ThomasGBurton.com focuses on the multifaceted culture of the Southern Appalachian Mountains: the people, music (ballads, country, blues, and other folk music), religious rituals and practices—particularly of “Sign Following” Holiness Pentecostal churches: serpent and fire handling, drinking poison, speaking in tongues (glossolalia), casting out demons, faith healing, raising the dead, anointment (altered states)—folklore, storytelling, values and codes of conduct (including violence), legal prosecution and incarceration (for religious practice and deviant behavior), and oral history.
Born 7 January 1935 in Memphis, Tennessee; son of H. Glen Burton and Rosalie Burton, deceased; high school diploma 1952 from Central High School, Charlotte, N. C., B.A. 1956 from David Lipscomb College, and M.A. 1958 and Ph.D. 1966 from Vanderbilt University; member of the Department of English of East Tennessee State University 1958 with the rank of full professor 1967 until retirement 1995. Professor Emeritus 1996.
Appalachian Consortium Laurel Leaves Award (co-recipient for meritorious contribution to the Southern Appalachians), 1982
College of Arts and Sciences Award in Teaching, East Tennessee State University, 1995
Professor Emeritus of English, East Tennessee State University, 1996
Sycamore Shoals Celtic Festival Heritage Award 2003