AppLit is a web site containing Resources for Readers and Teachers of Appalachian Literature for Children and Young Adults. Although the focus is not primarily on literature for adults, some sections contain material on literature for adults that may be taught in high school or college. We believe strongly that picture books and other literature for children can be enjoyed by people of all ages and taught at all levels through college.
AppLit was created by Tina L. Hanlon and Judy A. Teaford in 2000.
AppLit was created with support from the Appalachian College Association, Ferrum College, and a Humanities Focus Grant from the Division of Education of the National Endowment for the Humanities in 2000-2001. Some landmarks in the history of this project are listed on the News and Events page.
AppLit continues to expand its bibliographies, study guides, lesson plans, author pages, texts of previously unpublished folktales, original stories and poems, articles on Appalachian literature and related topics, and links to other Internet resources, as well as regional photos; background on illustrators, dramatists, and filmmakers; and illustrations, including drawings by school children based on their experiences with Appalachian literature and drama.
AppLit's logo was donated by graphic designer Linda Hanlon.
|Tina Hanlon receiving E-Appalachia award from Scott Schwartz at 25th Appalachian Studies Association Conference, Unicoi State Park, Georgia, March 16, 2002. (Judy wasn't there!)|
Making teachers and others more familiar with the literary traditions and cultural history of southern Appalachia;
Providing teachers with specific strategies for including high quality literature in their curricula and integrating it with other subjects such as history, art, sociology, and folklore;
Providing information about related internet resources and places such as museums where teachers and students can engage in experiential learning;
Encouraging communication among teachers, scholars, authors, illustrators, librarians, and students;
Providing background information on regional authors and illustrators whose works may not be widely known;
Encouraging critical approaches that will help teachers and students avoid negative stereotypes and oversimplified depictions of particular regions, cultures and minority groups;
Helping children's literature and Appalachian culture gain acceptance and respect in mainstream literary and cultural studies.
Please contact us if you have suggestions or you would like to contribute materials to AppLit.
Lesson Plan Guidelines for Contributors
Reading List for NEH Project Teaching Appalachian Literature
Index of Student Writing and Illustration in AppLit
We reserve the right to edit any materials submitted to AppLit. We will contact the author before making substantial changes in any donated materials.
Appalachian Literature was a project supported by Ferrum College and
the National Endowment for the Humanities in 1999–2001.
The following project participants contributed to the development of AppLit:
Tina L. Hanlon, Director - Associate Professor of English, Ferrum College
Judy A. Teaford, Assistant Director - Instructor of English, Mountain State University
Lana A. Whited, Participant - Associate Professor of English, Ferrum College
Susan Virginia Mead, Participant - Assistant Professor of Sociology, Ferrum College
Brenda Muse - Teacher Participant
Tammy Wood - Teacher Participant
Madison Williams - Teacher Participant
Tracy Roberts - Teacher Participant
Consultant - Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, East Tennessee State
(now director of Center for Appalachian Studies and Service, ETSU)
George Ella Lyon, Consultant - Author
R. Rex Stephenson, Consultant - Professor of Drama, Director of the Jack Tale Players, Ferrum College
Stephanie Humphries, Consultant - Linguist
George Loveland, Consultant - Public Services Librarian, Ferrum College
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AppLit is listed as "Best of the Web" in several sections of the redesigned and growing web site SurLaLune Fairy Tales. Heidi Ann Heiner's site is a magnificent source on fairy tales and related resources, excellent for comparing Appalachian folktales with other fairy tales of the world.
New in 2010: Retelling of "Jack and the Giants" by R. Rex Stephenson. "Mutsmag" is another online folktale adaptation by Stephenson (2002), illustrated by school children, with many background resources in this web site. AppLit contains study guides and other background on most of the tales performed by Stephenson's Jack Tale Players.
New in 2005-10: More previously unpublished folktales and rhymes from the James Taylor Adams Collection in AppLit's Fiction and Poems section, some selected by Michelle Vincent during 2005 summer research supported by a Lee B. Ledford Scholarship from the Appalachian College Association. "How Jack Got a New Shirt," "The Old Man and His Seven Sons," and a version of "Froggie Went A-Courting" have been edited slightly by Tina Hanlon for ease of use in schools or reading at home.
New in Spring 2008: Timeline of Appalachian Folktales in Oral and Written Traditions.
Added in 2003: Teaching Unit on West Virginia's Appalachian Music and Literature, including text and audio files of folktales and songs, photos and drawings, folk instruments, excerpts from Cynthia Rylant, background on the state of West Virginia, online activities for children (formerly in West Virginia World School Web Site).
Note that there is a section on Appalachian Dialects (by Stephanie Humphries) within the Study Guides section of AppLit, with a variety of resources for analyzing and teaching students about the use of dialect in literature.
The Bibliography of Appalachian Folktales in Children's Literature and Collections (by Tina Hanlon) indexes over 70 tales listed by title, with individual pages that give annotated references to variants of the same tale. Related tales from Appalachia and other regions and countries are also listed.
The Authors section contains a page of the original manuscript of the picture book No Star Nights, donated by author Anna Smucker.
The Trivia page in the Study Guides section contains little known facts and fascinating details about Appalachian books, some supplied by the authors and illustrators.
AppLit has permission to present audio excerpts from Tell It on the Mountain: Appalachian Women Writers, a series of audio recordings by Appalshop (1997). Look—and listen—for your favorite writer's voice later.
You can use the Ferrum College search page to search AppLit pages.
John Alexander Williams defines regionalism as “the ideological form of the regional concept—the belief in the primary importance of region as the organizing principle for the work to be done: cultural study, economic planning, political reform, architectural design—whatever it is that the definer wants to accomplish” (“A Regionalism Within Regionalism: Three Frameworks for Appalachian Studies.” Journal for the Appalachian Studies Association 3 (1991): 4-17). Even among writers and scholars of Appalachian literature, this organizing principle lends itself to a variety of definitions. Many identify the region geographically as the area of Central or Southern Appalachia. Others prefer the broader definition supplied by the Appalachian Regional Commission: “Appalachia, as defined in the legislation from which the Appalachian Regional Commission derives its authority, is a 200,000-square-mile region that follows the spine of the Appalachian Mountains from southern New York to northern Mississippi. It includes all of West Virginia and parts of twelve other states: Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia” (http://www.arc.gov/index.do?nodeId=2). The introduction to Appalachia Inside Out: Culture and Custom states, “Just as we cannot define precisely where Appalachia begins and ends geographically, neither can we say exactly where the culture and customs of the region begin and end. The same is true of the region's literature and criticism” (Higgs, Robert J., et al. Appalachia Inside Out: Culture and Custom. Vol. 2. Knoxville: Tennessee UP, 1995, p. xi). This link goes to another map of varying Appalachian Region Borders.
For AppLit, and for the editors of Appalachia Inside Out, defining Appalachia, and consequently Appalachian literature, remains somewhat of an enigma. In the interest of providing a point of reference, when AppLit pages use the term Appalachia, we are referring to the mountainous regions of Kentucky, Virginia, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama; all of the mountain state of West Virginia; and the hilly region of southern Ohio. Additionally, when we use the term Appalachian literature, we are referring to literature written about this particular region and its people. Some AppLit pages list other works by authors who are Appalachian and works by Cherokee authors who are not themselves natives of Appalachia. Many pages also include comparisons with similar or related works from other traditions.
West Virginia's Appalachian Music and Literature, a teaching unit in AppLit, contains an introduction for school children to Appalachian culture and geography, with maps of Appalachia and West Virginia. (The mountain photo above left is from this teaching unit.)
Fair Use and AppLit Resources
We encourage Fair Use of these materials under current U. S. copyright law and accompanying guidelines. Click on the icon below to see AppLit's Creative Commons license. Resources in AppLit are made available for non-profit and educational use, such as teaching, research, and private study. For these purposes, you may reproduce AppLit materials (print, download or make copies) and link to AppLit pages without prior permission. However, users must obtain written permission from AppLit or the rights holder of individual pages before using a particular item for other purposes, including Internet reproduction, publication, or other commercial applications. The Jack Tale Players web site (linked in many places with AppLit) and the illustrated adaptation of "Mutsmag" are the property of R. Rex Stephenson and Tina L. Hanlon.
We strive to practice Fair Use in citing and quoting material from sources, reprinting materials by others only with permission, and linking to sites with reliable and legal contents. Please contact us if you find errors or have questions about the ownership of materials in this web site.
AppLit by Tina L. Hanlon is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
(Dr.) Tina L. Hanlon
Associate Professor of English
Box 1000, Ferrum College
205 Ferrum Mt. Rd.
Ferrum, VA 24088
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This site created May 16, 2000
This page's last update: 3/7/12
AppLit © 2000-2012, all rights reserved
Great Smoky Mountains waterfall photo by Griner family, 2007
Blue Ridge Parkway fences photo by Holly Anderson, July 2007
Photos of Blue Ridge Farm Museum, Ferrum College by Elise Kirchoff, May 2000