Savannah Paige Murray

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Dr. Savannah Paige Murray currently serves as an Assistant Professor in the Department of English. She teaches courses in the Professional Writing concentration and the Rhetoric and Composition General Education Program as well as writing in the disciplines (WID) courses like Business Writing and Technical Writing for Computer Science. She serves her department on a number of committees including work within the Professional Writing concentration, the Rhetoric and Composition program, the Visiting Writing Series, and the Departmental Personnel Committee. She is also a Board Member for the Watauga County Habitat for Humanity and is passionate about incorporating service-learning and civic engagement into her writing courses.

She holds a PhD in Rhetoric and Writing from Virginia Tech and is an interdisciplinary scholar in the environmental humanities with expertise in ecocriticism, environmental rhetoric, ecocomposition, and rhetorical theory. As a feminist historiographer of rhetoric, her work draws on archival research as well as ethnographic interviews and oral histories to expand notions of what counts as rhetoric and to articulate nuanced approaches to environmentalism through localized, everyday forms of civic engagement. Ultimately, her work advocates for a broader, more intersectional form of environmental discourse and grassroots activism which will better equip environmentalists to pursue environmental and climate justice.

B.A. History & B.S. Environmental Studies, Wofford College
M.A. Appalachian Studies, Appalachian State University
Ph.D. Rhetoric and Writing, Virginia Tech


Murray, Savannah Paige. “POWHR to the People: Fighting for Climate Justice and Opposing the Mountain Valley Pipeline in Appalachia.” Accepted for publication in Technical Communication Quarterly, “Information and Communication Technologies, Development, and Climate Change” Special Issue. Publication expected Summer 2023.

Murray, Savannah Paige. “‘The Grit of the Land Was in Them’: A Post-Pastoral Reading of John Ehle’s The Land Breakers” in Appalachian Ecocriticism and the Paradox of Place, Jessica Cory and Laura Wright, eds. University of Georgia Press, 2023.

Powell, Katrina M. and Savannah Paige Murray. “Rhetorics of Stewardship and Loss: Resettlement Resistance Through Everyday Nature in the Shenandoah National Park and on the New River.” Book chapter in Lost in Transition, edited by Aaron Purcell, University of Tennessee Press, 2021.

Murray, Savannah Paige. “An Ethic of Everyday Nature in John Ehle’s The Road.” North Carolina Literary Review, no. 30, 2021. Winner of the 2020 John Ehle Prize, awarded for the best essay on a North Carolina writer.

Murray, Savannah Paige. “My Archive Fever.” Appalachian Curator, Summer 2020.

Murray, Savannah Paige. “‘A New King of Stillness’: Hilda Morley’s Poetry.” Appalachian Journal: Special Black Mountain College Issue, edited by Sandra L. Ballard, Joseph Bathanti, vol. 44, no. 3-4, January 2018.

Murray, Savannah Paige. “‘United We Stand, Divided We May Be Dammed’: Grassroots Environmentalism and the TVA in Western North Carolina.” The Journal of East Tennessee History, vol. 87, 2015.


The Dam Fighters is an online teaching and community outreach tool that shares the story of the Upper French Broad Defense Association (UFBDA) who successfully opposed and prevented the implementation of 14 Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) dams on the French Broad River and its tributaries in western North Carolina from 1961-1972.

The Dam Fighters contains archival documents, oral history interviews, a historical overview, and information about Dr. Murray’s continually evolving research on this group and environmental rhetoric. Dr. Murray frequently provides invited lectures and teaching presentations using this digital humanities site, contact her via the site’s contact form or via email for more information.


Radio IQ & WVTF | “In the 1970s, a project to build new dams along the New River inspired thousands to organize” | Radio Interview | Sept. 23, 2022 | LINK

Radio IQ & WVTF | “Book explores memories of Appalachians forced to leave their land to build National Parks, dams and roads” | July 25, 2022 | LINK

VTX | “Uprooted in Appalachia” | July 15, 2022 | LINK

Appalachian Today | “5 faculty teams awarded 2022 Chancellor’s Innovation grants for projects at App State | LINK

College of Arts and Sciences Press Release | “RRI Seed Grant Recipients share research outcomes” | LINK

Title: Assistant Professor
Department: Department of English

Email address: Email me

Phone: (828) 262-2250

Office address
Sanford Hall 524