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Hillbilly Elegy: Media

The resource guide for the 2017-18 Common Experience book selection, J.D. Vance's "Hillbilly Elegy"


What is Kanopy?

Kanopy is a collection of documentaries, films, and videos on demand available to BGSU students. Much like other popular video services, the site contains search options, summaries, ratings, and the ability to create a list of from the available selections.

Check out some of the Appalachia materials found on Kanopy here.

JD Vance

This video offers both an interview and a short biographical sketch of J.D Vance. Viewers may be able to gain some insight on Vance, the stories and themes he draws upon, and a synthesis of how these elements work into the book. How might the video speak to the common theme of persistence, resilience, grit?



These videos may provide insights into the many ways in which Hillbilly Elegy is positioned in public discourse. Viewers may gain a sense of how multiple narratives play a role in collective social, political, and cultural dynamics. How does your personal or class reading of the book fit into these larger discussions? What discussions are still needed?

Hillbilly Elegy Movie

Hillbilly Elegy will soon move from the page to the big screen. Although the film is still in early development, Ron Howard will direct the movie. Click on the video below to gain more insight. What might be gained or lost when a memoir becomes a film?

Documentaries and Films

These films deal with themes and characteristics often associated with either the Appalachians or the notion of a "hillbilly" culture. Winter's Bone takes place in Missouri (The Ozarks), but is situated next the the Appalachians and thought to have many similarities including the common use of "hillbillies" to describe some of the population. Songcatcher heavily focuses on Appalachian ballads, life and culture in the mountains, and the clash between cultural "insiders" and "outsiders."