Appalachian Studies 630

APST 630
Political Economy & Community Development in Appalachia

1. Catalog Entry

APST 630
Political Economy & Community Development in Appalachia

Credit hours (3)
Prerequisites: APST 610 and APST 620, or instructor permission

With a focus on Central and parts of Southern Appalachia, students will gain an historical understanding of how the political economies in these areas have influenced their current conditions.  They will analyze the impact of natural resource extraction on community development and specifically how law and policy related to extraction have determined, either advertently or inadvertently, Appalachian economies.  Students will study the effects of single-industry economies on the health, educational, social, and cultural institutions in communities.  They will identify other factors, whether local, regional, national, and/or international, that have influenced the region’s political economy.  Moreover, students will study grassroots movements and community development efforts that have responded to or are currently responding to the politics that shape the economics and how such movements work to eradicate political disenfranchisement among community members.

2. Detailed Description of Course

The course may include the following:
    1) Definitions of political economy
    2) Factors that determine and/or impact political economies
    3) Stakeholders in political economies
    4) Poverty and political disenfranchisement
    5) Politics of mental and physical health
    6) Natural resource extraction and political economies
    7) Single-industry economies
    8) Healthy community development
    9) Education and community
    10) Cultural institutions’ role in community development
    11) Consequences of Appalachia’s contributions to the global economy
    12) Appalachian grassroots movements to build social, cultural, and private capital

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) Define political economy and what a healthy one looks like    
    2) Identify factors that impact the political economy of a community
    3) Identify who contributes to a balanced and healthy political economy
    4) Analyze what is involved in community development and who determines a community’s goals
    5) Identify effects of natural resource extraction on community development
    6) Critique effects of absentee landownership on political economy & community development
    7) Explain consequences of single-industry economies on community
    8) Identify successful entrepreneurial efforts in community development
    9) Critique Appalachia’s political economy within a national and global context
    10) Explain how Appalachia contributes to the global economy and what costs are involved as a  result
    11) Identify historical and contemporary Appalachian grassroots efforts to build community and alter power structures
    12) Identify current movements to increase social, cultural, environmental, and private capital in Appalachia
    13) Explain how politics influence and can determine a community’s mental and physical health
    14) Identify the ways institutions of education and communities can contribute to each other’s wellbeing
    15) Explain cultural institutions’ roles in community development    

5. Assessment Measures

Include but are not limited to:
    1) in-class attendance and participation
    2) online assignments
    3) experiential field assignments
    4) critical reading reflection logs
    5) article-length paper or detailed lesson plan for use in high school or undergraduate college classroom

6. Other Course Information


Review and Approval

February 18, 2013