News

6/30/2017

By Gail Hairston

The sweet strains of traditional mountain music still drift on the summer breezes of the Appalachians, reflecting off the hills and flowing through the valleys. 

But before Appalachian mountain music was first preserved on wax discs — as the arid winds of the Dust Bowl blew and the soup lines of the Great Depression grew — the musicians played on handmade fiddles, dulcimers, zithers and mandolins, and heard with the hearts of generations.

Until the mid-19th century, the vast majority of musical instruments responsible for the sound of mountain music — dulcimers, guitars, violins or fiddles, banjoes, zithers and mandolins — were handmade and passed down from one generation to the next. The tunes and musical traditions were the inheritance of a melding of English, Welsh, Irish and Scottish ballads with the customs of Germany, Eastern Europe and

6/29/2017

By Lori Minter

The University of Kentucky has released its Dean's List for the spring 2017 semester.  A total of 6,412 students were recognized for their outstanding academic performance. 

To make a Dean’s List in one of the UK colleges, a student must earn a grade point average of 3.6 or higher and must have earned 12 credits or more in that semester, excluding credits earned in pass-fail classes.  Some UK colleges require a 3.5 GPA to make the Dean’s List.

The full Dean's List can be accessed by visiting: www.uky.edu/PR/News/DeansList/.

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you

4/28/2017

By Jenny Wells

Volunteers planting trees on formerly mined land in Breathitt County, Kentucky. Photo by Michael Garland.

Earth Day 2017 may have been rainy in Kentucky, but that didn’t stop University of Kentucky students, faculty and staff from planting 2,500 trees.

The UK Appalachian Center collaborated with Green Forests Works (GFW) to host a volunteer tree planting event in Breathitt County, Kentucky, on April 22 in support of Earth Day and the United Nations Environment’s “Plant for the Planet: Billion Tree Campaign.” The event brought together over 50 volunteers, including local writers and artists, who planted indigenous hardwood trees and shrubs to restore forest habitat in an area that was previously mined for coal.

UK

3/24/2017

By Jenny Wells

Ron Pen (right) played the fiddle at the UK College of Arts & Sciences Appalachian Center's 40th Anniversary celebration.

The University of Kentucky Appalachian Center recently celebrated its 40th year on campus, recognizing the university’s partnership with the Appalachian region and honoring those who have contributed to the center’s development and success.

“A rich literary history from the likes of Harry Caudill, John Stephenson, Dwight Billings, Gurney Norman, Ron Eller, Ron Pen, Shaunna Scott, Frank X Walker, Mary Anglin, Eric Reece, Shannon Bell — just to name a few — helped give notoriety to the UK Appalachian Studies program,” said Chris Barton, director of the center. “Today, the center is considered a leader in research, teaching and community

3/23/2017

On Thursday, March 2, 2017, the UK Appalachian Center celebrated its 40th Anniversary and the retirement of three affiliated faculty members: Dwight Billings, Ron Pen, and James Hougland.  Guests gathered at the Hilary J. Boone Center on UK's Campus, and the UK Appalachian Center Director, Chris Barton, and the Appalachian Studies Director, Shaunna Scott gave talks about the Center's 40-year history and each of the faculty members' contributions throughout the years. More details can be found in the UKNow article here.

2/14/2017

By Lori Minter

A record number of students made the University of Kentucky Dean's List for the fall 2016 semester. The 7,408 students were recognized for their outstanding academic performance.  That's an increase of more than 200 over the previous record reached in fall 2015 when the number of students on the UK Dean's List surpassed 7,000 for the first time.  Last semester's Dean's List includes over 700 more students than the spring 2016 semester's list.

To make a Dean’s List in one of the UK colleges, a student must earn a grade point average of 3.6 or higher and must have earned 12 credits or more in that semester, excluding credits earned in pass-fail classes.  Some UK colleges require a 3.5 GPA to make the Dean’s List.

The full Dean's List can be accessed by visiting www.uky.edu/PR/News/

2/2/2017

Dr. Shaunna Scott was interviewed by a filmmaker and community activist about a proposed, community-based, participatory action research study of land ownership and taxation in Appalachia. In the interview she discusses the original land ownership study, later published as Who Owns Appalachia in 1983, and the impact of that work. She argues for why the time is right for a new study of land ownership in the region.

The Appalachian Land Ownership Study (1978-80) was a landmark participatory action research collaboration that analyzed land ownership and property tax patterns across six states in southern Appalachia.

Read the interview here

10/24/2016

By Carol Lea Spence

After spending 10 years collecting and analyzing data, University of Kentucky forestry researchers have determined which best management practices are effective and which need minor adjustments in order to protect woodland waterways from the effects of logging.   Kentucky is one of the top producers of hardwood timber in the nation, with logging operations in every county. The state also has more than 90,000 streams and rivers. The combination of thriving forest industries and access to an abundance of large and small waterways makes protecting the Commonwealth’s water a priority. The UK Department of Forestry has been a partner in the development of best management practices (BMPs) in woodlands since the Kentucky legislature created the Agriculture Water Quality Authority in 1994. The authority’s mission is to alleviate pollution to surface and
8/15/2016

By Whitney Hale

The University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) successfully completed work on its National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) digitization grant, resulting in online access to 140 cubic feet of materials from the Bert T. Combs Appalachian Collection. The materials from the Coal, Camps and Railroads project is available to the public through the digital library ExploreUK.   The newly digitized materials at UK focus on 189 years of economic development in the Eastern Kentucky coalfield from 1788 to 1976. The 10 individual collections document: the search for, extraction of, and distribution of coal, oil and natural gas resources in Breathitt, Boyd, Clark, Floyd
8/15/2016

By Gail Hairston

Kentucky is privileged with a bounty of railroad museums and attractions, but the Elkhorn City Railroad Museum has a charm and history all its own.

With its unique collection of railroading tools, equipment, uniforms and instruments; enhanced by books and photos; and personalized by retired railroad employees eager to share their tales of life on the rails, the Elkhorn City Railroad Museum preserves and protects Eastern Kentucky’s pride and culture as well as its hope for the future.

This past spring semester, University of Kentucky sociology students in Associate Professor Shaunna L. Scott’s “Sociology of Appalachia” class were quick to recognize the potential of the small museum

4/11/2016

By Ashley Cox

(April 11, 2016) — The University of Kentucky Department of Physics and Astronomy is hosting Kentucky native and NASA civil servant Pamela Marcum April 14-15 for a Sky Talk titled "NASA’s SOFIA Observatory: Exploring the Universe from 42,000 Feet” and a meet-and-greet.

Marcum’s Sky Talk is open to the public and will take place 8 p.m. Thursday, April 14, in the Chemistry-Physics Building room 155. Her meet-and-greet will take place from 12-1:30 p.m. Friday, April 15, at the UK Appalachian Center, located at 624 Maxwelton Ct. The meet-and-greet is open to university faculty, staff and

3/21/2016

By Gail Hairston

(March 18, 2016) — Shaunna L. Scott, associate professor of sociology and director of the Appalachian Studies program at the University of Kentucky, is co-editor of a book chosen as the 2015 Weatherford Award winner for nonfiction.

"Studying Appalachian Studies: Making the Path By Walking," edited by Chad Berry, Phillip J. Obermiller and Shaunna L. Scott (University of Illinois Press), is a collection of essays reflecting on the scholarly, artistic, activist, educational and practical endeavor known as Appalachian Studies. Following an introduction to the field, the writers discuss how Appalachian Studies illustrates the ways interdisciplinary studies emerge, organize and institutionalize themselves, and how they engage with intellectual, political and economic forces both locally and around the world.

Weatherford Award judges in nonfiction say

1/25/2016

By Zada Komara

(Jan. 25, 2016) — The University of Kentucky Appalachian CenterAppalachian Studies Program, and the Graduate Appalachian Research Community are now accepting abstracts for the 2016 UK Appalachian Research Symposium and Arts Showcase. 

The symposium features diverse undergraduate and graduate student research, performances, art, and other projects from across the Appalachian region. Work must be original, produced within the past three years, and related to Appalachia. This year’s symposium theme is "Difference and Affinity: Representing Appalachia," and reflects on diversity and commonalities of the

11/18/2015

By Whitney Harder

(Nov. 18, 2015) — The 5th Annual Sustainability Forum, sponsored by the Tracy Farmer Institute for Sustainability and the Environment and the UK Appalachian Center, will take place from 4:30-7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 1, at the Hilary J. Boone Center.

The forum will showcase interdisciplinary research in environmental and sustainability science and policy. UK faculty, staff and students conducting research in the areas of environmental science, public and environmental health, economic and social policy, political ecology, and manufacturing and materials science are encouraged to participate in the poster

9/16/2015

By Mack McCormick, Mariana Moreno

(Sept. 16, 2015) — Writer Jane Hicks has been named the recipient of the Appalachian Writers Association (AWA) 2015 James Still Award for Poetry for her book "Driving with the Dead: Poems," published by University Press of Kentucky (UPK).

The AWA's mission is to promote and recognize writing about the Appalachian region. The association works to celebrate writers who are living or have lived in the Appalachian region and those who have significant Appalachian connections through heritage or scholarship. The AWA currently gives out five awards each year: the Harriette Arnow Award for Short Story, the Wilma Dykeman

7/16/2015

By Whitney Harder

(July 16, 2015) — The University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences has named Shaunna Scott as the new director of its Appalachian Studies Program and Christopher Barton as the new director of the Appalachian Center.

"Chris Barton and Shaunna Scott will make a great leadership team along with the staff of the Appalachian Center," said Ann Kingsolver, former director of both the Appalachian Center and Appalachian Studies Program. "They

7/7/2015

By Jenny Wells, Whitney Harder

(July 7, 2015) — When Ann Kingsolver, former director of the University of Kentucky Appalachian Center, began speaking with grandparents raising grandchildren in Appalachian communities, two things became clear to her. First, these grandparents need a break every now and then. Second, they may not always feel comfortable helping their child with the curriculum offered in schools today.

So the idea for UK Tomorrow Corps was born, tackling both issues of respite care and education enrichment. Eventually it expanded beyond the idea of aiding grandparent caregivers to support many types of families and students across Appalachia.

Kingsolver also realized the program could benefit another

6/8/2015

By Terrence Wade

(June 8, 2015) — Records from Benham Coal Company, one of several Appalachian collections to be digitized by University of Kentucky Libraries Special Collections Research Center as part of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) funded Coal, Camps, and Railroads project, is now available on the digital library ExploreUK.

Located on the eastern side of Harlan County, Kentucky, Benham is a coal town developed by the Wisconsin Steel Company, a subsidiary of International Harvester. Beginning

2/18/2015

By Sarah Schuetze

Traveling on the winding roads through the mountains of West Virginia, six people quickly realize that the mountains and the mountain folk are their worst nightmare. This is the premise for the film Wrong Turn, which is an example of “hillbilly horror” and a derogatory portrayal of Appalachia in popular culture.

Images of Appalachia and Appalachians in popular media range from idyllic to horrifying, and this semester, students in Professor Carol Mason’s course, Gender, Film, and Appalachia will examine this range of representation. The class is offered for credit through both the

2/3/2015
Event logo

by: Clark Bellar

(Feb. 3, 2015) — Lexington has long been a cultural hub of Kentucky, allowing artists from both rural and urban areas a unique opportunity to celebrate their work among a vibrant and diverse community. The first Lexington Old-Time Music Gathering will do just that, bringing an Appalachian experience to Lexington with traditional Appalachian music and art.

The Lexington Old-Time Music Gathering will run Feb. 12-15, with events occurring at different venues throughout Lexington.

Sponsors for the festival include WUKY, the University of Kentucky's community supported radio station, the UK Appalachian

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