Crystal Cook Marshall ’05 (Los Angeles, MFA) published Big Rural: Rural Industrial Places, Democracy, and What Next with Lexington Books, an imprint of Rowman & Littlefield. Inspired by her family’s involvement with the coal industry, Cook Marshall intends to challenge people to do better by rural people and places.
“My main goal with this research and with creating challenging questions about vision, policy, and interventions for rural places always has been to prompt more robust discussion and action,” Cook Marshall says.
Cook Marshall hopes to inform and inspire students and researchers, nonprofit, state and federal agency leaders and policymakers, and citizens of both urban and rural places to think deeply and bold and big about the future of rural places.
“My time in the Antioch University MFA program encouraged me to be able to connect deeply with scholarly work so that I can also bring my own voice to the world of academia,” says Cook Marshall. “My MFA community’s continued support has been key for me to also integrate performance and story into my academic work.”
In addition to her MFA from Antioch University, Cook Marshall has an undergraduate degree from Barnard College at Columbia University, a master degree from the New School for Social Research, and a PhD in Science and Technology Studies of Society from Virginia Tech. For her PhD, Cook Marshall was a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow, and has also been a Fulbright recipient in writing. Currently, she is faculty at NC A&T in North Carolina, where she researches issues and direct programs on farmers, farmworkers, systems of rural stakeholders, and extreme weather. Her work has appeared in academic and creative journals such as the Southeast Review and Shenandoah.