foodways

In the midst of a global pandemic, the College of Arts and Sciences started a virtual zoom series to engage with Appalachian alumni and friends. We are continuing the series this spring with three sessions. These are free virtual events, open to the public. Registration is required to receive zoom information. See details for each session below and register to join us or find past sessions at CAS YouTube Channel.

Contested Cuisines: Southern and Appalachian Foodways
Wednesday, March 10, 2021
5-6 p.m.
Zoom Registration - Click here to register

In this presentation, Dr. Jessica Martell and Dr. Zackary Vernon will examine the dynamic foodways of Appalachia and the U.S. South. While some of the nation’s most unique culinary traditions have emerged from these regions, they are not without controversy. In particular, the so-called “New Southern Cuisine” is often taken to task because its top culinary accolades have largely been bestowed upon white male chefs. To challenge this narrative, Martell and Vernon will explore the various cultural contributions to southern and Appalachian food and drink—from Native American and African American, to Scotch-Irish, German, and Jewish—and highlight the diversity that makes the region a vibrant culinary melting pot. Closer to home, they will also discuss the contributions of Boone chefs, farmers, and activists who are building a more inclusive and equitable High Country food system.

Dr. Jessica Martell is an assistant professor in the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies and an affiliate faculty member of the Center for Appalachian Studies. Martell is an interdisciplinary scholar who specializes in literature, food, film and the environment. Multiple research fellowships in the British archives supported her book “Farm to Form: Modernist Literature and Ecologies of Food in the British Empire” (University of Nevada Press, 2020), which investigates the relationship between the industrial food of empire and the emergence of literary modernisms in Britain and Ireland. She is also the co-editor of “Modernism and Food Studies: Politics, Aesthetics and the Avant-Garde” (University of Florida Press, 2019) and the author of ten peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. Martell serves as the Board Chair of Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture, a woman-led non-profit dedicated to building an equitable and sustainable local food system in North Carolina’s High Country.

Dr. Zackary Vernon is an associate professor in the Department of English at Appalachian and an affiliate faculty member of the Center for Appalachian Studies. Vernon specializes in American literature and film. In particular, his work examines the intersections among environmental activism, philosophy, film and literature from romanticism 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 is a co-editor of “Summoning the Dead: Essays on Ron Rash” (University of South Carolina Press, 2018), and he is the editor of “Ecocriticism and the Future of Southern Studies” (Louisiana State University Press, 2019).

Next session on April 20, for more details, visit


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

About the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies
The Department of Interdisciplinary Studies offers degrees in three program areas: global studies; gender, women’s and sexuality studies; and interdisciplinary studies. The department is also home to Watauga Residential College, an interdisciplinary, alternative general education program. The department promotes creative and imaginative engagement through a cross-disciplinary investigation of complex systems and problems. Learn more at

CAS Zoomers Continue Spring 2021 - Session 2 of 3 with Dr. Jessica Martell  and Dr. Zackary Vernon.
Published: Mar 5, 2021 9:01am