East Tennessee State University’s Appalachian Studies program is set to launch an online magazine later this spring. Appalachian Places will continue the program’s long literary tradition of highlighting the people, places, issues and themes related to the Appalachian region.
The new magazine will help continue this tradition by following the example of its print predecessor, Now & Then magazine, which, except for a two-year hiatus in the early 2000s, ran from 1984 until until it ceases publication in 2017.
“For nearly 30 years, the ETSU Appalachian Studies program has published a high-quality print magazine devoted to our region,” said Dr. Ron Roach, chair of Appalachian studies and director of the Center of Excellence for Studies and Appalachian services. “After much planning and preparation, I am thrilled that we are preparing to launch a new digital publication that will continue this part of our mission.”
Roach said the digital format will allow Appalachian Places to reach a wider audience with a wider range of content examining many different aspects of the Appalachian region. This new format will also allow publishers to release new content for readers more frequently than print publishing, as well as create more multimedia content.
Finding a new name for the online magazine was one of the first things in the business.
“The Now and Then name has served us really well for 30 years, but we felt it was time for a change and a name that would perhaps not only signal a new era in the magazine’s history when it was relaunch, but also something that’s more forward-looking,” Roach said. “We solicited suggestions from students, faculty, staff, our department, and administrators, and we landed on Appalachian Places.
“The sense of place is so important in Appalachian and Appalachian studies. The people of Appalachia have historically had this strong connection to the land and the mountains. It is the defining characteristic of where we live. It’s a special place.
Roach said the new title doesn’t necessarily limit editors and contributors to physical Appalachia locations.
“In addition to highlighting the unique people and places of Appalachia, the new magazine will be a platform to showcase similar issues and themes found in other mountain regions around the world,” Roach said.
Former Now & Then magazine readers will be pleased to find many familiar voices among the contributors to Appalachian Places, Roach said. The new format will allow wider access to the same kinds of feature articles, poetry, book and music reviews, and photographs that past readers of the print product enjoyed.
“One of the newer aspects that we are excited to implement with the new magazine is greater student involvement,” Roach said. “The digital platform will make it much easier for us to engage young scholars in our bluegrass, old-time, and country music studies program, as well as our rapidly growing graduate program in Appalachian Studies. »
Additionally, the Appalachian Archives and the Reece Museum of the Center of Excellence in Appalachian Studies and Services are interested in providing material from their collections for publication.
News reporter and ETSU alumnus Mark Rutledge has been named editor of Appalachian Places. He will hold the position part-time in addition to his full-time job in the Office of Marketing and Communications at Walters State Community College in Morristown.
Rutledge’s weekly human interest column has appeared in Johnson City Press and several other newspapers since 1996. The Gray resident earned degrees in journalism and sociology from ETSU and is an alumnus of the program in studied Bluegrass, Old-Time and Country Music from the university. . The former editorial page editor of the Daily Reflector in Greenville, North Carolina, left a long newspaper career in 2015.
“I am very proud to be part of the new Appalachian Places online magazine,” said Rutledge. “I admire its former print presence as Now & Then magazine from its beginnings when I was a student at ETSU.
“Knowing well the magazine’s history of excellence under former editors like Fred Sauceman, and more recently Randy Sanders, I consider it a great honor and a huge responsibility to have this opportunity.”
Rutledge said former Now & Then magazine contributors — as well as potential new voices — are encouraged to submit work to Appalachian Places before and after its launch later this spring. The magazine plans to launch a call for applications very soon.
In addition to Rutledge, Charlie Warden will serve as photo editor. Warden is the Senior Photographer for the Video and Photographic Services of ETSU’s Academic Relations Office.
Updates regarding the launch will be posted on the ETSU News site and on the Appalachian Studies Department website. Questions regarding the magazine can be directed to email@example.com.
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