Annual Appalachian Research Symposium

2016 UK Appalachian Research Symposium and Arts Showcase

Difference and Affinity: Representing Appalachia

Saturday/Sunday, March 5-6, 2016

University of Kentucky
College of Law Courtroom
620 South Limestone 


See 2016 Call for Participation for complete information.

The University of Kentucky Appalachian Center, Appalachian Studies, and the Graduate Appalachian Research Community (GARC) seek to promote interdisciplinary dialogue around issues in Appalachia. We are proud to follow up our first six successful symposia with the 2016 UK Appalachian Research Symposium and Arts Showcase to be held March 5-6, 2016. For the first year ever, the Symposium is open to all undergraduate and graduate students of all disciplines from all colleges and universities doing work pertaining to Appalachia. Registration is free for both presenters and registered attendees. The Symposium is intended to foster a supportive community in which students from various fields can present their Appalachian-based research and creative work. This year’s Symposium will provide an opportunity for students to network, collaborate, learn from each others’ findings, and explore issues relevant to Appalachian communities. Students creating performance or visual artworks related to Appalachia are strongly encouraged to participate.

This year’s theme is Difference and Affinity: Representing Appalachia. The Symposium will reflect on the diversity and commonality of the Appalachian experience. Presenters are encouraged to consider issues of representations of the Appalachian region and how our work as academics, activists, artists, and community members shapes perceptions of the region and has the potential to influence policies and outcomes for Appalachian communities. The Symposium seeks to celebrate difference and also the commonalities that bring us together in the region. Presenters should consider how diversity of experience and affinity politics may contribute to a more multifaceted representation of the Appalachian region and beyond. Connections across geographic space, disciplines, and theoretical orientations are strongly encouraged. 

Presentation formats include:
o   Scholarly papers and organized panels
o   Scholarly posters
o   Roundtable conversations on Appalachian issues
o   Artistic Work: Films, music, plays, art, photography, and creative writing



Keynote & Special Presentations

This year's Symposium will feature a special keynote presentation by Tom Hansell of his film After Coal. Also, the Symposium will feature a screening of this year's Appalachian Media Institute films. 

Requirements and Important Information:

  • Work must be topically related to Appalachia, original, and produced in the last 3 years.
  • To be considered for inclusion in the Symposium students should submit a 200-250 word abstract online by midnight, Sunday, January 31, 2016. Notice of submission acceptance will be emailed to the student the first week of February. To submit the abstract, visit the abstract submission page of the GARC website.
  • Registration for presenters is online and must be completed by midnightMonday, February 15, 2016. To register, visit the presenter registration page of the GARC website.
  • Registration is free for both presenters and other attendees. You are encouraged to attend even if you are not presenting. Those who want to attend, but not present, must also register online by midnight, Monday, February 15, 2016. To register, visit the non-presenter registration page on the GARC website. Registration will help ensure seating in our facilities and refreshments for the Symposium.

See the 2016 Call for Participation for more information 

Important Dates:

·      Sunday, January 31,  2016: Presenter abstracts due
·      Monday, February 15, 2016: Registration due for both presenters and non-presenting attendees
For further questions please contact GARC Symposium Co-chairs Kathryn Engle at or Jasper Waugh-Quasebarth at    






·         The most convenient visitor parking is located in the William T. Young Visitor Pay Lot at 401 Hilltop Ave, which is open 24 hours a day.  However, the lot only has 109 spaces and is used by student patrons of the library, and fills up very quickly in the morning.  You will want to arrive by 8:15am in order to snag a spot in this lot and walk to the Symposium.  The walk from this lot is 0.5 miles and takes approximately 12 minutes.  The rates are $2/hr with a $16 maximum exit fee.  A parking map and info for this lot is found here:


·         The Sports Center Garage Parking Structure #7 is your safest bet for parking, as it has 700 spaces.  It is located at 721 Sports Center Drive.  It’s approximately 1 mile from the Symposium in the Law Building Courtroom, and the walk takes about 20 minutes.  The lot opens at 5:00am, and visitor cars must be removed by midnight.  The rate is $2/hour with a $16 maximum exit fee.  A parking lot map and info for this lot is found here:


  • Home2 Suites of Lexington is offering conference attendees a discounted rate of $104/night.  The suites include queen beds and kitchen amenities.  Home2 Suites is located at 126 East Lowry Lane, Lexington, KY 40503, and is a 9-minute drive from the South Limestone Parking Structure #5.  You must use this link to book your suite at the discounted conference rate:
  • The Symposium committee is dedicated to making this conference affordable for student presenters.  We are also mobilizing local students and faculty members to host presenting students in their homes who are wishing to save money.  Please email Zada Komara at if you would like to stay with a local colleague.  This is a fun way to network in a new city!  We will try our best to find you a local host.  


  • Breakfast and lunch will be provided at the Symposium on Saturday March 5th, and breakfast will be provided on Sunday March 6th.  Should you care to quickly grab a bite elsewhere, a Pizza Hut, Hibachi Express, and local deli and fried chicken joint Phillip’s Market are across the street from the Law Building.
  • For dinner, Lexington has a wonderful array of independent restaurants.  Consult this restaurant guide, or ask a local attendee at the Symposium for a recommendation!


Come a day early or stay a day late if you can!  Kentucky has some amazing arts, cultural, historical, and environmental recreation opportunities!  Here are just a few in Lexington and surrounding areas:

Past Symposium Programs:


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