Annual Research Symposium

2016 UK Appalachian Research Symposium and Arts Showcase

Difference and Affinity: Representing Appalachia

Saturday/Sunday, March 5-6, 2016

University of Kentucky William T. Young Library

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, Friday, January 22, 2016. Notice of submission acceptance will be emailed to the student by January 25th. 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 1, 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 1, 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:

·      Friday, January 22, 2016: Presenter abstracts due
·      Monday, February 1, 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    

Past Symposium Programs:
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