From the 1978 Appalachian Land Ownership Survey to the Foxfire volumes, collaborative ethnographic methods and research-based education have been hallmarks of Appalachian Studies and studies of Appalachia. Appalachian Studies is a theoretical wellspring for collaborative methodologies, where studies have re-grounded expertise in practicing, writing, and applying ethnography to the social, economic, and environmental issues confronted by community partners. Despite a concurrent history of prescriptive, distanced academic study that has mis-understood, mis-represented, and marginalized communities, Appalachian voices continue to ring out through collaborative, community-driven projects that link grassroots community organizations, activists, artists, and teachers and students from academic circles.


This session will consider on-going contributions to this tradition through ongoing service-oriented experiential education within collaborative frameworks at the university level. Representing institutions and collaborative projects from Southern, Central, and Northern Appalachia, contributors will give five-minute lightning talks summarizing their educational programs and collaborative impacts. The session will then open up for discussion between participants and audience members to discuss methodological strengths and weaknesses and how geographic differences and similarities bear on such collaborative projects. Linking scholars in Appalachian Studies, Community Development, Folklore, Comparative Studies, Anthropology, and Geography, this session will foster a space for interdisciplinary conversation on collaborative ethnographic methodologies and student experiential education at DOPE 2020.


Panel participants


Julie Shepherd-Powell, Appalachian State University, Appalachian Studies

Karen Rignall, University of Kentucky, Community and Leadership Development

Jasper Waugh-Quasebarth, The Ohio State University, Center for Folklore Studies

Cassie Patterson, The Ohio State University, Center for Folklore Studies

Katherine Borland, The Ohio State University, Center for Folklore Studies


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