Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects



Additional Departmental Affiliation


Document Type



This CE/T was created in conjunction with an original podcast that was published for public access in 2023. Listen to Bluegrass Backstory on Spotify.


Kentucky has a rich cultural identity, built upon a storied local history. Unfortunately, certain aspects of local cultural history, such as the origins of Kentucky vernacular music or how the bourbon industry has promoted growth in Kentucky’s communities, are not readily apparent. The increasing popularity and accessibility of podcasting offers local historians an opportunity to address this problem.

The goal of this project was to create a podcast program which makes information regarding the history, culture, and identity of Kentucky accessible to all in a scholarly—but engaging—way. I researched podcasting equipment and how to use it, then purchased that equipment and set it up in the Honors College’s Thesis Defense Room. I then interviewed scholars at Western Kentucky University about aspects of Kentucky’s identity and history, such as the bourbon industry, bluegrass music, and women’s history. These interviews were then edited into podcast episodes and made available to the public on Spotify.

This podcast, "Bluegrass Backstory," provides a specialized resource for anyone to learn about Kentucky’s history from reputable scholars, making it easier for Kentuckians to understand and connect to their culture. It shows how podcasting can be a valuable tool to bring local histories to the forefront and help people understand how the world around them came to be.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

David Serafini, M.A.


Anthropology | Broadcast and Video Studies | Communication | History