Appalahcia is a cultural region in the eastern part of the United States. It encompasses parts of thirteen states: West Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi. Today it is home to more than 25 million people and covers 420 counties and almost 205,000 square miles. Appalachia has been misrepresented for decades, if not centuries, and abounds in offensive stereotypes. Yet the region has produced an incredible number of important writers, artists, and musicians who have enriched the American landscape. This six week course examines the history, politics, and culture of the region, beginning with the first European settlers and their first encounter with Native Americans of the area. Discuss the folkways and folklore that became an integral part of Appalachian culture and continue to influence and intrigue observers. Lastly we will take a brief look at the politics of the region in the later part of the 20th century beginning with the presidential campaigns of the 1960s and the creation of the Appalachian Regional Commission by an Act of Congress in 1965. Documentary films depicting the region will supplement weekly lectures.
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