Introduces students to the history of the Appalachian region from European contact to the present. Traces the idea of Appalachia by tracing ways in which Americans have imagined the region over time. Explores humanistic problems of cultural identity, race and ethnicity, place and globalization, and impacts of natural resource extraction.
Survey and study of music traditions in Appalachia. Investigation of the formal elements of this music, including instruments and musical terms and forms. Exploration of style as a reflection of many cultural influences. Study of the impact and development of these traditions in contemporary musical practices.
Examination of the expressive genres and cultural processes of communities in Appalachia. Documentation of art and skill in everyday life, including material culture (e.g., foodways, architecture), customary behavior (e.g., music, ritual, occupational practice), and verbal art (e.g., narrative, speechplay), and analysis of how people have used these forms to shape social identities, physical spaces, and power relations.
Examines cultural, political, and social aspects of music in, of, and about Appalachia, including such commercialized and increasingly globalized products as “old-time,” “bluegrass,” and “country.” Ways in which music contests and reproduces social relations of race, class, and gender. Role of migration and racial diversity in formation of Appalachian music. Economic significance of music, such as Virginia’s The Crooked Road as a regional touristic undertaking.
Study of human health within and across a variety of geographic contexts in North America. Describe the health consequences of inequity and injustice within and across American contexts. Consider the roles of collectives, social movements, mutual aid, interdisciplinary thinking, power and social justice in addressing pathologies of power and working towards human well-being. Advocate a biosocial lens that considers the dynamic relationships between biology and environmental, social, geographic, and historical contexts.
The concept of community in Appalachia using an interdisciplinary approach and experiential learning. Interrelationships among geographically, culturally, and socially constituted communities, public policy, and human development. Pre: Junior standing.
Appalachian writers from the 1800s to the present, including Murfree, Wolfe, and selected contemporary authors. Course will treat artistic merit and such selected themes as the mountains, Appalachia as a frontier, ambivalence about the Civil War, religion, folk ways and traditions, coal mining, and cottage industries.
An empirical examination of how Appalachian speech both reflects and constitutes regional cultures. Emphasis is on applying sociological and anthropological methods and theories to the study of language in use.
Undergraduate participatory community research as applied to issues of cultural heritage, sustainability, and identity. Students engage in projects defined by community groups and organizations as being critical to their well-being, continuity, or growth. Emphasis is on developing concepts of civic professionalism and developmental democracy.
Research conducted by students on issues relevant to local or regional sustainability in contemporary Appalachia on contemporary environmental and community issues. Focus on environmental justice ethical issues expressed in or created by various forms of discourse.