Jordan Laney

A C A D E M I C   B I O

Jordan Laney is an interdisciplinary thinker & educator specializing in political and cultural theory,  with attention to performance, place, and sound. Her current projects focus 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 an 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 2018

Material Cultures and Public Humanities, 2015

Women’s and Gender Studies, 2018

Preparing the Future Professoriate, 2018

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 critical thinking processes and the arts. 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 available for consultation services and projects including, but not limited to:

  • diversity and inclusion (long-term plans, seminars, or short workshops)
  • inclusive classroom training (all educational levels)
  • place-based education training and program development
  • multi-media documentary or archival projects
  • course structure design and development, including online course content
  • event planning and fund raising.

I am comfortable leading in classrooms, studios, festivals, boardrooms, and in large conference settings. My background in diverse learning environments, training in critical pedagogy, and experiences as a college instructor. I am particularly interestsed in teaching about Appalachian Studies, music, social and cultural theory, qualitative and ethnograpic methods classes,  political theory, and feminist theory.

If you are interested in exploring the possibilities of working together, please contact me at