UVA Wise Appalachian Fellows

Like many, UVA Wise Appalachian Fellows will be changed by their experience here, in the heart of Appalachia. How will this transformation take place? The faculty of UVA Wise have developed a curricular plan which will develop their understanding of the Appalachian region and its people.

As a UVA Wise Appalachian Fellow you can:

  • Explore a wide variety of course topics and craft your readings and research in personalized directions.
  • Take advantage of numerous opportunities to take in the region and its culture outside of class.
  • Attend presentations by several speakers coming to campus and a number of regional trips planned to expose you to our region.

Events and Opportunities

As a UVA Wise Appalachian Fellow, you sit in an envious position. Every opportunity for growth and advancement will be offered to you.  Our College routinely offers lectures, field trips and other events to its students, but you should feel a responsibility to take in every event possible.  These opportunities are largely unique to this region and our campus and will greatly contribute to your Appalachia-centric experience here.

Calendar of Events:

Theresa Burriss lecture, September 10*
Burriss directs Radford University’s Appalachian Regional and Rural Studies Center. She is a pioneering figure in Appalachian education and will speak on that topic while here.

Barton Myers lecture, September 17
Myers, a History professor at Washington and Lee University, has led that institution’s efforts to rethink its public relationship with Robert E. Lee.

Bloodroot Mountain Discussion and Exhibition, September 17*
A panel discussion and exhibit including Amy Greene, author of Bloodroot and contributor to The New York Times, and Trent Thompson, who together with Greene co-directs the Writers in Modern Appalachia project by Bloodroot Mountain, examining the important voices in Appalachian literature.

 High Knob Naturalist Rally, September 28*
An event aimed at introducing the public to central Appalachian biodiversity. The Rally takes place at 4,000 feet above sea level in the Jefferson National Forest and includes guided hikes, kayaking and canoeing on High Knob Lake, and presentations on regional flora and fauna.

*–Appalachia-centric program.

How is this going to impact you in your future endeavors?

Your year in Appalachia will expose you to the region and its people, but beyond that, it will help you develop an understanding of poverty, regionalism and community. We want your experience here to color how you view the great human challenges that surround us all. Our only hope to change the world is to understand it. We hope that you carry your memories and experiences here in Appalachia with you for the rest of your life and you remember this region as one of merit and value rather than falling prey to the dismissiveness and derision that seems to dominate popular culture depictions of our rural area. It is our belief that your time here will cultivate in you an ambassadorial sense in regard to the challenges the people of our area face.

About the UVA Wise Center for Appalachian Studies

The UVA Wise Appalachian Fellows program is administered by the Center for Appalachian Studies (CAS).  The CAS was founded and is directed by Professors Amy Clark (Communications) and Brian McKnight (History) and claims affiliated faculty from across a number of academic disciplines.  Members of the Appalachian Fellows Advisory Committee are Professors Clark and McKnight, along with Wally Smith (Biology), Ryan Huish (Biology), and Jinny Turman (History).  On this committee and on our broader faculty, you will find some of the most accomplished scholars of the Appalachian experience in the world.  We hope that our efforts over the coming year will not only impact your academic career, but change your life.