Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Thomas Alan Holmes

Committee Members

Rebecca Fletcher, Joshua Reid


Ron Rash’s Serena and Ann Pancake’s Strange as This Weather Has Been are two contemporary Appalachian novels that have yet to be analyzed from a biblical ecocritical perspective. While some literary scholars acknowledge the environmental aspects of the novels, little of their research goes beyond examining the land and its resources as commodities or metaphorical extensions for the characters. In this thesis, I elaborate on those interpretations by scrutinizing the natural descriptions in both novels and comparing those findings to some of the landscapes and environmental verses located within the Bible. Unlike the pastoral ideal found in a portion of the literature preceding the twentieth century, contemporary Appalachian writers such as Rash and Pancake have moved away from such a bucolic, prelapsarian idealization in favor of limning a more industrialized, postlapsarian Appalachia. Following both analyses, I conclude by predicting how emerging Appalachian writers will portray the landscape in future works.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.