Howard Dorgan

Claude Howard Dorgan (July 5, 1932 – July 5, 2012) was an American academic best known for his research and writing on the topic of religion in Appalachia.

Dorgan was a native of Ruston, Louisiana. After study at the University of Texas at El Paso, where he received a bachelor's degree, and the University of Texas at Austin, which awarded him a masters of fine arts degree, he spent nine years as a teacher in secondary schools in Idaho and Texas, followed by three years as a forensics coach at Lamar University in Texas. He then enrolled for further study at Louisiana State University, where he earned his Ph.D. in speech communication in 1971.[1][2]

After obtaining his Ph.D., Dorgan joined the faculty of the Department of Communication of Appalachian State University, serving there from 1971 until his retirement in 2000.[1] A fascination with the rhythmical style of Appalachia's old-time Baptist preachers led him into more than thirty years of rhetorical and ethnographic research on religion in Appalachia, with a particular focus on traditional Baptist sub-denominations indigenous to the region.[3] He served as editor for the religion section of the Encyclopedia of Appalachia.[4]

He received the 1993 Thomas Wolfe Literary Award for the book Airwaves of Zion: Radio Religion In Appalachia.[1][5]



  1. 1 2 3 Richard D. Howe (2007). "C. Howard Dorgan Papers". Special Collections, Belk Library, Appalachian State University. Retrieved 2012-07-13.
  2. "C. Howard Dorgan Papers, 1792-2005, undated". Special Collections, Belk Library, Appalachian State University. Retrieved 2013-02-08.
  3. Choate, Paul T. (July 13, 2012). "'An All-Around Gentleman and Scholar;' Former ASU Prof. Howard Dorgan Sorely Missed by Faculty, Community". High Country Press.
  4. "Contents". Encyclopedia of Appalachia. University of Tennessee Press. ISBN 1-57233-456-8. Retrieved 2012-07-13.
  5. "Dr. C. Howard Dorgan". The Watauga Democrat. 2012-07-09. Retrieved 2012-07-13.
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