Julia Lewis has been named a Student Affiliate of the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Gender in Appalachia. She earned her B.A. from Marshall University and is pursuing her M.A. in sociology also at Marshall University. Ms. Lewis is a graduate assistant at CSEGA.
Ms. Lewis’s research focuses on the survivors of the 1972 Buffalo Creek flood in which the failure of a coal waste dam caused the deaths of 125 men, women, and children. She is coordinating the creation of a data base organizing the depositions from the Dennis Prince et al vs The Pittston Company lawsuit filed by some of the survivors of the Buffalo Creek flood. Her research will, among other things, address gender differences in how survivors dealt with the flood including their immediate reactions, changes in their relationships with others, losses they experienced, and any physical and emotional problems they experienced. Ms. Lewis will also examine the survivor’s behavior in regards to commonly held stereotypes of Appalachian culture such as fatalism, individualism, and being isolated.
Ms. Lewis has presented research at the 1999 Appalachian Studies Conference, the 1998 West Virginia Sociological Association/ Political Science Association Annual Conference, and the 1997 Association for Humanist Sociology Annual Conference.