Alicia Beeson, assistant professor, used time during the pandemic to combine three things she’s passionate about— West Virginia, women and narratives— into one project “Wild and Wonderful Women.”
“I grew up in West Virginia and moved away for graduate school when I was twenty-two. I was gone for six years and during that time, my already cultivated love for West Virginia grew even more… I had some extra time during the pandemic, so I took a short podcasting class, bought a mic and starting interviewing various women on important, relevant social issues for our state.”
Beeson’s educational background solidified her interest in narratives.
“While away, I pursued graduate degrees in English that really solidified my interest in narratives. They help us voice our experiences, humanize social issues, and understand others on a deeper, more connected level… Additionally, my scholarly work is really focused on women writers and characters, aiming to elevate individuals who have been forgotten and analyze social dynamics that impact womens’ experiences,” she said.
Beeson has interviewed several women from across the state to learn more about each of the topics they had to offer. Some interviewees include: Dr. Renate Pore about women’s history, Delegate Danielle Walker on the Black Lives Matter movement, Susie Mullens about substance use and recovery, and Councilperson Rosemary Ketchum regarding LGBTQ+ rights.
“Being able to interview these women for the podcast has been so enriching for me, making me incredibly excited about the future of our state, and I hope that listeners feel some of that as they are listening as well,” she said. “The interviewees have been so gracious by giving their time to be interviewed and opening up about their experiences… I have learned from each of these women, and my pride for West Virginia just keeps growing.”
Season two of “Wild and Wonderful Women” will be released soon. To catch up or listen to new episodes, listeners can tune into Beeson’s Buzzsprout site, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Stitcher. Updates and inside exclusives for the podcast can be found on Facebook or Instagram.