Four Western Carolina history professors land book publishing deal

CULLOWHEE – There’s apparently no trouble with writer’s block in the Western Carolina University history department, as four faculty members have written books on topics ranging from the history of tourism in the South to books and printing in Europe’s Golden Age.

“It is quite an achievement for a department to have four books accepted for publication in a single year,” said Robert Vartabedian, dean of Western’s College of Arts and Sciences. “This accomplishment speaks highly of the rather remarkable scholarship of our history department.”

Already off the press is “Southern Journeys: Tourism, History and Culture in the Modern South” by Richard Starnes, assistant professor of history, published in July by the University of Alabama Press. “This book puts Richard in the forefront of scholars writing about tourism in the modern South,” said James Lewis, head of the history department.

Forthcoming are:

“Virginia’s Western Visions: Political and Cultural Expansion on an Early American Frontier” by Scott Philyaw, associate professor of history. The book, to be published by the University of Tennessee Press in December, studies the ways Virginians viewed frontier settlement and western expansion in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

“The Paradox of Prosperity: The Leiden Bookseller’s Guild and the Distribution of Books in the Golden Age” by Laura Cruz, assistant professor of history. An examination of the book trade in 17th-century Holland, the book is scheduled for publication by Oak Knoll Press in May.

“High Mountains Rising: Appalachia in Time and Place,” edited by Tyler Blethen, professor of history and director of the Mountain Heritage Center, and Richard Straw of Radford University. A comprehensive volume exploring the latest scholarship on Appalachian history and culture, it will be published by the University of Illinois Press in 2004. Blethen also is author of a chapter titled “Antebellum Appalachia.”

For more information about the Western Carolina University history department, call (828) 227-7243.