Appalachian Studies Program

Appalachian Studies (minor)

The Appalachian Studies Minor is an interdisciplinary program that explores the history, culture, and natural environment of Southern Appalachia. It draws upon the wealth of Appalachian cultural and environmental resources on Mars Hill University’s campus and in its backyard.

MHU is located in the Appalachian Mountains, in Madison County – a county celebrated equally by historians, environmental scientists, folklorists, and outdoor enthusiasts, and known worldwide for its rich traditional music heritage. The French Broad River and the Appalachian Trail meander through the county, much of which is located in the Pisgah National Forest and near to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The land, landmarks, and place-names of Madison and surrounding counties tell stories of the earliest cultures that lived here, of the Cherokees, of European colonists, the American Revolution, African American communities, the Civil War, and of all the changes brought by the 20th and early 21st centuries. The Mars Hill University campus itself is home to:

While the Appalachian Studies Minor focuses on Southern Appalachia, the interdisciplinary skills developed therein can be applied to any other region (national or international). It is an ideal complement to most majors and is especially recommended for any student who wishes to:

  • Develop the skills to study the culture, history, or environment of a region in depth;
  • Understand the regional forces which shape and motivate human beings and social movements; and/or
  • Have a career that depends upon a nuanced understanding of a particular geographic place or community.

Core courses include:

  • AS 211: Introduction to Appalachian Studies
  • AS 344: Creative Traditions in Southern Appalachia
  • AS 345: Oral History Practicum
  • BIO 214: Natural History of the Southern Appalachians
  • ENG 340: Appalachian Literature
  • REL 343: Religion in Appalachia
  • HIS 349: Appalachian History