Deep mining ended decades ago in Pennsylvania’s Lackawanna Valley. The barons who made their fortunes have moved on. Low wages and high unemployment haunt the area, and the people left behind wonder whether to stay or seek their fortunes elsewhere.
Bill Conlogue explores how two overlapping coal country landscapesScranton, Pennsylvania, and Marywood Universityhave coped with the devastating aftermath of mining. Examining the far-reaching environmental effects of mining, this beautifully written book asks bigger questions about what it means to influence a landscape to this extentand then to live in it. In prose rivaling that of Annie Dillard and John McPhee, Conlogue argues that, if we are serious about solving environmental problems, if we are serious about knowing where we are and what happens there, we need to attend closely to all placesthat is, to attend to the world in a cold, dark, and disorienting universe. Unearthing new ways of thinking about place, pedagogy, and the environment, this meditative text reveals that place is inherently unstable.
|Publisher:||Johns Hopkins University Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.84(d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Bill Conlogue is a professor of English at Marywood University. He is the author of Working the Garden: American Writers and the Industrialization of Agriculture and Here and There: Reading Pennsylvania's Working Landscapes.
Table of Contents
1. Campus as Question
4. In the Gaps
5. Body Language
6. On Broken Ground
7. Burying Books
What People are Saying About This
"Remarkably well written, graceful, and powerful. This hybrid book, which is both scholarly and literary, boldly explores the place of literature (and the liberal arts in general) in dealing with environmental issues and understanding local environments."
"In the Scranton area, history is buried literally and figuratively. The remnants of a once vibrant coal industry lurk underground; the sweep of time has effaced a legacy of environmental damage and social turmoil. Bill Conlogue's insightful book masterfully takes stock of transformations in the region's present by uncovering much of its forgotten past."
"Part family history, part environmental lament, part literary meditation, Undermined in Coal Country is a compelling investigation of the high costs that the anthracite coal industry has imposed on northeastern Pennsylvania. In a distinctive voice, Conlogue emphasizes the devastation not merely caused by coal extraction but its danger coupled with a dishonest celebration of blue-collar suffering, thereby diminishing the expectations of those who live and work there today. Anyone who grew up in the rustbelt, as I did myself, should read Bill Conlogue’s book."
"Undermined in Coal Country is a thoughtful reading of the subsidenceboth literal and metaphoricthat everywhere insinuates our local and global landscapes. Grounded in the communities in and around Scranton, PA, Conlogue traces broader, interwoven narratives of resource extraction, community, labor, literature, and education to provide readers with nuanced ways to understand what might lie beneath the surfaces of the places they call home."
"In Undermined in Coal Country, Bill Conlogue has achieved a heart-rending expose of the damage done heedless mining practices and greed to his hometown and the whole of coal country and a powerful metaphor of the human condition with the hope that studies of the arts and humanities may offer."