Date of Award


Degree Name



College of Liberal Arts

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Rachael Peckham

Second Advisor

Carrie Oeding

Third Advisor

Cody Lumpkin


As a native to this region and a writer I have spent much of my life attempting to capture a unique aesthetic of what I see through my essays and poetry. The following thesis is a manuscript of nonfiction essays with a critical introduction and conclusion that work together to provide a cohesive narrative centered in the Appalachian region. Through place specific imagery and implementation of regional dialect, and a narrative lens, my collection reveals an aesthetic of the rapidly expanding genre of Appalachian Literature. By exposing the patriarchal structures present in the region and emphasizing issues such as domestic abuse and drug addiction juxtaposed with strong family ties and a deep, tangible pride for my heritage, I attempt to provide a complex view of my home.

As the collective narrative of my manuscript unfolds, the reader is introduced to my Papaw and learns that his siblings played a rather tense role in his life and ultimate death. Despite their roles in his death, my mother and I were expected to keep positive ties with the family. By emphasizing the importance of family structures within the region, my essays demonstrate the dichotomy of the undeniable power and culturally inflicted powerlessness of Appalachian women today.

In my critical introduction, I provide insight as to how Appalachian women can find their unique voices through education and writing and use those voices to speak their own truths, whether those truths speak to power or speak to uphold the power.


Women - Appalachian Region.

Appalachian Region - Literary collections.