On SLSA’s latest Working History podcast, "Appalachia: A Regional Reckoning," Anthony Harkins and Meredith McCarroll discuss their edited volume Appalachian Reckoning: A Region Responds to Hillbilly Elegy (West Virginia University Press, 2019), the complexities of the region known as Appalachia, and challenging popular stereotypes of the region and the people who live there.
Anthony Harkins is Associate Professor of History at Western Kentucky University. His book Hillbilly: A Cultural History of an American Icon (Oxford University Press, 2004) won the 2005 Susanne M. Glasscock Book Prize for Interdisciplinary Humanities Scholarship from Texas A&M University. His new project explores the origins, development and potential consequences of envisioning the great center of the nation as "the middle of nowhere" from the perspectives of both coastal commentators and self-defined "Flyover People." In particular, he is investigating the impact of central transportation and communication developments (especially transcontinental passenger air travel, the interstate highway system, and television) on the changing ways Americans envisioned the cultural and geographic boundaries and intersections of the nation.
Harkins has published in Studies in American Humor, Appalachian Journal, The Journal of Appalachian Studies and Historically Speaking. He is the Co-Editor of the Media section of the Encyclopedia of Appalachia (Univ. of Tennessee Press, 2006) and serves as a historical consultant on several film documentaries.
Meredith McCarroll is the director of writing and rhetoric at Bowdoin College. She was born and raised in Western North Carolina and earned her PhD at the University of Tennessee. She is the author of Unwhite: Appalachia, Race, and Film. Her work has also been published in Southern Cultures, South Carolina Review, and Pluck.
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