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Berea Sound Archives Fellowship Topics

Lauren Hayes  / Tucson, Arizona / 2013-2014 / Topics: Oral History; Appalachian Women Factory Workers

Lauren HayesProject: Lauren’s research involves the documentation of personal work histories and spoken narratives of working life among women factory, manufacturing, and service workers in Appalachian Kentucky. These work histories and narratives will include reflections about current and past work opportunities for women in the region, descriptions of current circumstances among Appalachian women workers, and descriptions of daily work activities and responsibilities. The project is an important component of her dissertation research in Berea that explores how Appalachian working women negotiate the challenges of the modern workplace.

Lauren’s research will result in a collection of audio-recordings and documentary material including transcripts and a field log about Appalachian women in the modern workplace for future use in Hutchins Library’s Department of Special Collections and Archives.  She presented her paper  "An Ethnographic Study of Appalachian Women Working in the New Economy" at the 2015 Appalachian Studies Association Conference.

Lauren is a Ph.D. candidate in cultural and linguistic anthropology at the University of Arizona in Tucson and a visiting scholar of Berea College’s Women’s and Gender Studies program.


Jason Howard / Berea, Kentucky / 2015-2016 / Topic: Women in Appalachian Music

Jason HowardProject: Jason Howard’s Fellowship supported research will draw upon the Alan Lomax Kentucky Recordings and other Special Collections resources to study how Appalachian women have coped with hardship, chronicled local stories and even challenged the status quo through song. Generally he will work to widen his knowledge of the cultural and musical heritage of Appalachia. In particular he will focus on developing a deeper understanding of the gender roles and class dynamics existing in the mountains between 1933 and 1942 and how they affected the music of the region. Jason’s research outcomes will be both creative – writing a series of lyric essays about these women and their music, and scholarly -  providing significant underpinning of lectures and research for “Roots Music of the American South,” a General Studies-Required 210 class currently in the design stage.

Jason is an Appalachian writer and began his work as editor of Berea College’s literary journal Appalachian Heritage in 2013. His music related writing includes A Few Honest Words: The Kentucky Roots of Popular Music, a creative nonfiction work of literary journalism that was published by the University Press of Kentucky in 2012.


Anna Roberts-Gevalt / Hinesburg, Vermont /  2008-2009 / Topic: Women in Appalachian Music

Anna Roberts-GevaltProject: Anna Roberts-Gevalt is a recent graduate of Wesleyan University in Connecticut. She grew up in Vermont, playing violin in a youth orchestra and in string quartets. Through recordings at college she was drawn to Appalachian fiddle and banjo tunes. This interest led to an internship at Appalshop in Whitesburg, Kentucky during the summers of 2007 and 2008. This work has included archival research at Berea, East Tennessee State University, and the Library of Congress and hands-on experience at the Cowan Creek Mountain Music School, which puts banjos and fiddles into the hands of eager school age children.

The overall theme of Anna's Music Fellowship work was an examination of the role of women in the history of traditional music in Kentucky. Specifically she explored the lives and music of at several Kentucky women fiddlers who are documented in the Berea collections. She transcribed their tunes, conducted field interviews and identified additional recordings of these women with the aim of expanding their narrative and musical stories within the archives. She also looked at the lives of several other Kentucky instrumentalists and conducted similar field work for the Berea archives. Dissemination will be by means of a multimedia website, an article, and a series of presentations and performances. Her article on Owsley County, Kentucky fiddler, Effie Pierson can be found in the June-July 2010 issue of Old-Time Herald.


Jessica Wilkerson / Oxford, Mississippi / 2011-2012 / Topic:Appalachian Women

Jessica WilkersonProject: Jessica Wilkerson is an Assistant Professor of History and Southern Studies at the University of Mississippi. Jessica received her Ph.D. in Women's and Gender History at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. During her fellowship she used Berea's oral history collections that document scholar-activist and grassroots participants in the War on Poverty of the 1960s-1970s in support of her dissertation, "Where Movement's Meet: Women's Activism in the Appalachian South 1965-1980."  Research outcomes in addition to the dissertation itself include paper presentations at meetings of the Southern Association of Women Historians and the Southern Historical Association. Jessica’s dissertation became the basses for her book, To Live Here, You Have To Fight: How Women Led Appalachian Movements for Social Justice University of Illinois Press, 2019.


Marianne Worthington / Williamsburg, Kentucky / 2008-2009 / Topics: Poetry; Women in Appalachian Music

Marianne WorthingtonProject: Marianne Worthington is an Associate Professor of Communication Arts and Journalism at the University of the Cumberlands, Williamsburg, KY. Her Music Fellowship study will be in furtherance of work on a poetry manuscript in process, currently titled Knoxville Girl. She will use audio and other archival resources to enhance her knowledge of mountain music in general, to study the lives of particular women singers and folklorists in Kentucky, and to analyze specifically the words and music of murder ballads. The manuscript is directed at using poetry to tell these women's stories and to examine the issues and barriers women continue to face as artists and performers.

Marianne's poetry chapbook, Larger Bodies Than Mine, was chosen for the New Women’s Voices Series and received the 2007 Appalachian Book of the Year Award in Poetry. She has published over 40 poems in national, regional and on-line literary publications and over 60 non-fiction pieces (book reviews, essays, critical analyses, and feature-stories) in regional and scholarly journals. Her collection of poems “The Girl Singer” was published by the University Press of Kentucky in November 2021. She has also taught in the Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts (KGSA) as a creative writing instructor.