Join us at the Center to celebrate a very special issue of Southern Cultures. We’ll enjoy music by Sam Gleaves, readings by Silas House, and a mountain menu by Sherri Castle. Attendance is free and open to the public, but tickets are required for food and the issue: click here!
Born and raised in Wythe County in southwest Virginia, Sam Gleaves performs innovative mountain music with a sense of history. Sam’s performances combine traditional Appalachian ballads, dance tunes, original songs, and the stories that surround them. His debut album Ain’t We Brothers has been reviewed by National Public Radio, No Depression, and The Bluegrass Situation. Lee Smith has called the album “courageous as hell and country to the bone.”
Silas House is a critically acclaimed novelist and playwright who describes the main goal of his writing as “looking into the lives of rural Americans who so often get overlooked by the media.” He currently serves as the NEH Chair of Appalachian Studies at Berea College. House writes that “Sam and I are passionate about giving voice to rural people, about place, and about the power of art to empower and transform. Both of us are very concerned with the rural Other, people who have a deep love for these rural places yet don’t fit in there, due to orientation, race, or other issues.”
Guest edited by Elizabeth S.D. Engelhardt, the Appalachia Issue includes Harlan County U.S.A. soundscapes, a break-up with Pearl S. Buck, musings on Dollywood & hillbilly consumerism, interviews with Appalachian “Country Queers,” and lost photos of black Asheville. Click here to subscribe or view the issue at Project Muse.
Back Ways and “Good Roads”
Southern Oral History Program field scholars Darius Scott and Rachel Cotterman explore recent findings from Back Ways, an SOHP project that examines the relationship between infrastructure development and experiences of racial segregation in the rural American South. Their talk will focus on the activities of the North Carolina “Good Roads Movement,” an influential Progressive Era (1890s-1920s) reform project that worked to improve rural roads. The movement was shaped by both appeals to historic agrarian racism and commitments to scientific objectivity. The result was a supposedly unbiased plan that effectively institutionalized inequitable road development. This talk will address the challenges and possibilities of combining archival research and oral history in exploring the rural South as shaped by public policy and lived experience. You can read more here and listen to a “Press Record” podcast about this project via SoundCloud or iTunes.
This talk is free and open to the public, but RSVPs to email@example.com are appreciated. Light refreshments will be provided.
Join us at the Center for the opening of Keith Knight‘s “Fear of a Black Marker: Political Cartoons.” Knight’s syndicated series include The K Chronicles, (Th)ink, and The Knight Life.
The K Chronicles has won the Glyph Award “Best Comic Strip” multiple times, most recently in 2010. Knight was awarded the Comic-Con Inkpot Award for career achievement in San Diego.
This event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.
“Storytellers and Sociopaths: Thoughts on How We Define Reality from Post-Obama Appalachia”
This lecture will explore connections between the rich storytelling tradition, grinding economic challenges, hard political choices, despair, and hope experienced by people in the southeast Kentucky coalfields. Gipe will read from his previously published fiction, and he will address the creation of the Higher Ground community performances, a series of oral history-based theater events in Harlan County, Kentucky which have been running from 2003 to the present.
Robert Gipe is the author of the award-winning illustrated novel Trampoline (Ohio University Press, 2015). His short story “Dreadful Crash” appeared in the 21C Fiction Issue of Southern Cultures (Fall 2016). Gipe teaches at Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College, where he directs the Appalachian Studies program. He has worked previously as a pickle packer, a forklift driver, and a DJ.
This lecture, to be held in 039 Graham Memorial Hall, is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.
Join us at the Love House & Hutchins Forum for a discussion of the current state and politics of the death penalty. This program is offered in conjunction with the new Process Series production Count. Directed by Lynden Harris, Count will be performed on Friday, March 3 and Saturday, March 4 at 8:00 pm. More details about the play are available here.
Our panel will feature Professors Frank Baumgartner and Isaac Unah (UNC Political Science); Jennifer Thompson (author of Picking Cotton and President of Healing Justice); and Lynden Harris (Hidden Voices). This event is free and open to the public.