Sufism, the mystical path of Islam, is a key feature of the complex Islamic culture of South Asia today. Influenced by philosophies and traditions from other Muslim lands and by pre-Islamic rites and practices, Sufism offers a corrective to the image of Islam as monolithic and uniform.
In Sacred Spaces, Pakistani artist and educator Samina Quraeshi provides a locally inflected vision of Islam in South Asia that is enriched by art and by a female perspective on the diversity of Islamic expressions of faith. A unique account of a journey through the author’s childhood homeland in search of the wisdom of the Sufis, the book reveals the deeply spiritual nature of major centers of Sufism in the central and northwestern heartlands of South Asia. Illuminating essays by Ali S. Asani, Carl W. Ernst, and Kamil Khan Mumtaz provide context to the journey, discussing aspects of Sufi music and dance, the role of Sufism in current South Asian culture and politics, and the spiritual geometry of Sufi architecture.
Quraeshi relies on memory, storytelling, and image making to create an imaginative personal history using a rich body of photographs and works of art to reflect the seeking heart of the Sufi way and to demonstrate the diversity of this global religion. Her vision builds on the centuries-old Sufi tradition of mystical messages of love, freedom, and tolerance that continue to offer the promise of building cultural and spiritual bridges between peoples of different faiths.
. . . we move to the town of Aconchi on the Río Sonora, where the mission church once contained a life-sized crucifix with a black corpus, known both as Nuestro Señor de Esquipulas . . . and El Cristo Negro de Aconchi . . .
So describes well-known and beloved folklorist James S. Griffith as he takes us back through the decades to a town in northern Sonora where a statue is saved—and in so doing, a community is saved as well.
In Saints, Statues, and Stories Griffith shares stories of nearly sixty years of traveling through Sonora. As we have come to expect through these journeys, “Big Jim”—as he is affectionately known by many—offers nothing less than the living traditions of Catholic communities. Themes of saints as agents of protection or community action are common throughout Sonora: a saint coming out of the church to protect the village, a statue having a say in where it resides and paying social calls to other communities, or a beloved image rescued from destruction and then revered on a private altar. A patron saint saves a village from outside attackers in one story—a story that has at least ten parallels in Sonora’s former mission communities. Details may vary, but the general narrative remains the same: when hostile nonbelievers attack the village, the patron saint of the church foils them.
Griffith uncovers the meanings behind the devotional uses of religious art from a variety of perspectives—from artist to audience, preservationist to community member. The religious artworks transcend art objects, Griffith believes, and function as ways of communicating between this world and the next. Setting the stage with a brief geography, Griffith introduces us to roadside shrines, artists, fiestas, saints, and miracles. Full-color images add to the pleasure of this delightful journey through the churches and towns of Sonora.
In the 1930s, thousands of Finns emigrated from their communities in the United States and Canada to Soviet Karelia, a region in the Soviet Union where Finnish Communist émigrés were building a society to implement their ideals of socialist Finland. To their new socialist home, these immigrants brought critically needed skills, tools, machines, and money. Educated and skilled, American and Canadian Finns were regarded by Soviet authorities as agents of revolutionary transformations who would not only modernize the economy of Soviet Karelia, but also enlighten its society. North American immigrants, indeed, became active participants of socialist colonization of what Bolshevik leaders perceived as dark, uneducated and backward Soviet ethnic periphery. The Search for a Socialist El Dorado is the first comprehensive account in English of this fascinating story. Using a vast body of documentary sources from archives in Petrozavodsk and Moscow, Russian- and Finnish-language press and literature from the 1930s, oral history interviews and secondary literature, Alexey Golubev and Irina Takala explore in depth the “Karelian fever” among Finnish Americans and Canadians, and the lives of immigrants in the Soviet Union, their contribution to Soviet economy and culture, and their fates in the Great Terror.
Seattle Sports: Play, Identity, and Pursuit in the Emerald City, edited by Terry Anne Scott, explores the vast and varied history of sports in this city where diversity and social progress are reflected in and reinforced by play. The work gathered here covers Seattle’s professional sports culture as well as many of the city’s lesser-known figures and sports milestones. Fresh, nuanced takes on the Seattle Mariners, Supersonics, and Seahawks are joined by essays on gay softball leagues, city court basketball, athletics in local Japanese American communities during the interwar years, ultimate, the fierce women of roller derby, and much more. Together, these essays create a vivid portrait of Seattle fans, who, in supporting their teams—often in rain, sometimes in the midst of seismic activity—check the country’s implicit racial bias by rallying behind outspoken local sporting heroes.
In Seeing Stars, Dennis J. Frost traces the emergence and evolution of sports celebrity in Japan from the seventeenth through the twenty-first centuries. Frost explores how various constituencies have repeatedly molded and deployed representations of individual athletes, revealing that sports stars are socially constructed phenomena, the products of both particular historical moments and broader discourses of celebrity.
Drawing from media coverage, biographies, literary works, athletes’ memoirs, bureaucratic memoranda, interviews, and films, Frost argues that the largely unquestioned mass of information about sports stars not only reflects, but also shapes society and body culture. He examines the lives and times of star athletes—including sumo grand champion Hitachiyama, female Olympic medalist Hitomi Kinue, legendary pitcher Sawamura Eiji, and world champion boxer Gushiken Yokoō—demonstrating how representations of such sports stars mediated Japan’s emergence into the putatively universal realm of sports, unsettled orthodox notions of gender, facilitated wartime mobilization of physically fit men and women, and masked lingering inequalities in postwar Japanese society.
As the first critical examination of the history of sports celebrity outside a Euro-American context, this book also sheds new light on the transnational forces at play in the production and impact of celebrity images and dispels misconceptions that sports stars in the non-West are mere imitations of their Western counterparts.
The city is a complex object. Some researchers look at its shape, others at its people, animals, ecology, policy, infrastructures, buildings, history, art, or technical networks. Some researchers analyse processes of in- or exclusion, gentrification, or social mobility; others biological evolution, traffic flows, or spatial development. Many combine these topics or add still more topics beyond this list. Some projects cross the boundaries of research and practice and engage in action research, while others pursue knowledge for the sake of curiosity. This volume embraces this variety of perspectives and provides an essential collection of methodologies for studying the city from multiple, interdisciplinary, and transdisciplinary perspectives. We start by recognizing that the complexity of the urban environment cannot be understood from a single vantage point. We therefore offer multiple methodologies in order to gather and analyse data about the city, and provide ways to connect and integrate these approaches.
The contributors form a talented network of urban scholars and practitioners at the forefront of their fields. They offer hands-on methodological techniques and skills for data collection and analysis. Furthermore, they reveal honest and insightful reflections from behind the scenes. All methodologies are illustrated with examples drawn from the authors own research applying them in the city of Amsterdam. In this way, the volume also offers a rich collection of Amsterdam-based research and outcomes that may inform local urban practitioners and policy makers.
Altogether, the volume offers indispensable tools for and aims to educate a new generation of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary-minded urban scholars and practitioners.
“A snake handler convicted of the attempted murder of his wife by means of serpent bite is serving ninety-nine years in prison. The reader is gradually pulled into an increasingly complex story as Thomas Burton allows the many individuals involved in this event to tell their stories. Readers are less likely to find themselves concerned with what “really” happened than with larger issues they too will become involved in. this is more than a story about the headline ‘preacher tries to murder wife – with rattlesnakes!” it is a story of individuals struggling with their faith and their fate under the steady gaze of their God.” —Ralph W. Hood Jr., winner of the American Psychological Association’s William James Award in the psychology of religion
In this comprehensive, multilayered set of narratives, the story of Glenn Summerford’s fall from grace is told by its participants, through interviews, court documents, and other primary sources. Free of either prejudice against or romanticizing about the snake-handling Holiness religion, this book presents an absorbing story of a fascinating group of people, while allowing the reader to draw his or her own conclusions about Summerford’s guilt or innocence. The Serpent and the Spirit is a startling commentary on truth and its representation, religion and its expression, humanity and its flaws.
Thomas Burton is professor emeritus of English at East Tennessee State University. He is the winner of the Appalachian Consortium Laurel Leaves Award.
Campus planning is often a crucial underlying set of goals for university administrations, even if, over time, the mix of new and old buildings, changes in usage patterns and activities of students, and evolution of styles present challenges to a cohesive campus plan. In its two-hundred year history the University of Michigan has planned its campus in waves, from the earliest days of the iconic buildings around the Diag to the plans for the hospitals and the North Campus. This immensely informative and entertaining second volume in the history of the evolution of the campuses offers an absorbing narrative from the perspective of Fred Mayer, who served for more than three decades as the campus planner for the university during an important period of its growth during the late twentieth century.
By tracing the development of the Ann Arbor campus from its early days to the present, within the context of the evolution of higher education in America, Mayer provides a strong argument for the importance of rigorous and enlightened campus planning as a critical element of the learning environment of the university. His comprehensive history of campus planning, illustrated with photos, maps, and diagrams from Michigan’s history, is an outstanding contribution to the university’s history as it approaches its bicentennial.
Examines how settler colonial and sexist infrastructures and narratives order a resource boom
Over the past decade, new oil plays have unsettled U.S. energy landscapes and imaginaries. Settling the Boom studies how the disruptive forces of an oil boom in the northern Great Plains are contained through the extension of settler temporalities, reassertions of heteropatriarchy, and the tethering of life to the volatility of oil and its cruel optimisms.
This collection reveals the results of sustained research in Williston, North Dakota, the epicenter of the “Bakken Boom.” While the boom brought a rapid influx of capital and workers, the book questions simple timelines of before and after. Instead, Settling the Boom demonstrates how the unsettling forces of an oil play resolve through normative narratives and material and affective infrastructures that support settler colonialism’s violent extension and its gendered orders of time and space. Considering a wide range of evidence, from urban and regional policy, interviews with city officials, media, photography, and film, these essays analyze the ongoing material, aesthetic, and narrative ways of life and land in the Bakken.
Contributors: Morgan Adamson, Macalester College; Kai Bosworth, Virginia Commonwealth U; Thomas S. Davis, Ohio State U; Jessica Lehman, Durham U.
As LGBTQ movements in Western Europe, North America, and other regions of the world are becoming increasingly successful at awarding LGBTQ people rights, especially institutional recognition for same-sex couples and their families, what becomes of the deeper social transformation that these movements initially aimed to achieve? The United States is in many ways a paradigmatic model for LGBTQ movements in other countries. Sexuality, Subjectivity, and LGBTQ Militancy in the United States focuses on the transformations of the US LGBTQ movement since the 1980s, highlighting the relationship between its institutionalization and the disappearance of sexuality from its most visible claims, so that its growing visibility and legitimation since the 1990s have paradoxically led to a decrease in grassroots militancy. The book examines the issue from the bottom up, identifying the links between the varying importance of sexuality as a movement theme and actors’ mobilization, and enhances the import of subjectivity in militancy. It draws attention to cultural, sometimes infrapolitical, forms of militancy that perpetuate the role of sexuality in LGBTQ militancy.
Winner of the 2020 Robert E. Park Award for Best Book from the Community and Urban Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association
From a dive bar in New Orleans to a leafy residential street in Minneapolis, many establishments and homes in cities across the nation share a troubling and largely invisible past: they were once sites of industrial manufacturers, such as plastics factories or machine shops, that likely left behind carcinogens and other hazardous industrial byproducts. In Sites Unseen, sociologists Scott Frickel and James Elliott uncover the hidden histories of these sites to show how they are regularly produced and reincorporated into urban landscapes with limited or no regulatory oversight. By revealing this legacy of our industrial past, Sites Unseen spotlights how city-making has become an ongoing process of social and environmental transformation and risk containment.
To demonstrate these dynamics, Frickel and Elliott investigate four very different cities—New Orleans, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, and Portland, Oregon. Using original data assembled and mapped for thousands of former manufacturers’ locations dating back to the 1950s, they find that more than 90 percent of such sites have now been converted to urban amenities such as parks, homes, and storefronts with almost no environmental review. And because manufacturers tend to open plants on new, non-industrial lots rather than on lots previously occupied by other manufacturers, associated hazards continue to spread relatively unabated. As they do, residential turnover driven by gentrification and the rising costs of urban living further obscure these sites from residents and regulatory agencies alike.
Frickel and Elliott show that these hidden processes have serious consequences for city-dwellers. While minority and working class neighborhoods are still more likely to attract hazardous manufacturers, rapid turnover in cities means that whites and middle-income groups also face increased risk. Since government agencies prioritize managing polluted sites that are highly visible or politically expedient, many former manufacturing sites that now have other uses remain invisible. To address these oversights, the authors advocate creating new municipal databases that identify previously undocumented manufacturing sites as potential environmental hazards. They also suggest that legislation limiting urban sprawl might reduce the flow of hazardous materials beyond certain boundaries.
A wide-ranging synthesis of urban and environmental scholarship, Sites Unseen shows that creating sustainable cities requires deep engagement with industrial history as well as with the social and regulatory processes that continue to remake urban areas through time.
A Volume in the American Sociological Association's Rose Series in Sociology.
A collective memoir in poetry of an Ojibwe family and tribal community, from creation myth to this day, updated with new poems
Reaching from the moment of creation to the cry of a newborn, The Sky Watched gives poetic voice to Ojibwe family life. In English and Ojibwe, those assembled here—voices of history, of memory and experience, of children and elders, Indian boarding school students, tribal storytellers, and the Manidoog, the unseen beings who surround our lives—come together to create a collective memoir in poetry as expansive and particular as the starry sky.
This world unfolds in the manner of traditional Ojibwe storytelling, shaped by the seasons and the stages of life, marking the significance of the number four in the Ojibwe worldview. Summoning spiritual and natural lore, award-winning poet and scholar Linda LeGarde Grover follows the story of a family, a tribe, and a people through historical ruptures and through intimate troubles and joys—from the sundering of Ojibwe people from their land and culture to singular horrors like the massacre at Wounded Knee to personal trauma suffered at Indian boarding schools. Threaded throughout are the tribal traditions and knowledge that sustain a family and a people through hardship and turmoil, passed from generation to generation, coming together in the manifold power and beauty of the poet’s voice.
Most people in the United States live in urban areas; still, there are nearly fifty million people living in small towns of just a few thousand people or less. Some towns are within a short drive of a metropolitan area where people can work, shop, or go to school; some are an hour or more from any sort of urban hub. In this book, Julianne Couch sets out to illuminate the lives and hopes of these small-town residents.
The people featured live—by choice or circumstances—in one of nine small communities in five states in the Midwest and Great Plains: Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Wyoming. Daily they witness people moving out, heading to more urban areas, small businesses closing down, connected infrastructure drying up, entrepreneurs becoming discouraged, and more people thinking about leaving. This is the story we hear in the news, the story told by abandoned farms, consolidated schools, and boarded-up Main Streets.
But it’s not the whole story. As Couch found in her travels throughout the Midwest, many people long to return to these towns, places where they may have deep family roots or where they can enjoy short commutes, familiar neighbors, and proximity to rural and wild places. And many of the residents of small midwestern towns are not just accepting the trend toward urbanization with a sigh. They are betting that the tide of rural population loss can’t go out forever, and they’re backing those bets with creatively repurposed schools, entrepreneurial innovation, and community commitment. From Bellevue, Iowa, to Centennial, Wyoming, the region’s small-town residents remain both hopeful and resilient.
The band blares “Rocky Top” and the crowd roars as the University of Tennessee football team storms out of the tunnel and onto the field through the giant “T,” their beloved mascot Smokey leading the way. The iconic Bluetick Coonhound has been part of the pageantry and tradition at the University of Tennessee since 1953, delighting fans both young and old.
For this entertaining and enlightening book, UT sports historian Thomas J. Mattingly has teamed up with longtime Smokey owner Earl C. Hudson to tell the stories of the nine hounds that have been top dog on campus for more than half a century. It was the Rev. Bill Brooks, Hudson’s brother-in-law, whose prize-winning dog “Brooks’ Blue Smokey,” became the first mascot by winning a student body-led contest at a home football game in 1953. The Coonhound breed was selected because it was native to the state, and several (no one remembers exactly how many) were brought onto the field at halftime to compete. But Smokey stole the show when he threw back his head and howled. The crowd cheered, and Smokey howled again. The raucous applause and barking built to a frenzy. The enthusiastic hound won the hearts of the Volunteer faithful that day, and he and the dogs that followed have remained among the University of Tennessee’s most popular symbols ever since.
The authors have interviewed Smokey’s former handlers, university archivists, sports journalists, and local historians as well as legions of longtime fans. Their recollections provide not only the background of the mascot but a history of UT athletics as well. Vol fans will enjoy reading about Smokey’s adventures throughout the years, from his kidnapping in 1955 by mischievous Kentucky students to his confrontation with the Baylor Bear at the 1957 Sugar Bowl to the time he suffered heat exhaustion at the 1991 UCLA game and was listed on the Vols’ injury report until his return later in the season.
Filled with photographs and memorabilia, including vintage game programs, football schedules, letters, cartoons, and more, this book brings to life the magic of UT football and the endearing canines that have become such an indispensable part of the experience.
THOMAS J. MATTINGLY is the author of Tennessee Football: The Peyton Manning Years, The University of Tennessee Football Vault: The Story of the Tennessee Volunteers, 1891-2006, The University of Tennessee All-Access Football Vault and The University of Tennessee Trivia Book. He writes about Vol history on his Knoxville News Sentinel blog, “The Vol Historian.”
EARL C. HUDSON’s family have cared for the Smokeys since 1994.
Extreme weather is increasing in scale and severity as global warming worsens. While poorer communities are typically most vulnerable to the negative effects of climate change, even well-resourced communities are increasingly vulnerable as climate-related storms intensify. Yet little is known about how middle-class communities are responding to these storms and the resulting damage. In Soaking the Middle Class, sociologists Anna Rhodes and Max Besbris examine how a middle-class community recovers from a climate-related disaster and how this process fosters inequality within these kinds of places.
In 2017, Hurricane Harvey dropped record-breaking rainfall in Southeast Texas resulting in more than $125 billion in direct damages. Rhodes and Besbris followed 59 flooded households in Friendswood, Texas, for two years after the storm to better understand the recovery process in a well-resourced, majority-White, middle-class suburban community. As such, Friendswood should have been highly resilient to storms like Harvey, yet Rhodes and Besbris find that the recovery process exacerbated often-invisible economic inequality between neighbors. Two years after Harvey, some households were in better financial positions than they were before the storm, while others still had incomplete repairs, were burdened with large new debts, and possessed few resources to draw on should another disaster occur.
Rhodes and Besbris find that recovery policies were significant drivers of inequality, with flood insurance playing a key role in the divergent recovery outcomes within Friendswood. Households with flood insurance prior to Harvey tended to have higher incomes than those that did not. These households received high insurance payouts, enabling them to replace belongings, hire contractors, and purchase supplies. Households without coverage could apply for FEMA assistance, which offered considerably lower payouts, and for government loans, which would put them into debt. Households without coverage found themselves exhausting their financial resources, including retirement savings, to cover repairs, which put them in even more financially precarious positions than they were before the flood.
The vast majority of Friendswood residents chose to repair and return to their homes after Hurricane Harvey. Even this devastating flood did not alter their plans for long-term residential stability, and the structure of recovery policies only further oriented homeowners towards returning to their homes. Prior to Harvey, many Friendswood households relied on flood damage from previous storms to judge their vulnerability and considered themselves at low risk. After Harvey, many found it difficult to assess their level of risk for future flooding. Without strong guidance from federal agencies or the local government on how to best evaluate risk, many residents ended up returning to potentially unsafe places.
As climate-related disasters become more severe, Soaking the Middle Class illustrates how inequality in the United States will continue to grow if recovery policies are not fundamentally changed.
Social Movements and Solidarity Structures in Crisis-Ridden Greece explores the rich grassroots experience of social movements in Greece between 2008 and 2016. The harsh conditions of austerity triggered the rise of vibrant mobilizations that went hand-in-hand with the emergence of numerous solidarity structures, providing unofficial welfare services to the suffering population. Based on qualitative field research conducted in more than 50 social movement organizations in Greece’s two major cities, the book offers an in-depth analysis of the contentious mechanisms that led to the development of such solidarity initiatives. By analyzing the organizational structure, resources and identity of markets without middlemen, social and collective kitchens, organizations distributing food parcels, social clinics and self-managed cooperatives, this study explains the enlargement of boundaries of collective action in times of crisis.
The idea that market mechanisms can mobilize social change by engaging the poor in win–win scenarios is gaining increased world attention. Companies, social sector organizations, and development agencies are all beginning to glean the potential that lies among the world’s poorest people, both as an untapped productive force and a neglected consumer market. This book aims to demonstrate how the private sector can become part of the solution of poverty.
In this study, the authors assess market initiatives in Iberoamerica by large corporations, cooperatives, small and medium enterprises, and nonprofit organizations. A task force drawing on nine teams of researchers from various business schools and universities in nine countries examined 33 experiences, seeking to uncover “what’s needed” for building new business value chains that help move people out of poverty.
Although possessing a common physical heritage, the Sonoran Desert has taken on highly contrasting forms in its American and Mexican portions. This work does not, therefore, attempt a regional study in the usual sense of the term, but is rather an examination of disparate economic development, much influenced by contrasting technological achievements as well as the accidents of history.
Although the significance of geographic regionalism is implicit throughout this study, no attempt is made to show any overriding unity at work, geographical or otherwise, welding together a "desert region." Instead the desert acts as a stage for social drama in which drought and extreme heat provide the essential backcloth. The scarcity of water and man's inability to grow crops without irrigation have not, indeed, changed with time, and only constant reference to this immutable factor can give meaning to the evolution of human activities within the desert.
What happens when language wars are not about hurling insults or quibbling over meanings, but are waged in the physical sounds and shapes of language itself?
Native and foreign speakers, mother tongues and national languages, have jostled for distinction throughout the modern period. The fight for global dominance between the English and Chinese languages opens into historical battles over the control of the medium through standardization, technology, bilingualism, pronunciation, and literature in the Sinophone world. Encounters between global languages, as well as the internal tensions between Mandarin and other Chinese dialects, present a dynamic, interconnected picture of languages on the move.
In Sound and Script in Chinese Diaspora, Jing Tsu explores the new global language trade, arguing that it aims at more sophisticated ways of exerting influence besides simply wielding knuckles of power. Through an analysis of the different relationships between language standardization, technologies of writing, and modern Chinese literature around the world from the nineteenth century to the present, this study transforms how we understand the power of language in migration and how that is changing the terms of cultural dominance. Drawing from an unusual array of archival sources, this study cuts across the usual China-West divide and puts its finger on the pulse of a pending supranational world under “literary governance.”
Winner of the 2020 Robert E. Park Award for Best Book from the Community and Urban Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association
Winner of the 2020 Distinguished Contribution to Research Award from the Latino/a Section of the American Sociological Association
Honorable Mention for the 2020 Thomas and Znaniecki Award from the International Migration Section of the American Sociological Association
A quarter of young adults in the U.S. today are the children of immigrants, and Latinos are the largest minority group. In Stagnant Dreamers, sociologist and social policy expert María Rendón follows 42 young men from two high-poverty Los Angeles neighborhoods as they transition into adulthood. Based on in-depth interviews and ethnographic observations with them and their immigrant parents, Stagnant Dreamers describes the challenges they face coming of age in the inner city and accessing higher education and good jobs, and demonstrates how family-based social ties and community institutions can serve as buffers against neighborhood violence, chronic poverty, incarceration, and other negative outcomes.
Neighborhoods in East and South Central Los Angeles were sites of acute gang violence that peaked in the 1990s, shattering any romantic notions of American life held by the immigrant parents. Yet, Rendón finds that their children are generally optimistic about their life chances and determined to make good on their parents’ sacrifices. Most are strongly oriented towards work. But despite high rates of employment, most earn modest wages and rely on kinship networks for labor market connections. Those who made social connections outside of their family and neighborhood contexts, more often found higher quality jobs. However, a middle-class lifestyle remains elusive for most, even for college graduates.
Rendón debunks fears of downward assimilation among second-generation Latinos, noting that most of her subjects were employed and many had gone on to college. She questions the ability of institutions of higher education to fully integrate low-income students of color. She shares the story of one Ivy League college graduate who finds himself working in the same low-wage jobs as his parents and peers who did not attend college. Ironically, students who leave their neighborhoods to pursue higher education are often the most exposed to racism, discrimination, and classism.
Rendón demonstrates the importance of social supports in helping second-generation immigrant youth succeed. To further the integration of second-generation Latinos, she suggests investing in community organizations, combating criminalization of Latino youth, and fully integrating them into higher education institutions. Stagnant Dreamers presents a realistic yet hopeful account of how the Latino second generation is attempting to realize its vision of the American dream.
Standing Our Ground: Women, Environmental Justice, and the Fight to End Mountaintop Removal examines women’s efforts to end mountaintop removal coal mining in West Virginia. Mountaintop removal coal mining, which involves demolishing the tops of hills and mountains to provide access to coal seams, is one of the most significant environmental threats in Appalachia, where it is most commonly practiced.
The Appalachian women featured in Barry’s book have firsthand experience with the negative impacts of Big Coal in West Virginia. Through their work in organizations such as the Coal River Mountain Watch and the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, they fight to save their mountain communities by promoting the development of alternative energy resources. Barry’s engaging and original work reveals how women’s tireless organizing efforts have made mountaintop removal a global political and environmental issue and laid the groundwork for a robust environmental justice movement in central Appalachia.
Winner, Distinguished Literary Achievement Award, Governor's Humanities Award in Exemplary Community Achievement given by the Missouri Humanities Council, 2010
All along the river, from the front porches of Hannibal to the neighborhoods of St. Louis to the cotton fields of the Bootheel and west to Kansas City, stories are being told.
This collection of family stories and traditional tales brings to print down-home stories about all walks of African American life. Passed down from grandparents and great-grandparents, they have been lovingly gathered by Gladys Caines Coggswell as she visited Missouri communities and participated in storytelling events over the last two decades. These stories bring to life characters with uncommon courage, strength, will, and wit as they offer insight into African American experiences throughout the state’s history.
Often profound, always entertaining, some of these stories hark back to times barely remembered. Many tell of ordinary folks who achieved victories in the face of overwhelming odds. They range from recollections of KKK activities—recalling a Klan leader who owned property on which a black family lived as “the man who was always so nice to us”—to remembered differences between country and city schools and black schoolchildren introduced to Dick and Jane and Little Black Sambo. Stories from the Bootheel shed light on family life, sharecropping, and the mechanization of cotton culture, which in one instance led to a massive migration of rats as the first mechanical cotton pickers came in.
As memorable as the stories are the people who tell them, such as the author’s own “Uncle Pete” reporting on a duck epidemic or Evelyn Pulliam of Kennett telling of her resourceful neighbors in North Lilburn. Loretta Washington remembers sitting on her little wooden stool beside her great-grandmother’s rocking chair on the front porch in Wardell, mesmerized by stories—and the time when rocking chair and little wooden stool were moved inside and the stories stopped. Marlene Rhodes writes of her mother’s hero, Odie, St. Louis “Entrepreneur and English gentleman.”
Whether sharing previously unknown stories from St. Louis or betraying the secret of “Why Dogs Chase Cats,” this book is a rich repository of African American life. And if some of these tales seem unusual, the people remembering them will be the first to tell you: that’s the way it was. Coggswell preserves them for posterity and along with them an important slice of Missouri history.
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.