Date of Award

Fall 10-9-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

MAE - Master of Arts in Expressive Therapies


Expressive Therapies


Marisol Norris


In southern Appalachia, we fail to make visible the roots. Existing not as a geographical location but as a socially constructed culture and a concentrated source of exploited energy, the region reflects a necessary element of the postcolonial American imagination. For nationally lucrative resources such as coal, oil, lumber, and natural gas to be extracted without consideration or consciousness for the people and the place of its origin, the otherized Appalachian stereotype must prevail. Further crystalizing this false construction, white Appalachian scholars traditionally address current health disparities via the victimization of poor white Appalachia. The capitalist initiative to concentrate power and privilege may therefore be evidenced by the elimination of white Appalachia’s historical role and responsibility in the colonization of indigenous peoples, the dehumanization of enslaved peoples, and the acts of hate and violence against people of color today. In this paper, I explore current literature on Appalachian Studies, historical trauma theory, art-based social action, and anti-oppressive practice to make visible the roots of social suffering and begin unearthing and transforming historical trauma buried within the land.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.




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