Looking at Appalachia Anew by David Gonzalez. May 20, 2015

"The mere mention of some places in America evoke images that are powerful, instantly recognizable — and stereotyped. Brought to public awareness through photographs of poverty, despair or violence decades ago, some of these places cannot shake off their stubborn notoriety, despite the passage of time and progress. And in some cases, their past misfortune gives ample fodder for cruel, and clueless, jokes."

A Fresh Look at Appalachia—50 Years After the War on Poverty by Becky Harlan. February 6, 2015.

"I could introduce this post by listing all the hackneyed misrepresentations of Appalachia. It would be easy. Boxing people in is easy. Writing off a region is easy. What’s more difficult is shedding some of those cliched ways of seeing in order to really look."

Another Appalachia by Emily Anne Epstein. January 10, 2016.

"When President Lyndon Johnson designated Appalachia as the battleground for the War on Poverty, black and white images of destitute families and broken-down barns came to define the region. Some 50 years later, those stereotypes remain—and Roger May is working to change that."


Ways of Unseeing: Crowdsourcing the Frame in Roger May's Looking at Appalachia by Mark Nunes. November 9, 2017.

Of countless images over the last century, attempts to frame Appalachia's landscape and people have drawn on a limited number of tropes. Whether Bayard Wootten's photographic illustrations for Cabins in the Laurel, or the Farm Security Administration (FSA) images of Walker Evans, Elmer Johnson, and Marion Post Wolcott, or photojournalists' frontline depictions of the War on Poverty, the visual encoding of Appalachia has reinforced and recirculated images of a rugged, yet pristine landscape, and a people who are portrayed in equal mixtures of pride and deprivation, perseverance and lack.