Skip to main content

About Dr. Zackary Vernon

Dr. Zackary Vernon specializes in American literature and film. In particular, his work examines the intersections among environmental activism, philosophy, film and literaturefrom romanticism to the present. He has been teaching in Appalachian State University’s Department of English since 2015, having  previously taught at Merrimack College and UNC-Chapel Hill.

Literary works can be powerful agents of change, he says, noting the cultural shifts and legislative changes that have occurred around such works as Rachel Carson’s 1962 non-fiction book “Silent Spring,” about the scientific research on DDT and other cancer-causing pesticides, or Al Gore’s film “An Inconvenient Truth” about climate change and similar documentaries about other global issues. Vernon also has an abiding interest in studying the literary, cultural and material history of the American South and the emerging literary genre known as “Grit Lit,” in which a “rough,” often working-class South is romanticized.

Vernon is active in a new collaborative at Appalachian called AppalFRESH (Appalachian Food Research for Sustainability and Health) and is working on a book titled “Adventures of a Bad Environmentalist.” He also is co-editor of “Summoning the Dead: Critical Essays on Ron Rash”(published by the University of South Carolina Press) and “Ecocriticism and the Future of Southern Studies” (forthcoming from LSU Press).

Areas of Expertise
Literature: Contemporary, Southern, Appalachian and 19th- and 20th-century AmericanLiteratures; Transatlantic Modernism and Postmodernism
Cinema: post-1945; environmental cinema; documentary; Southern cinema
Queer theory
Gender studies
Disability studies
Southern studies
Cultural studies and history
Regional studies, southern and Appalachian
Environmental studies, environmental activism and environmental history


Present Faculty Member, Appalachian State University College of Arts and Sciences
Present Assistant Professor, Appalachian State University Department of English

Enter a valid date range.

Enter a valid date range.

Honors and Awards

  • Nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the 2017 Nature Essay Award by the John Burroughs Association for “Boone Summer: Adventures of a Bad Environmentalist,” North Carolina Literary Review
  • Winner of the 2015 Alex Albright Creative Nonfiction Prize for “Boone Summer: Adventures of a Bad Environmentalist,” North Carolina Literary Review
  • Nominated for the 2015 Pushcart Prize for “Halloween’s Herald of Democracy: Allan Gurganus and the Horror Show of American Politics,” North Carolina Literary Review


  • ENG 2360 American Literature & the Arts
  • ENG 2320 American Literature since 1865


Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ‐ English
M.A., North Carolina State University ‐ English
B.A., Clemson University ‐ English

Contact Information

In the News (2)

Downloadable Image (1)

Books (2)

Research Works (7)