A milestone book of poetry at the intersection of Appalachian and African American literature.
In this pathbreaking debut collection, poet Frank X Walker tells the story of growing up young, Black, artistic, and male in one of America’s most misunderstood geographical regions. As a proud Kentucky native, Walker created the word “Affrilachia” to render visible the unique intersectional experience of African Americans living in the rural and Appalachian South.
Since its publication in 2000, Affrilachia has seen wide classroom use, and is recognized as one of the foundational works of the Affrilachian Poets, a community of writers offering new ways to think about diversity in the Appalachian region and beyond.
In Ailing in Place, Michele Morrone explores the relationship between environmental conditions in Appalachia and health outcomes that are too often ascribed to individual choices only. She applies quantitative data to observations from environmental health professionals to frame the ways in which the environment, as a social determinant of health, leads to health disparities in Appalachian communities. These examples—these stories of place—trace the impacts of water quality, waste disposal, and natural resource extraction on the health and quality of life of Appalachian people.
Public health is inextricably linked to place. Environmental conditions such as contaminated water, unsafe food, and polluted air are as important as culture, community, and landscape in characterizing a place and determining the health outcomes of the people who live there. In some places, the state of the environment is a consequence of historical activities related to natural resources and cultural practices. In others, political decisions to achieve short-term economic objectives are made with little consideration of long-term public health consequences.
All Faithful People was first published in 1983. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
In 1924 Robert and Helen Lynd went to Middletown (Muncie, Indiana) to study American institutions and values. The results of their work are the classic studies Middletown (1929) and Middletown in Transition (1937). In the late 1970s a team of social scientists returned to Middletown to gauge the changes that have taken place in the fifty years since the Lynds' first visit. The Middletown III Project, by replicating the earlier work, in some cases by using the same questions, provides an unprecedented portrait of a small American town as it adapts to changing times. Its first report, Middletown Families, was published by Minnesota in 1982.
This book explores the role of religion in the life of Middletown. Using the Lynds' magnificent cache of empirical data as a base, social scientists on the Middletown III Project attempted to gauge how religious beliefs and practices have changed. For the most part, their findings show that the current perception of a trend toward a more secular society is not true. In Middletown, religion seems to be more important than ever.
All Faithful People also covers the history of Middletown's churches, the differences between the town's Protestants and Catholics, religious participation among young people, and the role in Middletown life of private devotions and public rituals. In conclusion, the authors of All Faithful People evaluate Middletown as a representative community. They attempt to explain the myth of the death of organized religion, and briefly compare religion in America to religion in other Western countries.
Fifty years after the Lynds first made Middletown famous, a team of social scientists returned to find out how American values have changed. This, their second report, focuses on religion. What does religion mean to Middletown today? Has America become a secular society? Those are some of the questions discussed in All Faithful People.
The blossoming of Appalachian studies began some thirty years ago. Thousands of young people from the hills have since been made aware of their region’s rich literary tradition through high school and college courses. An entire generation has discovered that their own landscapes, families, and communities had been truthfully portrayed by writers whose background was similar to their own.
An American Vein: Critical Readings in Appalachian Literature is an anthology of literary criticism of Appalachian novelists, poets, and playwrights. The book reprises critical writing of influential authors such as Joyce Carol Oates, Cratis Williams, and Jim Wayne Miller. It introduces new writing by Rodger Cunningham, Elizabeth Engelhardt, and others.
Many writers from the mountains have found success and acclaim outside the region, but the region itself as a thriving center of literary creativity has not been widely appreciated. The editors of An American Vein have remedied this, producing the first general collection of Appalachian literary criticism. This book is a resource for those who teach and read Appalachian literature. What’s more, it holds the promise of introducing new readers, nationally and internationally, to Appalachian literature and its relevance to our times.
Appalachia in the Classroom contributes to the twenty-first century dialogue about Appalachia by offering topics and teaching strategies that represent the diversity found within the region. Appalachia is a distinctive region with various cultural characteristics that can’t be essentialized or summed up by a single text.
Appalachia in the Classroom offers chapters on teaching Appalachian poetry and fiction as well as discussions of nonfiction, films, and folklore. Educators will find teaching strategies that they can readily implement in their own classrooms; they’ll also be inspired to employ creative ways of teaching marginalized voices and to bring those voices to the fore. In the growing national movement toward place-based education, Appalachia in the Classroom offers a critical resource and model for engaging place in various disciplines and at several different levels in a thoughtful and inspiring way.
Contributors: Emily Satterwhite, Elizabeth S. D. Engelhardt, John C. Inscoe, Erica Abrams Locklear, Jeff Mann, Linda Tate, Tina L. Hanlon, Patricia M. Gantt, Ricky L. Cox, Felicia Mitchell, R. Parks Lanier, Jr., Theresa L. Burriss, Grace Toney Edwards, and Robert M. West.
Appalachian Englishes in the Twenty-First Century provides a complete exploration of English in Appalachia for a broad audience of scholars and educators. Starting from the premise that just as there is no single Appalachia, there is no single Appalachian dialect, this essay collection brings together wide-ranging perspectives on language variation in the region. Contributors from the fields of linguistics, education, and folklore debunk myths about the dialect’s ancient origins, examine subregional and ethnic differences, and consider the relationships between language and identity—individual and collective—in a variety of settings, including schools. They are attentive to the full range of linguistic expression, from everyday spoken grammar to subversive Dale Earnhardt memes.
A portal to the language scholarship of the last thirty years, Appalachian Englishes in the Twenty-First Century translates state-of-the-art research for a nonspecialist audience, while setting the agenda for further study of language in one of America’s most recognized regions.
John Anthony Caruso’s The Appalachian Frontier, first published in 1959, captures the drama and sweep of a nation at the beginning of its westward expansion. Bringing to life the region’s history from its earliest seventeenth-century scouting parties to the admission of Tennessee to the Union in 1796, Caruso describes the exchange of ideas, values, and cultural traits that marked Appalachia as a unique frontier.
Looking at the rich and mountainous land between the Ohio and Tennessee Rivers, The Appalachian Frontier follows the story of the Long Hunters in Kentucky; the struggles of the Regulators in North Carolina; the founding of the Watauga, Transylvania, Franklin, and Cumberland settlements; the siege of Boonesboro; and the patterns and challenges of frontier life. While narrating the gripping stories of such figures as Daniel Boone, George Rogers Clark, and Chief Logan, Caruso combines social, political, and economic history into a comprehensive overview of the early mountain South.
In his new introduction, John C. Inscoe examines how this work exemplified the so-called consensus school of history that arose in the United States during the cold war. Unabashedly celebratory in his analysis of American nation building, Caruso shows how the development of Appalachia fit into the grander scheme of the evolution of the country. While there is much in The Appalachian Frontier that contemporary historians would regard as one-sided and romanticized, Inscoe points out that “those of us immersed so deeply in the study of the region and its people sometimes tend to forget that the white settlement of the mountain south in the eighteenth century was not merely the chronological foundation of the Appalachian experience. As Caruso so vividly demonstrates, it is also represented a vital—even defining—stage in the American progression across the continent.”
The Author: John Anthony Caruso was a professor of history at West Virginia University. He died in 1997.
John C. Inscoe is professor of history at the University of Georgia. He is editor of Appalachians and Race: The Mountain South from Slavery to Segregation and author of Mountain Masters: Slavery and the Sectional Crisis in Western North Carolina.
Featuring the work of twenty-five fiction writers and poets, this anthology is a captivating introduction to the finest of contemporary Appalachian literature. Here are short stories and poems by some of the region’s most dynamic and best-loved authors: Barbara Kingsolver, Ron Rash, Nikki Giovanni, Robert Morgan, Lisa Alther, and Lee Smith among others. In addition to compelling selections from each writer’s work, the book includes illuminating biographical sketches and bibliographies for each author.
These works encompass a variety of themes that, collectively, capture the essence of Appalachia: love of the land, family ties, and the struggle to blend progress with heritage. Readers will enjoy this book not just for the innate value of good literature but also for the insights it provides into this fascinating area. This book of fiction is an enlightening companion to non-fiction overviews of the region, including the Encyclopedia of Appalachia and A Handbook to Appalachia: An Introduction to the Region, both published by the University of Tennessee Press in 2006. In fact the five sections of this book are the same as those of the Encyclopedia.
Educators and students will find this book especially appropriate for courses in creative writing, Appalachian studies and Appalachian literature. Editor George Brosi’s foreword presents an historical overview of Appalachian Literature, while Kate Egerton and Morgan Cottrell’s afterword offers a helpful guide for studying Appalachian literature in a classroom setting.
George Brosi is the editor of Appalachian Heritage, a literary quarterly, and, along with his wife, Connie, runs a retail book business specializing in books from and about the Appalachian region. He has taught creative writing, Appalachian studies and Appalachian literature.
Kate Egerton is an associate professor of English at Berea College. She has taught Appalachian literature and published scholarship in that field as well as in modern drama.
Samantha Cole majored in Appalachian Studies and worked for Appalachian Heritage while a student at Berea College. Morgan Cottrell is a West Virginia native who took Kate Egerton's Appalachian literature class at Berea College.
“A singular achievement. Mark Banker reveals an almost paradoxical Appalachia that trumps all the stereotypes. Interweaving his family history with the region’s latest scholarship, Banker uncovers deep psychological and economic interconnections between East Tennessee’s ‘three Appalachias’—its tourist-laden Smokies, its urbanized Valley, and its strip-mined Plateau.”
—Paul Salstrom, author of Appalachia’s Path to Dependency
"Banker weaves a story of Appalachia that is at once a national and regional history, a family saga, and a personal odyssey. This book reads like a conversation with a good friend who is well-read and well-informed, thoughtful, wise, and passionate about his subject. He brings new insights to those who know the region well, but, more importantly, he will introduce the region's complexities to a wider audience."
—Jean Haskell, coeditor, <i>Encyclopedia of Appalachia</i>
Appalachians All intertwines the histories of three communities—Knoxville with its urban life, Cades Cove with its farming, logging, and tourism legacies, and the Clearfork Valley with its coal production—to tell a larger story of East Tennessee and its inhabitants. Combining a perceptive account of how industrialization shaped developments in these communities since the Civil War with a heartfelt reflection on Appalachian identity, Mark Banker provides a significant new regional history with implications that extend well beyond East Tennessee’s boundaries.
Writing with the keen eye of a native son who left the area only to return years later, Banker uses elements of his own autobiography to underscore the ways in which East Tennesseans, particularly “successful” urban dwellers, often distance themselves from an Appalachian identity. This understandable albeit regrettable response, Banker suggests, diminishes and demeans both the individual and region, making stereotypically “Appalachian” conditions self-perpetuating. Whether exploring grassroots activism in the Clearfork Valley, the agrarian traditions and subsequent displacement of Cades Cove residents, or Knoxvillians’ efforts to promote trade, tourism, and industry, Banker’s detailed historical excursions reveal not only a profound richness and complexity in the East Tennessee experience but also a profound interconnectedness.
Synthesizing the extensive research and revisionist interpretations of Appalachia that have emerged over the last thirty years, Banker offers a new lens for constructively viewing East Tennessee and its past. He challenges readers to reconsider ideas that have long diminished the region and to re-imagine Appalachia. And ultimately, while Appalachians All speaks most directly to East Tennesseans and other Appalachian residents, it also carries important lessons for any reader seeking to understand the crucial connections between history, self, and place.
Mark T. Banker, a history teacher at Webb School of Knoxville, resides on the farm where he was raised in nearby Roane County. He earned his PhD at the University of New Mexico and is the author of Presbyterian Missions and Cultural Interaction in the Far Southwest, 1850–1950. His articles have appeared in the Journal of Presbyterian History, Journal of the West, OAH Magazine of History, and Appalachian Journal.
First book-length archaeological study of a nonelite white population on a Caribbean plantation
Archaeology below the Cliff: Race, Class, and Redlegs in Barbadian Sugar Society is the first archaeological study of the poor whites of Barbados, the descendants of seventeenth-century European indentured servants and small farmers. “Redlegs” is a pejorative to describe the marginalized group who remained after the island transitioned to a sugar monoculture economy dependent on the labor of enslaved Africans. A sizable portion of the “white” minority, the Redlegs largely existed on the peripheries of the plantation landscape in an area called “Below Cliff,” which was deemed unsuitable for profitable agricultural production. Just as the land on which they resided was cast as marginal, so too have the poor whites historically and contemporarily been derided as peripheral and isolated as well as idle, alcoholic, degenerate, inbred, and irrelevant to a functional island society and economy.
Using archaeological, historical, and oral sources, Matthew C. Reilly shows how the precarious existence of the Barbadian Redlegs challenged elite hypercapitalistic notions of economics, race, and class as they were developing in colonial society. Experiencing pronounced economic hardship, similar to that of the enslaved, albeit under very different circumstances, Barbadian Redlegs developed strategies to live in a harsh environment. Reilly’s investigations reveal that what developed in Below Cliff was a moral economy, based on community needs rather than free-market prices.
Reilly extensively excavated households from the tenantry area on the boundaries of the Clifton Hall Plantation, which was abandoned in the 1960s, to explore the daily lives of poor white tenants and investigate their relationships with island economic processes and networks. Despite misconceptions of strict racial isolation, evidence also highlights the importance of poor white encounters and relationships with Afro-Barbadians. Historical data are also incorporated to address how an underrepresented demographic experienced the plantation landscape. Ultimately, Reilly’s narrative situates the Redlegs within island history, privileging inclusion and embeddedness over exclusion and isolation.
Staging a much-needed conversation between two often-segregated fields, this issue addresses the promising future of queer and area studies as collaborative formations. Within queer studies, the turn to geopolitics has challenged the field's logics of time, space, and culture, which have routinely been rooted in the United States. For area studies, the focus on diaspora, forced migration, and other transnational trajectories has unmoored the geopolitical from the stability of nations as organizing concepts. The contributors to this issue seek to imagine and broker conversations between the two fields in which "area" becomes the form through which epistemologies of empire and market are critiqued. Histories of debt bondage; sexuality, and indentured labor; Afro-pessimism in African studies; trans theater facing obdurate transits; religion and the politics of Dalit modernity; the biopolitics of maiming: these are some of the conduits through which the authors approach a queer geopolitics.
Contributors: Anjali Arondekar, Ashley Currier, Aliyah Khan, Keguro Macharia, Thérèse Migraine-George, Maya Mikdashi, Geeta Patel, Jasbir K. Puar, Lucinda Ramberg, Neferti Tadiar, Diana Taylor, Ronaldo Wilson
In the final volume of Asia Inside Out, a stellar interdisciplinary team of scholars shows the ways that itinerant groups criss-crossing the continent have transformed their culture and surroundings. Going beyond time and place, which animated the first two books, this third one looks at human beings on the move.