Erica Abrams Locklear, Ph.D.

Professor of English | Thomas Howerton Distinguished Professor of Humanities

Contact Information

  • 251-6592
  • 217 Karpen Hall

Fall 2023 office hours are via Zoom only and by appointment


As someone who grew up in Western North Carolina (Leicester), I feel extremely fortunate to have a faculty appointment in the English department at UNC Asheville. My research interests include Appalachia, foodways, the South, literacy, and gendered issues within each of these categories. I teach the survey of American literature on a regular basis, as well as various writing and literature courses related to my field of study. My first book, Negotiating a Perilous Empowerment: Appalachian Women's Literacies, (Ohio University Press) explores how mountain writers portray the identity conflicts literacy attainment can cause for Appalachian women. My second book, Appalachia on the Table: Representing Mountain Food and People, (University of Georgia Press) explores how representations of Appalachian food shape national perceptions of mountain people. When I am not teaching or writing, I enjoy swimming, spending time with my family, and being at home in the mountains of North Carolina.

(Photo by Tim Barnwell)



  • B.A., UNC-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
  • M.S., Utah State University, Logan, UT
  • Ph.D., Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA

Courses Taught

  • LIT 324: American Literary Tradition
  • LIT 363: Appalachian Literature
  • LIT 329: Southern Literature
  • LIT 374: Food in Literature
  • ARTS 310: Literature, Food, and Photography in Appalachia
  • LIT 240: Introduction to Literature
  • MLA 500: The Human Condition (emphasis on Foodways in the South and Appalachia)
  • WGSS 100: Introduction to Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
  • LIT 373/WMST 373 ST: Working Women
  • LIT 489: Major Author Seminar on Carson McCullers
  • LIT 373 ST: Race and Ethnicity in Southern American Literature
  • LANG 120: Foundations of Academic Writing
  • HUM 324: The Modern World
  • LIT 497 and 498: Senior Capstone course



Book Chapters

  • "Foodways: Spotlight - Rick Bragg." The Routledge Companion to the Literature of the U.S. South, Eds. Katharine A. Burnett, Todd Hagstette, and Monica Carol Miller. New York and London: Routledge, 2022. 45-48. Print.
  • “Setting Tobacco, Banquet-Style.” The Food We Eat, The Stories We Tell: Contemporary Appalachian Tables. Eds. Lora Smith and Elizabeth Engelhardt. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2019. 24-45. Print. New Approaches to Appalachian Studies Series.
  • "'A Comfort During a Hard Time:’ Food in Ron Rash’s Poems, Stories, and Novels.” Summoning the Dead: Critical Essays on Ron Rash. Eds. Zackary Vernon and Randall Wilhelm: University of South Carolina Press, 2018. 66-79. Print.
  • Reprint of “Consenting to Create: Crystal Wilkinson and the Affrilachian Movement.” Seeking Home: Marginalization and Representation in Appalachian Literature and Song. Eds. Leslie Harper Worthington and Jürgen E. Grandt. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 2016. 105-119. Print.
  • “Writing About Appalachia: Intersections, Missed Connections, and Future Work.” With Chris Green. Studying Appalachian Studies: Making the Path by Walking. Eds. Chad Berry, Phillip J. Obermiller, and Shaunna L. Scott. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2015. 62-87. Print.
  • “A Matter of Taste: Reading Food and Class in Appalachian Literature.” Writing in the Kitchen: Essays on Southern Literature and Foodways. Eds. David A. Davis and Tara Powell. Oxford: University of Mississippi Press, 2014. 124-142. Print.
  • “Building Bridges with Ron Rash’s The World Made Straight: Results from One University and High School Partnership.” Appalachia in the Classroom: Teaching the Region. Eds. Theresa L. Burriss and Patricia M. Gantt. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2013. 69-81. Print. Series in Race, Ethnicity, and Gender in Appalachia.

Articles in Peer-Reviewed Journals

  • “Like Little Blue Wheels: Finding a Clear Path in The Blueberry Years.” Iron Mountain Review (Fall 2019): 30-33. Print. (invited lecture for Emory and Henry Literary Festival that was then published)
  • “Mountain Fatalism in Wiley Cash’s A Land More Kind than Home.” Appalachian Heritage (Summer 2014): 110-121. Print.
  • “Following a Brier’s Advice.” Studies in American Culture 36.1 (Oct. 2013): 10-15. Print.
  • “Finding the Forsaken: Lumbee Identity in Charles Chesnutt’s Mandy Oxendine.” North Carolina Literary Review 22 (2013): 108-121. Print.
  • “On Teaching Harriette Simpson Arnow.” Appalachian Heritage (Spring 2012): 53-55. Print.
  • “Consenting to Create: The Affrilachian Movement.” Crossroads: A Southern Culture Annual 2009. Ed. Ted Olson. Macon: Mercer University Press, 2009: 169-185. Print.
  • “Narrating Socialization: Linda Scott DeRosier’s Memoirs.” Community Literacy Journal Special Issue: Appalachian Literacies 2.1 (Fall 2007): 41-57. Print.
  • “Fragrant Memories: They’ll Get Your Attention.” North Carolina Folklore Journal 54.1 (Spring/Summer 2007): 12-17. Print.
  • “‘What Are You?’: Exploring Racial Categorization in Nowhere Else on Earth.” The Southern Literary Journal 39.1 (Fall 2006): 33-53. Print.
  • “The Stench of a Mountain Tradition: Ramp Foodways in Appalachia.” North Carolina Folklore Journal 53.1 (Spring/Summer 2006): 4-18. Print.
  • “Varying Theories: Early Native American Perceptions of Literacy.” Used as a model in Irvin Peckham’s Introduction to Writing at LSU New York: McGraw Hill, 2004. Online.
  • The Fable Fair (adolescent educational fiction). Waterford Institute, Sandy, Utah: Pearson Education, 2004. Print.

Creative Nonfiction


  • Review of Portraits and Dreams, by Elizabeth Barrett, Wendy Ewald. Journal of Appalachian Studies. 27.1 (Spring 2021): 127-129. Print.
  • Review of Southern Spaces ( Journal of Appalachian Studies. 24.2 (Fall 2018): 263-264. Print.
  • Appalachian Elegy: Poetry and Place, by bell hooks. Studies in American Culture 36.1 (Oct. 2013): 172-173. Print.
  • Dear Appalachia: Readers, Identity, and Popular Fiction since 1878, by Emily Satterwhite. Journal of American Culture, 35.4 (December 2012): 370-371. Print.
  • Vale of Humility: Plain Folk in Contemporary North Carolina Fiction, by George Hovis. Mississippi Quarterly, 63.3-4 (Summer-Fall 2010): 733-735. Print.
  • The King of Stink: Appalachian Ramp Festivals, Directed by Steven Provence and Sharon Ford. North Carolina Folklore Journal 53.2 (Fall/Winter 2006): 60-61. Print.
  • Whistlin’ and Crowin’ Women of Appalachia: Literacy Practices since College, by Katherine Kelleher Sohn. Appalachian Journal 33.3-4 (Spring/Summer 2006): 358-60. Print.


  • Weatherford Award for best nonfiction book of 2023 given to Appalachia on the Table: Representing Mountain Food and People, Appalachian Studies Association, 2024
  • Ruth and Leon Feldman Professorship Fund prize, 2024
  • UNC Asheville Distinguished Teacher of the Year Award, 2021
  • Stephen L. Fisher Award for Excellence in Teaching, Appalachian Studies Association, 2019
  • UNC Asheville Scholarly and Creative Achievement Award, 2013
  • UNC Asheville Award for Teaching Excellence in the Humanities, 2012