Brian McKnight, the KCWRT speaker for June, 2016, is Professor of History and a Founding Director of the Center for Appalachian Studies at University of Virginia-Wise.
He is a specialist in contested and coerced loyalties and is the author of Contested Borderland: The Civil War in Appalachian Kentucky and Virginia, which won the James I. Robertson Literary Award, and Confederate Outlaw: Champ Ferguson and the Civil War in Appalachia, which won the Tennessee Library Award for best book in Tennessee history.
His most recent book is titled We Fight For Peace: The Story of Twenty-Three American Soldiers, Prisoners of War, and Turncoats in the Korean War. His other writings have been featured in the New York Times and his work on Korean War prisoners of war was profiled in the New Yorker.
Brian is currently at work on a volume of writings on guerrilla warfare in the Civil War and is coauthoring with Gary Robert Matthews a biography of Confederate General Simon Bolivar Buckner.
Brian grew up in Virginia’s westernmost county and received his undergraduate degree from UVa-Wise and his Ph.D., from Mississippi State University.
When he is not teaching or researching, he is usually on his farm planting fruit trees, building fences, and keeping bees.