Date of Award


Degree Name



College of Liberal Arts

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Kelli Prejean

Second Advisor

Whitney Douglas

Third Advisor

Jane Hill


Drawing on conversations about the politics surrounding literacy acquisition, I take a deeper look into the effects of obtaining membership within an academic discourse community on Appalachian women from the working class. The tensions that develop between the two opposing discourses promotes a sense of loss as they create distance between these women and their home community, alter relationships, and disrupt identity. Working-class Appalachian women occupy the borderlands between discourses: one foot in their Appalachian community; the other in their academic community. They negotiate their fragmented identities in order to play the appropriate role within the appropriate context. Their status in the academic community is precarious at best, limited and potentially jeopardized by affiliation with their primary discourse community; simultaneously, their participation in the Appalachian discourse community is called into question by their attempts to move into the academic realm, rendering these women strangers in their homeland. Examining the narrative of a woman who has transcended the binary of either/or, I will theorize what I have named the androgynous outlander, a third form with a third discourse.


Women - Appalachian Region - Intellectual life.

Feminism and literature - Appalachian Region.

Women and literature - Appalachian Region.

Appalachian Region - Intellectual life.

Appalachian Region - In literature.