Edward L. Karshner, Ph.D.
Professor of English (Arts & Humanities)
412-397-6444 phone (M)
412-397-6468 fax
Wheatley Center 209

Educational Background

  • Ph.D., Rhetoric/Philosophy, Bowling Green State University, 2000
  • Master of Arts, English/Creative Writing, Indiana State University, 1997
  • Bachelor of Arts, English/Religion, Otterbein College, 1992

Professional Background

  • Edward Karshner is a Professor of English at Robert Morris University where he teaches courses in writing, folklore, and Appalachian Literature. His short fiction has appeared in the anthologies Haints and Hollers, Shelved (both from Mountain Gap Books) and It Came from the Swamp (Malarkey Books). During the summer of 2022, Karshner was a research fellow at Berea College's Special Collections and Archives. He is the folklore columnist for the journal Reckon Review.

Area of Expertise/Research

  • Creative Writing
  • Appalachian Studies
  • Folklore
  • Comparative Metaphysics


  • “These Stories Sustain Me: The Wyrd-ness of My Appalachia.” In Appalachia Reckoning. Anthony Harkins and Meredith McCarroll, editors. West Virginia University Press, 2019.
  • Fiction:
    “Der Butzeman.” In It Came from the Swamp. Joey R. Poole, editor. Malarkey Books, 2022.
    “Inheritance.” In Shelved. Jeanne G’Fellers, editor. Mountain Gap Books, 2020.
    “The Salt Creek Valley Monkey Dog.” In Haints and Hollers. Jeanne G’Fellers, editor. Mountain Gap Books, 2019. 
    “The Loneliest Day.” In Pollen. (2017). 
  • For Reckon Review:
    “Dinè Storyteller: A Conversation with Sunny Dooley.” (August 24, 2022)
    “Results Will Vary: The Disruptive Necessity of Story.” (June 22, 2022)
    “The Tree and the Well at the Center of Folklore.” (February 23, 2022)
  • For Blind Pig and the Acorn:
    “A Horseshoe Hanging in Time and Place.” (May 25, 2021)
    “Hanging a Horseshoe: Up or Down.” (May 18, 2021)
    “The Lucky Horseshoe: An Origin Story.” (May 11, 2021)
    “In the Fullness of Time.” (May 7, 2019)
  • "Thought, Utterance, Power: Toward a Rhetoric of Magic." Philosophy and Rhetoric. 44.1: 52-71

  • "Rhetoric, Reality, and Ritual: How Diné rhetoric can restore classical rhetoric’s epistemic promise" Proceedings of the 19th Navajo Studies Conference. Forthcoming

  • Writing the Self: A Phenomenological Approach to the Composition Process. VDM Verlag Dr. Mueller: 2008.




  • 2012 - "Rhetoric, Reality, and Ritual: How Dine rhetoric can restore classical rhetoric's epistemic promise." Presented at the 19th Navajo Studies Conference: Santa Fe, New Mexico.
  • 2012 - "Thinking and Speaking the Circle: Symbolic Action in Navajo Rhetoric." Rhetoric Society of America Conference: Philadelphia, PA.