In Memoriam: Ken Muir


Ken Muir

Longtime Popular Culture Association member Kenneth Bradley Muir died December 26, 2021.  He resided in Boone, North Carolina, and was recently retired from the Sociology Department at Appalachian State University, where he had been a professor since 1998.  Ken was born August 26, 1957.  He received his B.A. in Journalism from Oakland University in Rochester Hills, Michigan, in 1979; his M.A. in Journalism and Communication from the University of Florida in 1985; and his Ph.D. in Sociology from Virginia Tech in 1993.  Before becoming a professor, Ken worked as a journalist for the Jupiter [Florida] Courier-Journal from 1979 to 1983 and for the Gainesville [Florida] Sun from 1983 to 1985.  From 1985 to 1998 he held academic positions at Radford University (Radford, Virginia), Virginia Tech, West Virginia University, and the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

At Appalachian State, Ken directed the M.A. in Social Sciences Program from 2001 to 2006.  He was a Fulbright Senior Specialist in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 2006 and a Visiting Professor and Research Scholar at the University of Winchester (England) beginning in 2018.

Ken’s academic specialties in addition to popular culture included the sociology of sport and the sociology of media.  His publications include several book reviews in the Journal of Popular Culture and Journal of American Culture and articles in the Southwest Journal on Aging (2000), Research on Aging (2002), the Journal of Housing for the Elderly (2004), Deviant Behavior (2004), Educational Gerontology (2005, 2006), and Teaching Sociology (2013).  In addition, he published chapters in Rural Housing, Exurbanization, and Amenity-Driven Development: Contrasting the “Haves” and the “Have Nots” (2011, edited by David Marcouiller, Mark Lapping, and Owen Furuseth, 2011) and the Palgrave Handbook of Masculinity and Sport (2020, edited by Rory Magrath, Jamie Cleland, Eric Anderson).

Through 2021, Ken was the longtime PCA Area Chair for Eros, Pornography, and Popular Culture.  Ken was also active in the Southern Sociological Society and the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport.  He was a nationally certified rugby referee and coached women’s rugby at Appalachian State for many years.  Ken is survived by his wife Lisa Muir, who through 2021 was the longtime PCA Area Chair for Creative Fiction Writing.

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