Studying Appalachian Studies

Studying Appalachian Studies : Making the Path by Walking

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In this collection, contributors reflect on scholarly, artistic, activist, educational, and practical endeavor known as Appalachian Studies. Following an introduction to the field, the writers discuss how Appalachian Studies illustrates the ways interdisciplinary studies emerge, organize, and institutionalize themselves, and how they engage with intellectual, political, and economic forces both locally and around the world. Essayists argue for Appalachian Studies' integration with kindred fields like African American studies, women's studies, and Southern studies, and they urge those involved in the field to globalize the perspective of Appalachian Studies; to commit to continued applied, participatory action, and community-based research; to embrace more fully the field's capacity for bringing about social justice; to advocate for a more accurate understanding of Appalachia and its people; and to understand and overcome the obstacles interdisciplinary studies face in the social and institutional construction of knowledge. Contributors: Chris Baker, Chad Berry, Donald Edward Davis, Amanda Fickey, Chris Green, Erica Abrams Locklear, Phillip J. Obermiller, Douglas Reichert Powell, Michael Samers, Shaunna L. Scott, and Barbara Ellen Smith.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 240 pages
  • 151.38 x 238.25 x 16.76mm | 503.48g
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • 0252039297
  • 9780252039294

Review quote

"Since its inception in the 1970s, Appalachian studies has displayed a penchant for regularly critiquing its achievements. . . . This book continues that tradition. The book provides food for thought for those engaged in interdisciplinary and activist activities. Recommended."--Choice "This important collection of essays represents the first comprehensive and critical evaluation of the scholarly enterprise of Appalachian Studies. Full of much knowledge, wisdom, and insight, it critically evaluates the field's successes, missteps, roads not taken, and important compass points for future direction while also viewing Appalachian Studies in relation to other studies programs as well as changes in higher education over the past three or four decades. Additionally, the essays will serve as excellent portals for new readers wanting to learn more about the academic study of the region."
--Dwight B. Billings, coauthor of The Road to Poverty "This invaluable critical assessment of Appalachian Studies is long overdue and is destined to become a seminal work in the field."
--Steve Fisher, co-editor of Transforming Places: Lessons from Appalachia

"A provocative 'critical assessment' of Appalachian studies' past and present... There is much to be admired about Studying Appalachian Studies. The editors and contributors consider crucial and defining questions about the past, present, and future of Appalachian studies... and offer a number of potential ways to advance the field."--West Virginia History
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About Chad Berry

Chad Berry is academic vice president and dean of the faculty, Goode Professor of Appalachian Studies, and professor of history at Berea College. He is the author of Southern Migrants, Northern Exiles. Phillip Obermiller is a senior visiting scholar in the School of Planning at the University of Cincinnati. He is coauthor of African American Miners and Migrants: The Eastern Kentucky Social Club. Shaunna L. Scott is an associate professor of sociology at the University of Kentucky and the author of Two Sides to Everything: The Cultural Construction of Class Consciousness in Harlan County, Kentucky.
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