about elizabeth + contact

Hi, I’m Elizabeth.

I’m a public historian and writer based in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia. In accordance with an ancient curse, my last name is pronounced “cat.”

I’m the author of the  What You Are Getting Wrong About Appalachia, a critical look Hillbilly Elegy-fication of politics that uses radical history to challenge perceptions of the region as a hub of white, working-class woe. I also just published, as co-editor, 55 Strong: Inside the West Virginia Teachers’ Strike. My next book, Pure America, about the legacy of Virginia’s eugenics movement set against the backdrop of the state’s recent controversies over Confederate monuments.

My work has been featured in or on many outlets, including All Things Considered, the Guardian, the Nation, the New Yorker, Bookforum, On the Media, Guernica, the Los Angeles Times, and the New York Review of Books. You can also navigate to my writing using the menu above or visiting my blog.

If you’d like me to write for you or want to book a speaking engagement, please get in touch via elizabeth.catte@gmail.com. You’re welcome to just say hello, too. I have a short FAQ about speaking engagements that I hope is helpful.

I’m the Director of Passel, a historical consulting firm, and I acquire work in Appalachian Studies and public history for West Virginia University Press. I have a PhD in public history and at least 2 people on the internet have called me the new Howard Zinn as an insult.

In my spare time, I like to take pictures, play vidja games, and curate a website dedicated to food featured on King of the Hill called Pork Chop Night. I’m a member of Democratic Socialists of America Charlottesville chapter.