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Elisabeth Moore

Graduate Instructor

Major Field

Southern U.S. History

Minor Fields

Twentieth-Century U.S. History, World History, Public History


Ken Fones-Wolf

Jessica Wilkerson

Research Interests

Elisabeth Moore specializes in the history of Appalachia and the broader American South, modern America, economic development, class, and race.

Elisabeth recently published "The Contingency of Appalachia on Our Mind" in the Journal of Appalachian Studies. This article analyzed the efforts of middle class western North Carolinians to refute depictions of the region in national print media during the late nineteenth century. As local color writers from New England crafted a literary narrative of mountain exoticism and deviance, middle-class white mountain residents in western North Carolina deliberately rejected this portrayal through local newspapers. In the process, they struggled to ensure that their middle-class imagery defined the still contingent idea of Appalachia in the American consciousness. 

Elisabeth's current dissertation research analyzes the actions and worldview of upper middle-class, white economic boosters in western North Carolina during the period immediately following the second world war. This research works to integrate the growth of regional tourism into the existing historiography of economic development in Appalachia and the postwar American South. By centering the growth of regional tourism, this research also analyzes regional boosters’ construction of a race and class-based identity through their efforts to construct a mythologized narrative of the region’s past. Regional tourism boosters intentionally manufactured and commodified a racialized and classed folk culture within the region for tourist consumption. 

Elisabeth has also worked on various oral history and public history projects at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Southern Oral History Program and the West Virginia and Regional History Center. 

Courses Taught 

  • HIST 152:Growth of the American Nation to 1865
  • HIST 153: Making of Modern America: 1865 to the Present 
  • HIST 460: World War Two in America
  • HIST 484: Historical Research Capstone


“The Contingency of Appalachia on Our Mind: An Exploration of the Self-Perception of Bourgeois Mountain Print Culture, 1870-1890,” Journal of Appalachian Studies, Fall 2017. 

“Book Review on Color and Character: West Charlotte High and the American Struggle over Educational Inequality” West Virginia History, Spring 2019. 

“Book Review on Modern Moonshine: The Revival of White Whiskey in the Twenty-First Century” Journal of Appalachian Studies, Spring 2020. 

“Book Review on Movie-Made Appalachia: History, Hollywood, and the Highland South” H-Net Reviews, Fall 2021.