Specializing in New and Used Books on Southern Appalachia

Rereading Appalachia: Literacy, Place, and Cultural Resistance edited by Sara Webb-Sunderhaus and Kim Donehower

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Scholarship on Appalachia has never been confined to people at regional colleges and universities, and is even less so now. This essay collection is the work of ten scholars based outside the Appalachian Region and one professor at the Virginia Military Academy in Lexington, Virginia. I confess that I thought literacy was something you taught, not something you studied, but this essay collection helped me understand the topic, although not as much as I had hoped. Some essays here examine how Appalachia is perceived in the literature about it. They focus on “designators” including “poor,” “white,” “folk group,” and “ethnic identity,” The essays also look at the impact of outside purveyors of literacy upon Appalachian communities, and they look at the relationship between gaining skills in using language and what sociologist term “upward mobility.” Finally, they examine how adroit use of literary agency can be used to resist various kinds of exploitation experienced by Appalachian people. They  recognize that Appalachia is not monolithic and address directly gay people, people of color, migrants, and both those inside the region who have nothing to do with the idea of Appalachia and those outside who identify closely with it. Editor Donehower teaches at the University of North Dakota, and editor Webb-Sunderhaus teaches at the IU-PU branch in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Both are descendents of people with roots in the Appalachian Region.

Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, a 2017 paperback reprint of a 2015 release. 228 pages with an Index. Trade paperback