Appalachian Studies Courses

Undergraduate students may earn a minor in Appalachian Studies. They may also pursue a topical major in Appalachian Studies. Graduate students can earn credit hours in Appalachian Studies by enrolling in regionally-relevant courses at the 500 level or above (see below).


APP 200: Introduction to Appalachian Studies
A multidisciplinary introduction to Appalachian culture, history, and society. This course examines how Appalachia came to be viewed as a distinct region. In addition to examples of fiction, a major emphasis is placed on representation of Appalachia in popular and documentary films.


ENG 232: Literature and Place
This course situates the vital literature of the SOuthern mountains within national and global literary contexts. Poems, novels, and short stories by authors such as Harriette Arnow, James Still, John Fox, Jr., Gurney Norman, George Ella Lyone, Lee Smith, Denise Giardina, Jim Wayne Miller, and others are discussed.


APP 300: Topics in Appalachian Studies (Women in Appalachia)
This multidisciplinary course examines the historical, sociological, and cultural lives of women living in the central Appalachian coal fields during the 20th Century. The goal is to examine the notion of an essentialized Appalachian woman, while exploring the diversity of women's lives in the mountains, as well as those who no longer live in the region.


APP 300/AAS 400: African Americans in Appalachia
This course is an introductory seminar designed to provide students with a historical overview of significant themes in the lives of African Americans in Appalachia. This course examines the social, political, intellectual, cultural, and educational space occupied by a population so marginalized by mainstream society, that many refer to this population as the invisible minority.


MUS 301: Appalachian Music
Appalachian Music is a listening survey course that considers the musical and cultural context of traditional vernacular music in the Southern Appalachian region. Genres that are investigated include balladry, lyric and recreational songs, old-time fiddle music and bluegrass, coal and work-related songs, and sacred music.


GEO 321: Land, People, and Development of Appalachia
Major themes revolve around regional diversity and regional development. Major topics examined include physical environmental context, historical development, and economic and population geography. The study region includes the upland areas between southern New York State and central Alabama. Prereq: GEO 130, 152, or 172, or consent of instructor.


PS 456G: Appalachian Politics
This course is essential for anyone planning to do advanced work in Appalachian studies because it looks at a wide variety of issues from the "hillbilly" stereotypes in media politics and culture. Audiovisual materials, especially Appalshop videos, are an important component of this course.


ANT/SOC 534: Sociology of Southern Appalachia
This course explores a sociological interpretation of Southern Appalachians, emphasizing the great diversity in the various parts of this area by study of the major institutions, value orientations, and social and cultural changes affecting both the whole area and its sections.


HIS 580: History of Appalachia
This course is a survey of the social and economic history of the Appalachian region from the colonial period of American history to the present. The course examines changing patterns of culture, land use, economy, politics, and social structure in the mountains with an eye to understanding contemporary social systems in Appalachia. Differing interpretations of the historical experience in Appalachia will be explored and examined. Special emphasis will be placed upon the interaction of mountain residents with the broader forces of social change work in America (change of family structures, gender roles, economic systems, political cultures, material life, and value orientations).


SOC 735: Special Topics in Social Inequalities (Sociology of Appalachia)
This course is intended to serve as an introduction to the multidisciplinary scholarship in Appalachian Studies. It will examine both "classic" contributions and recent studies to explore interpretive shifts, controversies, and debates. Topics will include Appalachia's discursive formation (its "discovery"), the construction of "tradition," controversies over the politics of culture, and interpretations of the region's social history and development, poverty, politics and activism, identities and solidarities, race, and gender.


Related Courses

ANT/SOC 500: Appalachia, Democracy, and Public Life
GS 600: Appalachian Development
ST 690/PS 711: Globalization, Democracy, and Sustainability
PS 491/711: India/Appalachia: Environmental Politics and Theories
HIS 650: Readings in Appalachian History
HIS 656: Readings in the New South
HIS 700: Research Seminar in the New South

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