Graduation Year

2016

Degree

M.A.

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department

Womens Studies

Major Professor

David Rubin, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Aisha Durham, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Diane Price-Herndl, Ph.D.

Keywords

Affrilachian Poetry, Appalachian Studies, Autoethnography, Black Feminist Epistemology, Intersectionality, Personal Narrative

Abstract

This thesis examines selections of Appalachian women’s personal narrative as well as Affrilachian Poetry written by Kentuckians Bianca Spriggs and Nikki Finney. This project’s goal lies in resisting oppression and erasure of Appalachian culture’s heterogeneity. Contrary to constructions of Appalachians as lazy, complacent, and white, many Appalachians organize communities of resistance from within the region itself. Challenging these representations, I argue that Appalachian feminists as well as Affrilachian poets create countercultures that disrupt monolithic, colonialist, and unquestioned constructions of Appalachia.

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