Appalachian Studies 620

APST 620
New Perspectives in Appalachian Studies

1. Catalog Entry

APST 620
New Perspectives in Appalachian Studies

Credit hours (3)
Prerequisites: APST 610 or instructor permission

Drawing from various postmodern theories and critiques, the course will explore tensions and debates that exist in Appalachian Studies. Students will evaluate how scholars avoid essentialism and recognize diversity while still maintaining a regional disciplinary focus. The course will employ comparative analyses, tools of historiography, and contemporary theoretical lenses for students to come to an understanding of Appalachia and Appalachian Studies in this global 21st century.

2. Detailed Description of Course

The course will employ various postmodern theories and critiques, including deconstruction, Marxism, gender studies/feminism, post-colonialism, ecocriticism, and ecofeminism, to highlight the tensions that exist in 21st century Appalachian Studies Two guiding questions will be, “How do scholars maintain a distinct Appalachian Studies discipline without succumbing to limiting essentialist thought?” and “How do Appalachia and Appalachian Studies fit into a global context?” Students will explore the ways that the postmodern theories listed above inform their understanding of Appalachia in a global, as well as local, context. Moreover, students will concentrate on the interdisciplinarity of APST.

3. Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

The course may consist of in-class instructional activities, such as lectures, guest lectures, documentary viewings, experiential learning opportunities, and discussion.  In addition, there may be online assignments and field experiences.  Students will have opportunities to interact in a variety of ways (i.e. the classroom, online, and in small groups outside of class).  Students will participate in assignments and activities, including but not limited to writing-to-learn activities, oral communication activities, and case studies.
4. Goals and Objectives of the Course

Students will be able to:
    1) explain the main concepts of the following postmodern theories and critiques: deconstruction, Marxism, gender
        studies/feminism, post-colonialism, ecocriticism, and ecofeminism
    2) apply the above postmodern theories and critiques to contemporary Appalachia and its residents, as well as
        Appalachian Studies as a discipline
    3) explain the political and theoretical debates about essentialism
    4) identify the diversity of contemporary Appalachia
    5) explain how that diversity influences evolving Appalachian culture
    6) identify arguments in contemporary Appalachian Studies
    7) explain the competing theoretical and practical issues of “place” and its importance in Appalachian Studies

5. Assessment Measures

Include but are not limited to:
    1) in-class attendance and participation
    2) online assignments
    3) critical reading reflection logs
    4) article-length paper

6. Other Course Information


Review and Approval

February 15, 2013