Picture of Brandon Story

Brandon H. Story


Assistant Professor of English


College of Arts and Sciences

Office Location:

Bristol Campus: Snider Honors Center 105

Office Phone:

423 652 6329


"There is then creative reading, as well as creative writing.  When the mind is braced by labor and invention, the page of whatever book we read becomes luminous with manifold allusion."

--Emerson, from "The American Scholar"


For a long time, Bristol and King have been home for me.  I was born and lived ten years and many summers in the suburbs of Detroit. I graduated from King with an English degree and after a year working construction with my Dad, returned south to do an MA in English at ETSU so I could do something useful while I played music.  The Appalachian Studies faculty and Bluegrass and Old-Time musicians there turned me on to an academic field and to a life as a professional musician.  I spent two years touring the country as a Reeltime Traveler, where I started reading Wendell Berry and missing home.

I am getting a little bit old, but I still see my work at King as a long apprenticeship: learning how to teach from my students and from colleagues; how to read from Virgil, Hawthorne, and Eliot; and how to be a member of a community of faith and learning.  I teach American Literature and Composition, as well as Liberal Studies classes for King’s GPS program.  My published and presented research mostly deals with Appalachian music, religion, and culture.  

My wife Mariel also teaches English, and we play music together as often as we can.  We have two sons, Penn and Sam.  I believe European cars from the 70s to the 90s represent a high point in automotive design, and my guitar playing will be where I want it to be in about a year.  


MA, English, East Tennessee State University

BA, English, King College

Recent Publications and Presentations

“Graphing the Appalachian Novel,” presented at the 2013 Appalachian Studies Association Conference at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina (March 2013).

“Bill Withers,” Encyclopedia of Appalachia Online, University of Tennessee (2010).

“A Case for the Song,” Faculty Lecture delivered at King College (October 2009).

“Frank Lloyd Wright’s Appalachian Modernism,” presented at the 2009 Appalachian Studies Association Conference at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio (March 2009).

“Albert French,” Encyclopedia of Appalachia, University of Tennessee (Spring 2006).

Out of this Furnace,” Encyclopedia of Appalachia, University of Tennessee (Spring 2006).

“Robert Mitchum,” Encyclopedia of Appalachia, University of Tennessee (Spring 2006).

Thunder Road,” Encyclopedia of Appalachia, University of Tennessee (Spring 2006).

“Gospel According to Bristol: The Life, Music, and Ministry of Ernest Phipps,” The Bristol Sessions: Writings About the Big Bang of Country Music, McFarland Press (April 2005).

Current research

For several years now, I have been chiseling away a PhD at the University of Tennessee in American Literature.  My specialty areas are Southern Literature and Modernism, and my dissertation will consider the influence of Modernism on Appalachian Literature during the Modernist period and after.  I'm particularly interested in the work of playwright and storyteller Jo Carson. 

Courses recently taught

APAL 3120 LECT Appalachian Literature
ENGL 2161 LECT American Literature I
ENGL 2162 LECT American Literature II
ENGL 3150 LECT Adolescent Literature
ENGL 3610 LECT Early American Literature
ENGL 3620 LECT American Realism & Naturalism
ENGL 3625 LECT Modern and Contemporary American Literature
ENGL 4910 LECT English Capstone Seminar
HUMN 2171 LECT The Quest for a Meaningful Life
HUMN 2172 LECT The Quest for a Meaningful Life