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Dr. Tammy Clemons

Research Interests:
Appalachian Studies
Community development
cultural production
Digital Humanities
Gender & Women's Studies
grassroots organizing and activism
Latin American Studies
media literacy
participatory action research
Political Ecology
popular education
visual anthropology
youth studies
  • PhD in Cultural Anthropology, University of Kentucky, 2021.
  • MA in Cultural Anthropology, University of Kentucky, 2016.
  • Graduate Certificate in Gender & Women's Studies, University of Kentucky, 2014.
  • MTS (Master of Theological Studies) concentrating in World Religions and Women’s Studies, Harvard Divinity School, 2001.
  • BA in Women’s Studies, Spanish minor, Berea College, 1999.

I grew up in Montgomery County, Kentucky, and my family's historical roots are in Eastern Kentucky and East Tennessee. I am a graduate of Berea College as well as its first Women’s Studies major. While pursuing a graduate degree at Harvard, I worked for two years as a manuscript desk assistant at the Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America at the Radcliffe Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Much of my masters-level graduate work focused on feminist liberation theologies, ecofeminism, leadership and organizing, and community activism. I also conducted two ethnographic studies on the Schlesinger Library as part of a course on “ethnographic imaginations” while I worked there. After grad school, I worked at Berea College for almost a decade; four-and-a-half years as the Executive Assistant to the President, and three-and-a-half years as the College's campus-wide Sustainability Coordinator. I returned to the President's Office to serve again as President Shinn's Executive Assistant during his last year at Berea while simultaneously beginning my first year of doctoral study in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Kentucky.

My doctoral career in the UK Department of Anthropology included working with Dr. Ann Kingsolver as my advisor, and my coursework focused on development; political economy; popular education; youth as a cultural category; cultural production; and media literacy, education, and activism in Appalachian and Latin American contexts. In 2014, I completed a graduate certificate from the UK Department of Gender and Women’s Studies and earned an MA in cultural anthropology in 2016. I worked as a Teaching Assistant for Dr. Kingsolver's APP 200 Introduction to Appalachian Studies course as well as for Dr. Juliana McDonald and Dr. Hsain Ilahiane in ANT 160 Cultural Diversity in the Modern World. In spring 2015, I taught ANT 160 as my own standalone course. My dissertation, Producing Possibilities: Envisioning and Mediating Youth, Identities, and Futures in Central Appalachia, focuses on how young visual media makers in different social contexts in Appalachia envision, construct, and act upon possibilities for young people in the region. I completed fieldwork in Eastern Kentucky and West Virginia. As part of my dissertation research, I completed an oral history collection on "Youth Activism in Different Generations in Appalachia," which was funded by a project grant and transcription grant from the Kentucky Oral History Commission and is housed in the Unviversity of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History. In Spring 2020, I taught a Special Topics course on ethnographic research methods as an Adjunct Lecturer in Peace and Social Justice Studies at Berea College.

I am also a media artist and have made more than 40 short videos over the past decade. I am especially interested in film/video as a medium for storytelling, not only in the context of researching and documenting on behalf of others but in helping communities and individuals to tell their own stories through film as well. My partner and I are co-producing a multi-media documentary project about her grandparents Frances and John Reedy, who were founding Bluegrass musicians and songwriters ( For Fall 2009, we were awarded an Appalachian Sound Archives Fellowship where we began the formal research phase of the documentary and donated the Reedys' collection of recordings and memorabilia to the Berea College Special Collections and Sound Archives. Concurrent with this fellowship, we completed the Community Scholars certification program sponsored by the Kentucky Folklife Program. For this documentary project, we were also awarded a Family Research Fellowship from the Kentucky Historical Society, an Artist Enrichment Grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women and an Artistic Assistance Grant from Alternate ROOTS.

I have participated in several film courses and workshops, and I taught a Berea College Short Term course called “Acting the Part: Filmmaking and Community Activism” in January 2009. I also offered a short workshop on “Filmmaking and Activism: Organizing Film Screenings for Social and Environmental Justice” at the 2009 Campus-Community Partnerships for Sustainability Conference, where I also co-coordinated the “Water and Climate Change Film Festival.” From 2007-2011, I co-produced the local Clear Creek Film Festival featuring film/video projects “focused on but not limited to natural and sustainable living, Appalachian storytelling, Appalachian youth culture, global awareness/human rights, and any films created or produced by local media artists.” I was invited to serve as a jury member at the 2013 Festival Internacional de Cine de los Derechos Humanos (International Human Rights Film Festival) in Sucre, Bolivia. In summer 2014, I volunteered as an Assistant Media Teacher for Camp Steele at High Rocks Educational Corporation in West Virginia, and in the summers of 2015-2018, I served as the lead Media Teacher as staff for the same program. For four summers, I also spent time visiting and volunteering with the Appalachian Media Institute (AMI) in Whitesburg, Kentucky. In 2016, I participated in a month-long Fall Youth Theater Lab that was a collaborative theater workshop facilitated by AMI and Roadside Theater and resulted in an original short play that was publicly performed for a community audience. In November 2017, I participated in the Hurricane Gap Community Theater Institute at Pine Mountain Settlement School.

In 2018, I was juried as a media artist into the Kentucky Arts Council Teaching Artist Directory and the Berea College Partners for Education Promise Neighborhood Teaching Artist Directory. I have led or participated in media arts projects as a visiting teaching artist in several Kentucky public schools, including but not limited to those served by the Berea College Partners for Education (PFE) through the "Our Creative Promise" and "Arts Connect Appalachian Youth" projects funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. I helped document lessons learned from the "Our Creative Promise" project and helped consult on a "Media Arts Toolkit" of K-12 resources for Kentucky Educational Television. I also served as one of the facilitators for the "Arts Connect Appalachian Youth Summit" with students and teachers from participating schools in November 2018 the follow-up summit in November 2019. I am currently working as an artist mentor for the PFE Appalachian Teaching Artist Fellowship program.

Professional Training
  • Social/Behavioral Human Subjects Research Course, Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI), 2015, 2018, 2021.
    • Students in Research Module, 2015.
    • Introduction to Community-Based Participatory Research Module, 2016.
    • Introduction to Community-Engaged Research Module, 2016.
    • Ethical and Practical Considerations in Community-Engaged Research Module, 2016.
    • Advanced Issues in Informed Consent Module, 2016.
    • Research with Persons who are Socially or Economically Disadvantaged Module, 2016.
    • Mobile Apps and Human Subjects Research, 2019.
    • Remote Informed Consent, 2021.
  • Responsible Conduct of Research (Basic Course), CITI Program (2020)
  • Social & Behaviorial Responsible Conduct of Research Course, CITI Program, 2015.
  • Humanities Responsible Conduct of Research Course, CITI Program, 2016.
    • Research, Ethics, & Society Module, 2016.
  • Information Privacy and Security (IPS) Course, CITI Program, 2015.
  • Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), CITI Program, 2019.
  • Introduction to Social Network Analysis (SNA), University of Kentucky LINKS Center Workshop, 2016.
  • Spanish immersion program, El Sol Escuela de Español, Lima, Perú, 2013.
  • Various professional development workshops for Teaching Assistants, University of Kentucky Graduate School, 2012-2015.
  • Grad Degree + Pedagogical Development Track Certification on “Practices of Inclusion and Equity in the Classroom,” UK Graduate School Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning, 2019.
  • Various professional development workshops for Teaching Artists, including Kentucky Arts Council, Berea College Partners for Education, and KQED Teach:, 2018-2019.
Selected Publications:


Clemons, Tammy L. 2021 Media Review of “100 Days in Appalachia.” Journal of Appalachian Studies 27(2):255-257.

Clemons, Tammy 2020 What Does it Mean to Be “Young” in the Mountains? Voices from the “Youth Activism in Different Generations in Appalachia” Oral History Project. Register of the Kentucky Historical Society 118(1):19-66. Special Issue on “Beyond the War on Poverty: New Perspectives on Appalachia since 1970.” Kathryn Newfont, ed.

Clemons, Tammy L. 2014 Film Review of Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story. Journal of Appalachian Studies 20(1):91-93.

Reedy, Timi and Tammy Clemons 2016 Audiovisualizing Family History: An Autoethnography of a Digital Documentary. Visual Ethnography 5(2):79-105. Special Issue on “Exploring Digital Ethnography through Embodied Perspective, Role-Playing and Community Participation and Design.” Natalie Underberg-Goode, ed.

Reviews Forthcoming

Clemons, Tammy L. 2022 Electronic Media Review of “Picturing Milwaukee / Buildings-Landscapes-CulturesBLC Field School, Seeing the World from a New Perspective.” Journal of American Folklore 135(535):122-123.

Clemons, Tammy L. Book Review of So Much to Be Angry About: Appalachian Movement Press and Radical DIY Publishing, 1969–1979. Journal of Appalachian Studies 28(1).

Public Scholarship

“Ain’t No Place Like Home: Appalachia, Anthropology, and Autoethnography,” anthropologies: A Collaborative Online Project, Issue 8, November 2011 (

“Feminism in Herland: A Feminist Utopian Vision of Charlotte Perkins Gilman,” Domestic Goddesses (An On-line Journal on the Writing of “Scribbling Women”),, Fall 1998.

Newsletters, Magazines, & Blogs

“Supporting Intergenerational Oral Histories,” Oral History in the Mid-Atlantic Region (OHMAR) Blog, 1 August 2019 (

Clemons, Tammy, A.J. Faas, Taylor R. Genovese, Carol Hendrickson, Alejandro Ponce De Leon, Brooke Scelza, Nancy White, Laura Zanotti, Doug Bafford, Susan Mazur-Stommen, Claire-Marie Hefner, Michael T. Balonek, and Ashley Stinnett. 2018. “What’s in Your Bag, Anthropologists?” Anthropology News website, 18 July 2018 (

"Exploring Mountains with Multisensory Methods: Sensory Postcards of Appalachia & the Andes," AnthroBone in the Field, 30 October 2016 (

"Growing Across Appalachia: KY2WV and Home Again," with Timi Reedy, Grow Appalachia Blog, 29 September 2015 ( 

“MERJ and More: Local Farms and Food,” The Sustainable Campus: Newsletter of the Berea College Sustainability and Environmental Studies Program, p. 4, Winter 2007 (

“Making Campus Sustainability ‘ESE’,” with Michael Hilterbrand, The Sustainable Campus: Newsletter of the Berea College Sustainability and Environmental Studies Program, pp. 6-7, May 2006 (

“Campus Steering Committee Explores Sustainable Food Network at Berea,” The Sustainable Campus: Newsletter of the Berea College Sustainability and Environmental Studies Program, August 2005 (

“Grass-roots Group ‘Works’ for Local Sustainability,” LILIPOH: The Spirit in Life, Vol. 8, No. 34 (Winter 2003), p. 54.

“Letter to the Editor: Not Your Mother’s Garden Party,” Natural Home Magazine, (November/December 2003) pp. 10-11.

  • 2020 Kentucky Oral History Commission Preservation Grant (in partnership with Berea College Special Collections and Appalachia—Science in the Public Interest)
  • 2019 OHMAR (Oral History in the Mid-Atlantic Region) Martha Ross Memorial Prize
  • 2019 Kentucky Oral History Commission Transcription Grant
  • 2019 Kentucky Foundation for Women Artist Enrichment Grant
  • 2018 Mensa Education & Research Foundation Galiley Scholarship
  • 2018 University of Kentucky Student Government Association Academic Excellence Scholarship for a Graduate Student
  • 2017 Kentucky Historical Society Scholarly Research Fellowship
  • 2017 Kentucky Oral History Commission Project Grant
  • 2017 Berea College Olive Ruth Russell Fellowship
  • 2017 University of Kentucky James S. Brown Graduate Student Award for Research on Appalachia
  • 2017 University of Kentucky Woman's Club Endowed Fellowship
  • 2016 University of Kentucky James S. Brown Graduate Student Award for Research on Appalachia
  • 2016 University of Kentucky Association of Emeriti Faculty Endowed Fellowship
  • 2015 University of Kentucky Eller/Billings Summer Research Mini-Grant
  • 2014 University of Kentucky James S. Brown Graduate Student Award for Research on Appalachia
  • 2013 University of Kentucky Susan Abbot-Jamieson Pre-Dissertation Research Fund Award
  • 2013 University of Kentucky O’Dear Award for Graduate Student Research in Latin America
  • 2010 Kentucky Historical Society Family Research Fellowship
  • 2010 Alternate ROOTS Artistic Assistance Grant
  • 2009 Kentucky Foundation for Women Artist Enrichment Grant
  • 2009 Appalachian Sound Archives Fellowship
  • 2004 Berea College Faculty Fellowship in Service-Learning
  • 1999 Kentucky Student Employee of the Year
  • 1999 Berea College Student Employee of the Year
  • 1999 Berea College Paul Vernon Kreider, Jr. Book Award
  • 1999 Berea College Dr. William Taylor Center Memorial Award
  • 1999 Berea College Weatherford-Hammond Appalachian Prize
  • 1999 Berea College Eva Nell Whitaker Alley Award
  • 1999 Berea College Hutchinson Fund Grant
  • 1998 Berea College Women’s Studies Departmental Labor Award
  • 1994 Kentucky Colonel
  • 1991 Vassar Book Award
  • 1991 Sandy B. Nininger Award (Key Club)
  • 1991 Key Club Scholarship
  • 1991 Rotary Club Foreign Language Award
  • 1991 Spanish National Honor Society
  • 1991 Beta Club
  • 1990 Montgomery County High School Salute to Excellence
  • 1990 Kentucky Governor’s Scholar
  • 1990 Kentucky Girls State