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Appalachia in Regional Context: Place Matters

edited by Dwight B. Billings and Ann E. Kingsolver with contributions by Barbara Ellen Smith, John Pickles, John Gaventa, Elizabeth Engelhardt, Carol A. Mason, Mary L. Gray, bell hooks, Rich Kirby, John Haywood, Ron Pen, Gina Caison, David A. Davis, Laura Hernandez-Ehrisman, Kent C. Ryden, and Emily Satterwhite

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Place Matters: New Directions in Appalachian Studies
264 pages  Pubdate:   6 x 9  14 b/w images, 1 map

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In an increasingly globalized world, place matters more than ever. Nowhere is that more true than in Appalachian studies—a field which brings scholars, activists, artists, and citizens together around a region to contest misappropriations of resources and power and combat stereotypes of isolation and intolerance. In Appalachian studies, the diverse ways in which place is invoked, the person who invokes it, and the reasons behind that invocation all matter greatly.

In Appalachia in Regional Context: Place Matters, Dwight B. Billings and Ann E. Kingsolver bring together voices from a variety of disciplines to broaden the conversation. The book begins with chapters challenging conventional representations of Appalachia by exploring the relationship between regionalism, globalism, activism, and everyday experience theoretically. Other chapters examine foodways, depictions of Appalachia in popular culture, and the experiences of rural LGBTQ youth. Poems by renowned social critic bell hooks interleave the chapters and add context to reflections on the region. Drawing on cultural anthropology, sociology, geography, media studies, political science, gender and women’s studies, ethnography, social theory, art, music, literature and regional studies pedagogy, this volume furthers the exploration of new perspectives on one of America’s most compelling and misunderstood regions.

Dwight B. Billings is professor emeritus of sociology at the University of Kentucky. He is a past president of the Appalachian Studies Association, a recent editor of the Journal of Appalachian Studies, and the author or editor of several books.

Ann E. Kingsolver is professor of anthropology and past director of the Appalachian Center and Appalachian Studies Program at the University of Kentucky. She has authored or edited seven books, and does ethnographic research in several countries on globalization.

What’s so valuable about this book is that it gathers so many different ideas and approaches in one volume, thereby making them more easily accessible to audiences in Appalachian studies as well as other disciplines. -- Stephen L. Fisher, coeditor of Transforming Places: Lessons from Appalachia

There is much to like in this stimulating volume; in many ways it is another significant example of Appalachian studies continuing to explore new boundaries, terrain, and perspectives. It’s a solid example of the strength of regionalist inquiry today. -- Chad Berry, author of Southern Migrants, Northern Exiles