Babies, Banjos and Barricades: Women's Struggles for Social Justice in Appalachia

Jennifer Cohen-Jordan
Day/Time Taught: 
MWF 9:00-9:50 am and MWF 10:00-10:50 am
Course Number: 

Although often overlooked, women have long been agents for change in social and environmental issues in Appalachia. This course will provide students with a comprehensive introduction to social and environmental issues in Appalachia, and the various ways in which women engage in activism to advocate for social justice in Appalachia. Students will examine the influence of gender construction on women’s activism and the reasons why women become active. Reflecting an interdisciplinary approach to this course, students will engage with a variety of written and video materials, as well as musical recordings.   I will draw from history, literature, sociology, film and music. Recent coal ash flooding in Tennessee is just beginning to raise public awareness of issues related to safe containment of coal sludge in Appalachia, and the environmental consequences of mountain top removal coal mining. In response to these issues, students will engage in a service learning project in which they will work with Appalachian Voices, a non-profit organization that addresses social and environmental implications of mountain top removal coal mining. This organization is largely staffed by women. In addition, students will use materials from the Jimmy Carter oral history project that I performed in Plains, Georgia to compare perspectives of Appalachian women and women of the Plains area in relationship to social justice issues.  

Contact FYS

The First Year Seminar is part of the General Education Program located in Anne Belk Hall, Room 250.

Phone: 828-262-2028

Our mailing address:
First Year Seminar
ASU Box 32065
Appalachian State University
Boone, NC 28608

Director of First Year Seminar:
Rick Klima

QEP Global Learning