Conference preview: Appalachian Studies Association 2020

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Update: We’ve decided, after much deliberation, not to exhibit at the meeting. The press is offering 30% off, with free shipping, on all books that would have been exhibited with code WVUASA20 on our website.

West Virginia University Press will exhibit at the annual meeting of the Appalachian Studies Association from March 12–15 in Lexington, KY. Find us in the exhibit hall, and if you can’t make it to Lexington, have a look at our new offerings in Appalachian studies below.

Championed as “an important addition to our region’s literature” by Ron Rash, Mountains Piled upon Mountains features nearly fifty writers from across Appalachia sharing their place-based fiction, literary nonfiction, and poetry. Much of the work collected here engages current issues facing the region and the planet (such as hydraulic fracturing, water contamination, mountaintop removal, and deforestation), and provides readers with insights on the human-nature relationship in an era of rapid environmental change. Contributors to the volume will read at the conference on Saturday at 10AM.

Folklorist Rosemary Hathaway’s Mountaineers Are Always Free: Heritage, Dissent, and a West Virginia Icon explores the Mountaineer’s early history as a backwoods trickster, its deployment in emerging mass media, and finally its long and sometimes conflicted career—beginning officially in 1937—as the symbol of West Virginia University. Hathaway will appear on a panel on Friday at 3:30.

I’m Afraid of That Water is a collaborative study of the 2014 Elk River chemical spill, in which the tap water in tens of thousands of homes, hundreds of businesses, and dozens of schools and hospitals—the water made available to as many as 300,000 citizens in a nine-county region around Charleston, WV—was contaminated with a chemical used for cleaning crushed coal. The book will be the subject of a roundtable on Friday at 10AM.

Fiction writers Wesley Browne (Hillbilly Hustle) and Valerie Nieman (To the Bones) have new work available from WVU Press, and Browne (whose novel is called “utterly gripping” by Kayla Rae Whitaker) will participate in a panel on Friday at 2PM.

Keith Maillard’s family history Fatherless is a work of historical reconstruction—a social history often reading like a detective story—that takes him from Vancouver to Montreal to his native Wheeling, West Virginia.

And deeper into the season, look for the forthcoming books Storytelling in Queer Appalachia, edited by Hillery Glasby, Sherrie Gradin, and Rachael Ryerson; Wheeling’s Polonia, by William Hal Gorby; and Heeding the Call: A Study of Denise Giardina’s Novels, by William Jolliff, all available for preorder. Contributors to Storytelling in Queer Appalachia will participate in a roundtable on Friday at 8:30AM, Gorby will appear on a panel on Friday at 3:30PM, and Jolliff will appear on a panel on Sunday at 10AM.

For a full list of WVU Press’s titles in Appalachian studies, visit our website. See you in Lexington!

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