Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Theresa A. Lloyd

Committee Members

Charles S. Olson, Mary Hurd


Since the early 1970s, Appalshop, a regional film workshop in Whitesburg, Kentucky, has been examining social, economic, and environmental issues important to the people of Appalachia. Appalshop’s goal has always been to give a voice to a community that is often stereotyped and misunderstood by the media. Since its creation, Appalshop has devoted ample attention to the practice of surface mining, its potential consequences to the region, and most importantly, local opposition to the practice. While Appalshop’s early surface mining documentaries are focused on educating the general public about the issue, its later documentaries appeal to viewers’ emotions and develop an angry, passionate tone. Appalshop’s changing filmmaking techniques and increasing devotion to activism are discussed here with an incorporation of film theory and references to various environmental, literary, and historical texts. Comparisons and contrasts are drawn between Appalshop surface mining films from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.