A C A D E M I C   B I O

Jordan Laney is an interdisciplinary educator specializing in cultural theory, specifically politicization of performance and sound. Her current project focuses on bluegrass festivals, particularly those organized by Carlton Haney, notably in Fincastle, Virginia (1965-66). She teaches Introduction to Appalachian Studies, Bluegrass Music courses for the humanities, and has led portions of American Studies, The Modern World, and Popular Culture with a focus on television. She currently teaches as a Faculty Instructor for the Department of Religion and Culture at Virginia Tech, where she is a doctoral candidate in the ASPECT program.

PhD, Social and Cultural Thought (Virginia Tech),  anticipated 2017


Material Cultures and Public Humanities, 2015

Women’s and Gender Studies, anticipated, 2017

Preparing the Future Professoriate, anticipated, 2017

M.A., Appalachian Studies, Music (Appalachian State University), 2013

B.F.A., Creative Writing (Goddard College), 2010


P E R S O N A L   S T O R Y

I  grew up in western North Carolina, spending summer afternoons collecting stories from my grandparents; stories of growing up on tobacco farms, being displaced by the Tennessee Valley Authority, sharecropping, and ironing for neighbors. These evenings at kitchen tables were my earliest trainings for the qualitative research I have conducted since. Resulting work has been presented at the International Country Music Conference, the Appalachian Studies Association Conference, the American Folklore Association Conference, the International Association for the Study of Popular Music Conference, and many more. Teaching is one of the most rewarding experiences I have gained through higher education. As an interdisciplinary learner myself, I enjoy the challenge of working with STEM majoring undergraduates to bridge their research and career interests with the humanities courses I teach. I work with Graduate Teaching Assistants at Virginia Tech and serve as an advocate for marginalized and youth voices through varying boards and committees.


I am currently seeking collaborative projects which focus on documentary or preservation efforts, classroom resources, or open access publications. I am available for consultation services including, but not limited to:

  • diversity and development (long term plans, seminars, or short workshops)
  • inclusive classroom training (elementary, secondary, and university level)
  • place-based education and service or experiential driven educational experiences
  • Appalachian specific information seminars (focusing on history, politics, culture, or organizing)
  • multi-media documentary projects (lo-fi publishing, performance, film, audio, or long term collecting)
  • course structure design and development (elementary, secondary, college level, and continuing education)
  • creation of online course content
  • event planning and fund raising
  • strategic growth (for organizations, departments, or community groups)

I am comfortable leading in the classroom, studio, at a festival, in a boardroom, and in large conference settings.  If you are interested in exploring the possibilities of working together, please contact me at jlaney@vt.edu