Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Theresa A. Lloyd

Committee Members

Anthony P. Cavender, Roberta Herrin


The region of Southern Appalachia, long known for its colorful storytellers, is also rich in folk medical lore and practice. In their Appalachian novels, Lucy Furman, Emma Bell Miles, Mildred Haun, Catherine Marshall, Harriette Arnow, Lee Smith, and Charles Frazier, feature folk medicine prominently in their narratives. The novels studied, set against the backdrop of the rise of official medicine, are divided into three major time periods that correspond to important chapters in the history of American medicine: the 1890s through the 1930s; the 1940s through the 1960s; and the 1970s through the present. The study of folk medicine, a sub-specialty of the academic discipline of folklore, gains significance with the current rise in distrust of official medicine and a return to medical folkways of our past. The authors studied here have performed an ethnological role in collecting and preserving with great care and authenticity many of the Appalachian regionÆs folk medical beliefs and practices.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.