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Appalachia faces overwhelming challenges that plague many rural areas across the country, including poorly funded schools, stagnant economic development, corrupt political systems, poverty, and drug abuse. Its citizens, in turn, have often been the target of unkind characterizations depicting them as illiterate or backward. Despite entrenched social and economic disadvantages, the region is also known for its strong sense of culture, language, and community.

In this innovative volume, a multidisciplinary team of both established and rising scholars challenge Appalachian stereotypes through an examination of language and rhetoric. Together, the contributors offer a new perspective on Appalachia and its literacy, hoping to counteract essentialist or class-based arguments about the region's people, and reexamine past research in the context of researcher bias.

Featuring a mix of traditional scholarship and personal narratives, Rereading Appalachia assesses a number of pressing topics, including the struggles of first-generation college students and the pressure to leave the area in search of higher-quality jobs, prejudice toward the LGBT community, and the emergence of Appalachian and Affrilachian art in urban communities. The volume also offers rich historical perspectives on issues such as the intended and unintended consequences of education activist Cora Wilson Stewart's campaign to promote literacy at the Kentucky Moonlight Schools.

A call to arms for those studying the heritage and culture of Appalachia, this timely collection provides fresh perspectives on the region, its people, and their literacy beliefs and practices.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813165592
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
Publication date: 12/18/2015
Series: Place Matters: New Directions in Appalachian Studies
Pages: 238
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Sara Webb-Sunderhaus, associate professor of English at Indiana University—Purdue University Fort Wayne, is a contributor to Reclaiming the Rural: Essays on Literacy, Rhetoric, and Pedagogy and The Norton Book of Composition Studies.

Kim Donehower is associate professor of English at the University of North Dakota and the coauthor of Rural Literacies.

Table of Contents

Introduction Sara Webb-Sunderhaus Kim Donehower 1

1 How to Reread Appalachian Literacy Research Kim Donehower 13

2 Conflicted Rhetorics of Appalachian Identity in the Kentucky Moonlight Schools Krista Bryson 33

3 Appalachian Identities and the Difficulties of Archival Literacy Research Emma M. Howes 55

4 The Transition to College for First-Generation Students from Extractive Industry Appalachia Todd Snyder 77

5 How Reading and Writing Saved a Gay Preacher in Central Appalachia Gregory E. Griffey 99

6 Diverse Rhetorical Scenes of Urban Appalachian Literacies Kathryn Trauth Taylor 117

7 Place-Conscious Literacy Practices in One Appalachian College Town Nathan Shepley 137

8 A Functional Linguistics Approach to Appalachian Literacy Joshua Iddings Ryan Angus 157

9 Rhetorical Theories of Appalachian Literacies Sara Webb-Sunderhaus 179

Afterword Peter Mortensen 199

Acknowledgments 213

List of Contributors 215

Index 219

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"The collection is well arranged, and the historical pieces are connected nicely to current research. The authors challenge the pure, Anglo-Saxon Appalachian and point out the diversity of Appalachia, so that other ethnicities and orientations are described." — Katherine Sohn, professor emeritus of English at Pikeville College

"In that nearly all chapters draw on a particular theoretical stance or scholarship, the book promises to contribute to the advancement of several theoretical orientations. The editors assemble papers that offer distinct and much-needed points of view on the subject of literacy. These include but are not limited to race, gender, class, homosexuality, religion, and diasporic identity." — Anita Puckett, director of Appalachian Studies at Virginia Tech

"This collection makes an important, worthwhile contribution to the fields of literacy studies and Appalachian studies. By investigating the deeply embedded cultural narratives that we have about Appalachia, and Appalachian literacies in particular, it encourages us to become aware of those narratives and to resist a too-easy reliance on them." — Erica Abrams Locklear, UNC Asheville

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