GEOG 333/533 Appalachia: Land and People For many, the word Appalachia conjures up a variety of seemingly contradictory images. It is an area of stunning natural beauty, yet one often identified with extensive environmental degradation. Appalachia is an area rich in natural resources, yet one typically associated with abject poverty. It is an area of economic potential, as well as economic decline. While special emphasis has been placed on natural resource extraction (especially coal mining) and its effects on the physical environment and people of Appalachia, GEOG 333/533 (Appalachia: Land and People) devotes attention to the following: the invention and construction of an Appalachian region; cultural stereotypes; settlement and expansion; cultural diversity; land ownership and speculation; mining and industry; labor relations; the changing role of women; and the impact of federal programs. Lectures, readings, occasional films, guest speakers, and a field trip will all contribute to the content of the course.
On April 16, 2004, 30 students from West Virginia University traveled to Athens so they could take part in a tour of southeastern Ohio. Also along for the ride were 10 undergraduate and seven students from GEOG 333/533; four members of the Appalachian Appalachian Learning Community; sociologist Philip Obermiller from the University of Cincinnati; and geographer Ann Oberhaouser from West Virginia University. See the trip itinerary for full details of the day experience.