Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)


Appalachian Studies

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Rebecca Fletcher

Committee Members

Ronald Roach, Marie Tedesco


The rural health physician narrative is one of the most understudied genres in non-fictional Appalachian literature. Physician narratives are significant in the historical, social, and political contexts of twentieth-century Appalachian representation. These accounts provide insight into the social contexts in which physicians lived as they wrote about healthcare and Appalachian communities. New Historicism is an analytical tool used to better understand the complexity surrounding Appalachian representation, particularly in terms of the politics of representation, gender, and race that influenced these narratives in the twentieth century. I engage in close readings of narratives written by or about rural health physicians who practiced in Appalachian communities during the early and mid-twentieth century. The physicians include Drs. Mary Martin Sloop, Gaine Cannon, A.W. Roberts, and Anne A. Wasson. I provide a nuanced discussion of the emergence and reiteration of Appalachian stereotypes in physician narratives and consider the lessons they provide for current physicians.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.