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Appalachia Inside Out: Culture and custom by Robert J. Higgs,Ambrose N. Manning Book Summary:
The two volumes of Appalachia Inside Out constitute the most comprehensive anthology of writings on Appalachia ever assembled. Representing the work of approximately two hundred authors-fiction writers, poets, scholars in disciplines such as history, literary criticism, and sociology-Appalachia Inside Out reveals the fascinating diversity of the region and lays to rest many of the reductive stereotypes long associated with it.
Hillbilly by Anthony Harkins Book Summary:
In this pioneering work of cultural history, historian Anthony Harkins argues that the hillbilly-in his various guises of "briar hopper," "brush ape," "ridge runner," and "white trash"-has been viewed by mainstream Americans simultaneously as a violent degenerate who threatens the modern order and as a keeper of traditional values of family, home, and physical production, and thus symbolic of a nostalgic past free of the problems of contemporary life. "Hillbilly" signifies both rugged individualism and stubborn backwardness, strong family and kin networks but also inbreeding and bloody feuds. Spanning film, literature, and the entire expanse of American popular culture, from D. W. Griffith to hillbilly music to the Internet, Harkins illustrates how the image of the hillbilly has consistently served as both a marker of social derision and regional pride. He traces the corresponding changes in representations of the hillbilly from late-nineteenth century America, through the great Depression, the mass migrations of Southern Appalachians in the 1940s and 1950s, the War on Poverty in the mid 1960s, and to the present day. Harkins also argues that images of hillbillies have played a critical role in the construction of whiteness and modernity in twentieth century America. Richly illustrated with dozens of photographs, drawings, and film and television stills, this unique book stands as a testament to the enduring place of the hillbilly in the American imagination. Hillbilly received an Honorable Mention, John G. Cawelti Book Award of the American Culture Association.
Back Talk from Appalachia by Dwight B. Billings, Gurney Norman, Katherine Ledford Book Summary:
While writing his book, Lost Mountain: A Year in the Vanishing Wilderness, Erik Reece spent a great deal of time studying strip mining and its effect on the environment and surrounding communities. After a year of exploring the ugliness of a rapidly disappearing landscape, Reece felt a strong need to celebrate the wonder the Eastern broadleaf forests still have to offer. The result is a collection of poems by individuals who share Thoreau's belief that the natural world is "an unroofed church, a place of reverence." Field Work: Modern Poems from Eastern Forests seeks an answer to Frost's question, "What to make of a diminished thing?" by contemplating work from some of the twentieth century's greatest nature poets. Reece frames contemporary American poems with a rich selection of Chinese poetry from the T'ang Dynasty, written by poets who produced what many consider the first great nature writing. More than 1,300 years ago Li Po, Tu Fu, Wang Wei, and Han Shan described a landscape in southern China remarkably similar in landscape and ecology to the forests of Appalachia. Consequently, their work has inspired many of the American poets featured in Field Work, including Hayden Carruth, Mary Oliver, A. R. Ammons, Jane Kenyon, and Denise Levertov. The modern poets in this collection share the eastern reverence for the natural world -- they desire to create a poetry of belonging, of elemental contact with something much larger than the self. These poems ask the reader to turn away from urban landscapes in an effort to better understand the natural world as a spectacular, profound organism. Wendell Berry, for example, praises the quiet and solitude of nature, inspiring the reader to experience each poem in the setting for which it was written. In Field Work, Reece brings together a collection of poetry that calls readers out of doors as these poems become gateways to a natural world we are often too distracted to see.
Music and the Making of a New South by Gavin James Campbell Book Summary:
Startled by rapid social changes at the turn of the twentieth century, citizens of Atlanta wrestled with fears about the future of race relations, the shape of gender roles, the impact of social class, and the meaning of regional identity in a New South. Gavin James Campbell demonstrates how these anxieties were played out in Atlanta's popular musical entertainment. Examining the period from 1890 to 1925, Campbell focuses on three popular musical institutions: the New York Metropolitan Opera (which visited Atlanta each year), the Colored Music Festival, and the Georgia Old-Time Fiddlers' Convention. White and black audiences charged these events with deep significance, Campbell argues, turning an evening's entertainment into a struggle between rival claimants for the New South's soul. Opera, spirituals, and fiddling became popular not just because they were entertaining, but also because audiences found them flexible enough to accommodate a variety of competing responses to the challenges of making a New South. Campbell shows how attempts to inscribe music with a single, public, fixed meaning were connected to much larger struggles over the distribution of social, political, cultural, and economic power. Attitudes about music extended beyond the concert hall to simultaneously enrich and impoverish both the region and the nation that these New Southerners struggled to create.
The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture by Celeste Ray Book Summary:
Transcending familiar categories of "black" and "white," this volume of The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture complicates and enriches our understanding of "southernness" by identifying the array of cultures that combined to shape the South. This exploration of southern ethnicities examines the ways people perform and maintain cultural identities through folklore, religious faith, dress, music, speech, cooking, and transgenerational tradition. Accessibly written and informed by the most recent research that recovers the ethnic diversity of the early South and documents the more recent arrival of new cultural groups, this volume greatly expands upon the modest Ethnic Life section of the original Encyclopedia. Contributors describe 88 ethnic groups that have lived in the South from the Mississippian Period (1000-1600) to the present. They include 34 American Indian groups, as well as the many communities with European, African, and Asian cultural ties that came to the region after 1600. Southerners from all backgrounds are likely to find themselves represented here.
The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture by Charles Reagan Wilson Book Summary:
This volume of The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture addresses the cultural, social, and intellectual terrain of myth, manners, and historical memory in the American South. Evaluating how a distinct southern identity has been created, recreated, and performed through memories that blur the line between fact and fiction, this volume paints a broad, multihued picture of the region seen through the lenses of belief and cultural practice. The 95 entries here represent a substantial revision and expansion of the material on historical memory and manners in the original edition. They address such matters as myths and memories surrounding the Old South and the Civil War; stereotypes and traditions related to the body, sexuality, gender, and family (such as debutante balls and beauty pageants); institutions and places associated with historical memory (such as cemeteries, monuments, and museums); and specific subjects and objects of myths, including the Confederate flag and Graceland. Together, they offer a compelling portrait of the "southern way of life" as it has been imagined, lived, and contested.
Rural Life and Culture in the Upper Cumberland by Michael E. Birdwell,W. Calvin Dickinson Book Summary:
Tennessee History Book Award Finalist The Upper Cumberland region of Kentucky and Tennessee, often regarded as isolated and out of pace with the rest of the country, has a far richer history and culture than has been documented. The contributors to Rural Life and Culture in the Upper Cumberland discuss an extensive array of subjects, including popular music, movies, architecture, folklore, religion, and literature. Seventeen original essays by prominent scholars such as Lynwood Montell, Charles Wolfe, Allison Ensor, and Jeannette Keith uncover fascinating stories and personalities as they explore topics including wartime hero Alvin C. York, Socialist Party Tennessee gubernatorial candidate Kate Brockford Stockton, and even a thriving nudist colony, the Timberline Lodge.
Cora Wilson Stewart and Kentucky's Moonlight Schools by Yvonne Honeycutt Baldwin Book Summary:
The first woman elected superintendent of schools in Rowan County, Kentucky, Cora Wilson Stewart (1875--1958) realized that a major key to overcoming the illiteracy that plagued her community was to educate adult illiterates. To combat this problem, Stewart opened up her schools to adults during moonlit evenings in the winter of 1911. The result was the creation of the Moonlight Schools, a grassroots movement dedicated to eliminating illiteracy in one generation. Following Stewart's lead, educators across the nation began to develop similar literacy programs; within a few years, Moonlight Schools had emerged in Minnesota, South Carolina, and other states. Cora Wilson Stewart and Kentucky's Moonlight Schools examines these institutions and analyzes Stewart's role in shaping education at the state and national levels. To improve their literacy, Moonlight students learned first to write their names and then advanced to practical lessons about everyday life. Stewart wrote reading primers for classroom use, designing them for rural people, soldiers, Native Americans, prisoners, and mothers. Each set of readers focused on the knowledge that individuals in the target group needed to acquire to be better citizens within their community. The reading lessons also emphasized the importance of patriotism, civic responsibility, Christian morality, heath, and social progress. Yvonne Honeycutt Baldwin explores the "elusive line between myth and reality" that existed in the rhetoric Stewart employed in order to accomplish her crusade. As did many educators engaged in benevolent work during the Progressive Era, Stewart sometimes romanticized the plight of her pupils and overstated her successes. As she traveled to lecture about the program in other states interested in addressing the problem of illiteracy, she often reported that the Moonlight Schools took one mountain community in Kentucky "from moonshine and bullets to lemonade and Bibles." All rhetoric aside, the inclusive Moonlight Schools ultimately taught thousands of Americans in many under-served communities across the nation how to read and write. Despite the many successes of her programs, when Stewart retired in 1932, the crusade against adult illiteracy had yet to be won. Cora Wilson Stewart presents the story of a true pioneer in adult literacy and an outspoken advocate of women's political and professional participation and leadership. Her methods continue to influence literacy programs and adult education policy and practice.
Mary Breckinridge by Melanie Beals Goan Book Summary:
In 1925 Mary Breckinridge (1881-1965) founded the Frontier Nursing Service (FNS), a public health organization in eastern Kentucky providing nurses on horseback to reach families who otherwise would not receive health care. Through this public health organization, she introduced nurse-midwifery to the United States and created a highly successful, cost-effective model for rural health care delivery that has been replicated throughout the world. In this first comprehensive biography of the FNS founder, Melanie Beals Goan provides a revealing look at the challenges Breckinridge faced as she sought reform and the contradictions she embodied. Goan explores Breckinridge's perspective on gender roles, her charisma, her sense of obligation to live a life of service, her eccentricity, her religiosity, and her application of professionalized, science-based health care ideas. Highly intelligent and creative, Breckinridge also suffered from depression, was by modern standards racist, and fought progress as she aged--sometimes to the detriment of those she served. Breckinridge optimistically believed that she could change the world by providing health care to women and children. She ultimately changed just one corner of the world, but her experience continues to provide powerful lessons about the possibilities and the limitations of reform.
I Wonder as I Wander by Ron Pen Book Summary:
Louisville native John Jacob Niles (1892--1980) is considered to be one of our nation's most influential musicians. As a composer and balladeer, Niles drew inspiration from the deep well of traditional Appalachian and African American folk songs. At the age of sixteen Niles wrote one of his most enduring tunes, "Go 'Way from My Window," basing it on a song fragment from a black farm worker. This iconic song has been performed by folk artists ever since and may even have inspired the opening line of Bob Dylan's "It Ain't Me Babe." In I Wonder as I Wander: The Life of John Jacob Niles, the first full-length biography of Niles, Ron Pen offers a rich portrait of the musician's character and career. Using Niles's own accounts from his journals, notebooks, and unpublished autobiography, Pen tracks his rise from farm boy to songwriter and folk collector extraordinaire. Niles was especially interested in documenting the voices of his fellow World War I soldiers, the people of Appalachia, and the spirituals of African Americans. In the 1920s he collaborated with noted photographer Doris Ulmann during trips to Appalachia, where he transcribed, adapted, and arranged traditional songs and ballads such as "Pretty Polly" and "Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair." Niles's preservation and presentation of American folk songs earned him the title of "Dean of American Balladeers," and his theatrical use of the dulcimer is credited with contributing to the popularity of that instrument today. Niles's dedication to the folk music tradition lives on in generations of folk revival artists such as Jean Ritchie, Joan Baez, and Oscar Brand. I Wonder as I Wander explores the origins and influences of the American folk music resurgence of the 1950s and 1960s, and finally tells the story of a man at the forefront of that movement.
A Handbook to Appalachia by Grace Toney Edwards,JoAnn Aust Asbury,Ricky L. Cox Book Summary:
A Handbook to Appalachia provides a clear, concise first step toward understanding the expanding field of Appalachian studies, from the history of the area to its sometimes conflicted image, from its music and folklore to its outstanding literature. Also includes information on African Americans, Asheville, (North Carolina), ballads, baskets, bluegrass music, blues music, Cherokee Indians, Cincinnati (Ohio), Churches, Civil War, coal, cultural diversity, death, folk culture, food, Georgia, health, immigration, industry, Irish, Kentucky, Midwest, migration, Melungeons, Native Americans, North Carolina, out-migration, politics, population, poverty, Radford University, schools, Scotch-Irish, Scotland, South Carolina, storytelling, strip mining, Tennessee, Ulster Scots, Virginia, West Virginia, Women, etc.
Justified and Philosophy by Rod Carveth,Robert Arp Book Summary:
The sharp-shooting authors in Justified and Philosophy take aim at many of the same philosophical problems that the Justified TV series grapples with. For instance, is Tim Olyphant's character, Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, morally justified in using his Wild-Wild-West-style vigilante tactics to clean up Harlan County, Kentucky? After all, the meth dealers, thieves, murderers, and other low-life scumbags all deserve what's coming to them, right? Not so fast, Quick-Draw McGraw! What about the law? What about a thorough and complete investigation of matters before dispensing so-called "justice"? What about the idea of the punishment fitting the crime? Deputy Marshal Givens wears a white hat and fights the "bad guys" so he must be a "good guy," right? His opponents are violent drug dealers, white supremacists, and thieves. Givens carries a badge, but when he shoots or kills people, is it always justified? What other choice does he have? Would any other method be as effective in rural eastern Kentucky where criminal activity is one of the few viable options for making a living? The coal-mining culture of Harlan County, Kentucky is an important backdrop to Justified, and the issues surrounding the coal industry are addressed in some chapters. Some of them include health problems like black lung, the dissolution of communities, the reduction in employment alternatives, the destruction of the environment with mountain-top removal and fracking, and the increase in crime and poverty. If Boyd Crowder robs the coal company responsible for exploiting his community, is that justified? The relationship between Boyd and Raylan dates back to a childhood friendship. Then when they older, they worked in the mines together. One chapter explores the character and motivation of both men and argues that each follows a different moral compass. Another chapter discusses the importance of family to the character of Mags Bennett and how that guides her actions and sense of duty. Another topic of discussion is whether the end justifies the means when Boyd and his gang destroy a meth lab and end up killing one of the meth cookers. Other chapters delve into a variety of fascinating philosophical themes that emerge in this modern-day cowboy show.
High Mountains Rising by Richard A. Straw,H. Tyler Blethen Book Summary:
This collection is the first comprehensive, cohesive volume to unite Appalachian history with its culture. Richard A. Straw and H. Tyler Blethen's High Mountains Rising provides a clear, systematic, and engaging overview of the Appalachian timeline, its people, and the most significant aspects of life in the region. The first half of the fourteen essays deal with historical issues including Native Americans, pioneer settlement, slavery, the Civil War and Reconstruction, industrialization, the Great Depression, migration, and finally, modernization. The remaining essays take a more cultural focus, addressing stereotypes, music, folklife, language, literature, and religion. Bringing together many of the most prestigious scholars in Appalachian studies, this volume has been designed for general and classroom use, and includes suggestions for further reading.
The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture by Harvey H. Jackson III Book Summary:
What southerners do, where they go, and what they expect to accomplish in their spare time, their "leisure," reveals much about their cultural values, class and racial similarities and differences, and historical perspectives. This volume of The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture offers an authoritative and readable reference to the culture of sports and recreation in the American South, surveying the various activities in which southerners engage in their nonwork hours, as well as attitudes surrounding those activities. Seventy-four thematic essays explore activities from the familiar (porch sitting and fairs) to the essential (football and stock car racing) to the unusual (pool checkers and a sport called "fireballing"). In seventy-seven topical entries, contributors profile major sites associated with recreational activities (such as Dollywood, drive-ins, and the Appalachian Trail) and prominent sports figures (including Althea Gibson, Michael Jordan, Mia Hamm, and Hank Aaron). Taken together, the entries provide an engaging look at the ways southerners relax, pass time, celebrate, let loose, and have fun.
The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture by Bill C. Malone Book Summary:
Southern music has flourished as a meeting ground for the traditions of West African and European peoples in the region, leading to the evolution of various traditional folk genres, bluegrass, country, jazz, gospel, rock, blues, and southern hip-hop. This much-anticipated volume in The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture celebrates an essential element of southern life and makes available for the first time a stand-alone reference to the music and music makers of the American South. With nearly double the number of entries devoted to music in the original Encyclopedia, this volume includes 30 thematic essays, covering topics such as ragtime, zydeco, folk music festivals, minstrelsy, rockabilly, white and black gospel traditions, and southern rock. And it features 174 topical and biographical entries, focusing on artists and musical outlets. From Mahalia Jackson to R.E.M., from Doc Watson to OutKast, this volume considers a diverse array of topics, drawing on the best historical and contemporary scholarship on southern music. It is a book for all southerners and for all serious music lovers, wherever they live.
Appalachians All by Mark T. Banker Book Summary:
Appalachians All tells a story of East Tennessee through the history of three communities: the urban life of Knoxville, the farming and logging of Cades Cove, and the coal production of the Clearfork Valley. A native son himself, Mark Banker writes a significant regional history by combining a perceptive account of how industrialization shaped these communities with a heartfelt reflection on Appalachian identity. Banker uses elements of his own autobiography to underscore the self-perpetuating debasement of Appalachia. His histories reveal not only a richness in the East Tennessee experience but also a profound interconnectedness. Appalachians All challenges readers to reconsider outdated notions and to reimagine Appalachia through a new lens. Book jacket.
African Banjo Echoes in Appalachia by Cecelia Conway Book Summary:
Throughout the Upland South, the banjo has become an emblem of white mountain folk, who are generally credited with creating the short-thumb-string banjo, developing its downstroking playing styles and repertory, and spreading its influence to the national consciousness. In this groundbreaking study, however, Cecelia Conway demonstrates that these European Americans borrowed the banjo from African Americans and adapted it to their own musical culture. Like many aspects of the African-American tradition, the influence of black banjo music has been largely unrecorded and nearly forgotten--until now. Drawing in part on interviews with elderly African-American banjo players from the Piedmont--among the last American representatives of an African banjo-playing tradition that spans several centuries--Conway reaches beyond the written records to reveal the similarity of pre-blues black banjo lyric patterns, improvisational playing styles, and the accompanying singing and dance movements to traditional West African music performances. The author then shows how Africans had, by the mid-eighteenth century, transformed the lyrical music of the gourd banjo as they dealt with the experience of slavery in America. By the mid-nineteenth century, white southern musicians were learning the banjo playing styles of their African-American mentors and had soon created or popularized a five-string, wooden-rim banjo. Some of these white banjo players remained in the mountain hollows, but others dispersed banjo music to distant musicians and the American public through popular minstrel shows. By the turn of the century, traditional black and white musicians still shared banjo playing, and Conway shows that this exchange gave rise to a distinct and complex new genre--the banjo song. Soon, however, black banjo players put down their banjos, set their songs with increasingly assertive commentary to the guitar, and left the banjo and its story to white musicians. But the banjo still echoed at the crossroads between the West African griots, the traveling country guitar bluesmen, the banjo players of the old-time southern string bands, and eventually the bluegrass bands. The Author: Cecelia Conway is associate professor of English at Appalachian State University. She is a folklorist who teaches twentieth-century literature, including cultural perspectives, southern literature, and film.
Popular Music in America:The Beat Goes On by Michael Campbell Book Summary:
Michael Campbell's best-selling POPULAR MUSIC IN AMERICA, now in its fourth edition, remains the industry standard in breadth of coverage, readability, and musical focus. The text provides a rich account of the evolution of popular music from the mid-19th century to the present. Discussions highlight connections, contrasts, and patterns of influence among artists, styles, and eras. Coverage of listening skills allows students to place music of their choice in context. The Fourth Edition expands the coverage of country, Latin, world, and late 20th century music to give instructors more options to teach the course as they choose to. A major reorganization replaces long chapters with units broken into small chapters to make the material easier for students to read and master. Units are clearly defined by style and timeframe, and chapters feature narrowly focused objectives. This edition features a vibrant, richly illustrated, magazine-like design, plus numerous online resources. Almost all listening examples are available on iTunes via dedicated playlists; instructors who adopt the text will also receives copies of the heritage 3-CD set from the 3rd edition for personal, library, and class use. Important Notice: Media content referenced within the product description or the product text may not be available in the ebook version.
Appalachian Folkways by John B. Rehder Book Summary:
Appalachia may be the most mythologized and misunderstood place in America, its way of life and inhabitants both caricatured and celebrated in the mainstream media. Over generations, though, the families living in the mountainous region stretching from West Virginia to northeastern Alabama have forged one of the country's richest and most distinctive cultures, encompassing music, food, architecture, customs, and language. In Appalachian Folkways, geographer John Rehder offers an engaging and enlightening account of southern Appalachia and its cultural milieu that is at once sweeping and intimate. From architecture and traditional livelihoods to beliefs and art, Rehder, who has spent thirty years studying the region, offers a nuanced depiction of southern Appalachia's social and cultural identity. The book opens with an expert consideration of the southern Appalachian landscape, defined by mountains, rocky soil, thick forests, and plentiful streams. While these features have shaped the inhabitants of the region, Rehder notes, Appalachians have also shaped their environment, and he goes on to explore the human influence on the landscape. From physical geography, the book moves to settlement patterns, describing the Indian tribes that flourished before European settlement and the successive waves of migration that brought Melungeon, Scotch-Irish, English, and German settlers to the region, along with the cultural contributions each made to what became a distinct Appalachian culture. Next focusing on the folk culture of Appalachia, Rehder details such cultural expressions as architecture and landscape design; traditional and more recent ways of making a living, both legal and illegal; foodstuffs and cooking techniques; folk remedies and belief systems; music, art, and the folk festivals that today attract visitors from around the world; and the region's dialect. With its broad scope and deep research, Appalachian Folkways accurately and evocatively chronicles a way of life that is fast disappearing.