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Women of Appalachia: Common Ground, Different Matriarch

Head shot for Cecelia Bagnoli

Name: Cecelia Bagnoli
Majors: Communication Studies and Environmental Studies
Advisor: Dr. Oscar Mejía

Best Innovative Podcast

The purpose of my Independent Study was to create a podcast, which you can find here, that illuminates the experiences and voices of contemporary Appalachian women to dismantle media-based stereotypes about people within the region. This study addresses a gap in the scholarly literature regarding both the roles and impacts of contemporary women within the Appalachian region. While Appalachian studies scholars have taken a recent interest in a historical approach to the influences of women much of the literature focusing on current day circumstances of Appalachian women only regards their health accessibility and economic instability. Further, there is limited research that specifically focuses on how women participate in and influence the social, political, and cultural climate of Appalachia within a contemporary context. Thus, through the employment of semi-structured interviews with eight Appalachian women in Berea, Kentucky, I elected to fill this gap in the literature by recording current experiences of women who live within the region in the form of a podcast. Contrary to wide-reaching stereotypes about the region, my podcast offers evidence that Appalachian women are educated, influential actors within their community who possess a strong sense of place within the region.

I am grateful to the College of Wooster for providing me with the skills and tools necessary to carry out research that focuses on dismantling misconceptions about the place I call home. In the future, I hope to continue doing so by creating more podcast episodes that feature under-represented communities that exist throughout the Appalachian region.

Posted in Comments Enabled, Independent Study, Symposium 2022.


4 responses to “Women of Appalachia: Common Ground, Different Matriarch”

  1. Lily Anderson says:

    Cecelia this is amazing! Thank you for sharing the stories of often-overlooked women in Appalachia.

  2. Denise Bostdorff says:

    Congratulations, Cecelia! This was a wonderful project.

  3. Dante King says:

    Hi Cecelia! This is fantastic! Your passion for your research definitely comes through. Congratulations, and all the best for what’s ahead! 🙂

  4. Kate Beutner says:

    Such interesting work! I’ve heard similar sentiments from many students from Appalachia. Thanks so much for presenting your research!

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