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Ken Fones-Wolf

Professor of History
Stuart and Joyce Robbins Chair
On Leave 2013-14

KFW highres_2

202C Woodburn Hall
P.O. Box 6303
Morgantown, WV 26506-6303
Phone: 304.293.9308
Fax: 304.293.3616

Teaching Fields

  • Appalachia
  • US working class
  • Gilded Age and Progressive Era


  • PhD, Temple University, 1986
  • MA, University of Maryland, 1979
  • BA, University of Maryland, 1973

Research Interests

With my coauthor, Elizabeth Fones-Wolf, I am in the middle of a book project titled, “The Struggle for the Soul of the Postwar South: Evangelical Protestantism, White Workers, and the CIO’s Operation Dixie.” This book will examine religion’s impact on the most important campaign for unionization in the 20th century South and its implications for contemporary America. We have already published several articles from this project and have presented papers at conferences of the Organization of American Historians, the American Historical Association, the Business History Society, and the Labor and Working-Class History Association.

Grad Students Advised



  • Brian Smith
  • Allyson Perry

Courses Offered

HIST 250: West Virginia History

HIST 259: United States, 1865-1918

HIST 456: The Gilded Age

HIST 473: Appalachian History

HIST 477: Working Class America

HIST 773: Readings in Appalachian Regional History

HIST 774: Research Seminar in Appalachian Regional History


“Ministers with Their Sleeves Rolled up: Business and the Postwar Industrial Chaplain Movement,” forthcoming in Business History Review.

“Religion, Human Relations, and Union Avoidance in the 1950s: The Electrical Industry’s Southern Strategy and Its Limits,” Enterprise & Society (March 2012): 154-185.

“Embedding Class among the Troops Who Study Southern Religion,” Journal of Southern Religion, v. 13 (2011).

“No Common Creed: White Working-Class Protestants and the CIO’s Operation Dixie,” in Rethinking U.S. Labor History, Donna Haverty-Stack and Daniel J. Walkowitz, eds. (New York: Continuum, 2010), 111-136.

“A House Re-Divided: From Sectionalism to Political Economy in Post-Emancipation West Virginia,” in Echoes of War: The Civil War’s Aftermath in Appalachia, Andrew Slap, ed. (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2010).

“The Sacred in the Southern Organizing Drive: Protestant Activists in Operation Dixie,” _Labor: Studies in Working Class History of the Americas (Spring, 2009): 5-32.

Glass Towns: Industry, Labor and Political Economy in Appalachia, 1890-1930s (University of Illinois Press, 2007).

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