Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Southern Studies


Southern Studies

First Advisor

Andy Harper

Second Advisor

David Wharton

Third Advisor

Jessica Wilkerson

Relational Format



For many Americans, the concept of Appalachia as a singular place has been created through images in popular culture, often stereotypical. This thesis presents an evolution of Appalachian representations—or, more appropriately, a chronology of images in stasis, as they seem to have remained fairly unchanged over time. Responses to those images, however, have changed greatly. Most importantly, responses from within Appalachia have transformed, with regional people gaining power over the types of images of the region in popular culture. There is, however, a paradoxical dualism in the responses from within the region, as some Appalachians grow weary of being stereotyped on the screen while others welcome clichés as commercial opportunities. This thesis will shed some light on not only the history of visual representations of Appalachia but also on their future.



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