Student News

Call for proposals: UK Appalachian Research Symposium and Arts Showcase

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 21, 2023) — The University of Kentucky’s Graduate Appalachian Research Community (GARC) is encouraging students to participate in the 2024 Appalachian Research Symposium and Arts Showcase.

The 13th annual event will be held Saturday, March 2, in the first-floor atrium of the Healthy Kentucky Research Building with a schedule to be announced soon. The theme for the symposium and arts showcase is “Just Futures.”

“While Appalachia is often imagined as mired intractably in the past, our focus on just futures was chosen to envision together what just Appalachian futures might look like,” said Jed DeBruin, GARC president.

GARC, along with the UK Appalachian Center and Appalachian Studies Program, hope undergraduate and graduate students across a variety of disciplines — environmental studies, medicine and public health, life and physical sciences, the social sciences and humanities — will showcase their work on Appalachia.

“Appalachian studies brings together people from all kinds of disciplines, said Michelle Roberts, a doctoral anthropology student and organizer of the symposium. “‘Just Futures’ was the result of realizing something we all have in common — this idea that part of being a scholar of Appalachia is not focusing just on the past and present, but thinking about what a future based on the principles of justice could mean for Appalachians and the region as a whole.”

Students can present individual or group papers, have a full panel presentation, display a poster to summarize their findings, or showcase their artistic work — films, musical performances, short plays, paints and other media, photography and creative writing.

The event will also allow students to network, collaborate, learn and explore issues relevant to Appalachian communities.

Students creating performance or visual artworks related to Appalachia are strongly encouraged to participate. Abstracts must be submitted by 5 p.m. Feb. 9 online here. You can find more information on requirements online here.

The event is free to attend. Anyone wanting to attend the symposium, and all presenters, must register online here by 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 16.

If you have questions or concerns you can email

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