Culture And Catastrophe: An Ecocritical Reading Of Southern Appalachian Literature

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Daniel Wartham (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Zackary Vernon

Abstract: This thesis focuses on Gurney Norman's Divine Right's Trip (1972), Ron Rash's One Foot in Eden (2002), and Cormac McCarthy's The Road (2006) using an ecocritical reading to highlight the intersections between the environment and culture of Southern Appalachia. This analysis attempts to reveal possibilities for the restoration of the region's landscape after being marred by extractive industries including coal mining and hydroelectric damming. It will utilize the impact that these industries have had on well-known cultural traditions to promote the growth of, and intermingling with, new cultures. This thesis creates a space for an open discussion about the generational divides in Appalachia, migration out of the region, and the overall "Othering" of the region not only from the mainstream United States but also from the U.S. South. Ultimately, it strives to look at this unique geo-cultural region and how its literature can provide both a physical home for its residents and a place for cultural foundations in the form of generational knowledge, shared values, and practices concerning agriculture and spirituality.

Additional Information

Wartham, D. (2023). Culture And Catastrophe: An Ecocritical Reading Of Southern Appalachian Literature. Unpublished Master’s Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2023
Southern Appalachia, Appalachian Literature, Ecocriticism, Counterculture, Coal Mining

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