Virginia Tech's College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences offers a minor in Appalachian Studies that focuses on the unique literature and language of the Appalachian Region. Just what geographic area is included in the Appalachian Region is debatable but the Appalachian Regional Commission, established by Congress in 1965, defines it as "a 205,000-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 12 other states: Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia." (https://www.arc.gov/appalachian_region/theappalachianregion.asp)
The mainly rural region has historically been heavily invested in mining, forestry, agriculture, chemical, and heavy industry and its residents have had a higher instance of life at or below the poverty line than in other parts of the country. The region is home to a rich cultural heritage including bluegrass music, the Hatfield-McCoy Feud, folk heroes like John Henry, and folklore like the Mothman.