The Future of Appalachian Studies

The purpose of this roundtable is to discuss the future of the field of Appalachian Studies. A multidisciplinary group of graduate students at the University of Kentucky will discuss their research and perspective of its importance to current issues in Appalachia.

Participants, both residents and non-residents of Appalachia, are from the fields of Education, English, and Public Health. As emerging scholars in these disciplines, theories from a multitude of disciplines, including Sociology, Anthropology, Feminist Studies, Developmental Studies, and Human Geography are used as lenses for research. Contributors offer a diverse interdisciplinary outlooks on the future of Appalachian Studies.

Participants will also discuss how multidisciplinary organizations can foster cooperation and promote solidary within Appalachian Studies. The discussion will include how graduate students have been and can be involved in student-led organizations that encourage diverse scholarship and how that has furthered their studies. Participants will describe challenges they have faced in finding recognition and support for their interest in Appalachian Studies within traditional disciplinary silos.

The goal of this round table is to help promote dialogue about education and research in Appalachian Studies between disciplines. The future of Appalachian Studies depends on interdisciplinary collaboration between the diverse population of graduate students, who seek to sustain and further the field. We hope to foster an understanding of how all the disciplines approach research and how they can work together to provide a complete picture of the issues and opportunities in Appalachia