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Ken Fones-Wolf, Ph.D.


Teaching Fields

  • Appalachia
  • U.S. working class
  • 20th Century U.S.


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

Research Interests

Much of my career has focused on labor and social history, particularly the intersection of religious belief and working-class activism. With my wife, Elizabeth, I recently coauthored  Struggle for the Soul of the Postwar South, which examined the role of religion in one of the pivotal movements in U.S. labor history, the CIO’s Southern Organizing Campaign following World War II. That work emphasized white evangelical Protestants. For my next project, I hope to explore the relationship of black churches and the labor movement during the CIO years (1935-1955). I also serve as the senior editor of the Labor and Working-Class History entries  for the Oxford Research Encyclopedia in American History.

Courses Offered

  • HIST 259: United States, 1865-1918 
  • HIST 473: Appalachian History 
  • HIST 477: Working Class America 
  • HIST 763: Readings in 20th Century U.S.
  • HIST 764: Research in 20th Century U.S.
  • HIST 773: Readings in Appalachian Regional History 
  • HIST 774: Research Seminar in Appalachian Regional History 


Struggle for the Soul of the South: White Protestants and Operation Dixie, with Elizabeth Fones-Wolf (University of Illinois Press, forthcoming 2015).

Culture, Class, and Politics in Modern Appalachia (WVU Press, 2009)

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

Transnational West Virginia (WVU Press, 2002)

The German-American Radical Press (University of Illinois Press, 1992)

Trade Union Gospel (Temple University Press, 1989)