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Steven Fisher and Barbara Smith: Transforming Places

    Transforming Places: Lessons from Appalachia

In this era of globalization's ruthless deracination, place attachments have become increasingly salient in collective mobilizations across the spectrum of politics. Like place-based activists in other resource-rich yet impoverished regions across the globe, Appalachians are contesting economic injustice, environmental degradation, and the anti-democratic power of elites. This collection of seventeen original essays by scholars and activists from a variety of backgrounds explores this wide range of oppositional politics, querying its successes, limitations, and impacts. The editors' critical introduction and conclusion integrate theories of place and space with analyses of organizations and events discussed by contributors. Transforming Places illuminates widely relevant lessons about building coalitions and movements with sufficient strength to challenge corporate-driven globalization.

Contributors are Fran Ansley, Yaira Andrea Arias Soto, Dwight B. Billings, M. Kathryn Brown, Jeannette Butterworth, Paul Castelloe, Aviva Chomsky, Dave Cooper, Walter Davis, Meredith Dean, Elizabeth C. Fine, Jenrose Fitzgerald, Doug Gamble, Nina Gregg, Edna Gulley, Molly Hemstreet, Mary Hufford, Ralph Hutchison, Donna Jones, Ann Kingsolver, Sue Ella Kobak, Jill Kriesky, Michael E. Maloney, Lisa Markowitz, Linda McKinney, Ladelle McWhorter, Marta Maria Miranda, Chad Montrie, Maureen Mullinax, Phillip J. Obermiller, Rebecca O'Doherty, Cassie Robinson Pfleger, Randal Pfleger, Anita Puckett, Katie Richards-Schuster, June Rostan, Rees Shearer, Daniel Swan, Joe Szakos, Betsy Taylor, Thomas E. Wagner, Craig White, and Ryan Wishart.


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Steven Fisher and Barbara Smith

    Steve Fisher

Stephen L. Fisher is professor emeritus at Emory & Henry College, where he founded and directed the Appalachian Center for Community Service. He taught for 35 years at Emory & Henry College where he helped create an Appalachian Studies minor, the Appalachian Center for Community Service, and an interdisciplinary service-learning major. He was the 1999 Carnegie Foundation Outstanding Baccalaureate College Professor of the Year and has won a number of other teaching-related awards. He has been active in a number of Appalachian resistance efforts including the land study, Appalachian Alliance, and the Pittston strike and has worked to build links between the academic community and activists in the region. He recently served on the board of the Highlander Center, is an active member of the Appalachian Peace Education Center and the Virginia Organizing Project, and served on his county's Planning Commission from 2000-2012.

    Barbara Smith

Barbara Ellen Smith is professor of sociology and of women's and gender studies at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. She came to Virginia Tech in the fall 2005 as Director of Women's Studies and Professor in the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies. For the past thirty years, she has been an activist-scholar in Appalachia and the U.S. South. She is the author of three books and numerous articles. Her primary areas of research include gender, labor and globalization; race, citizenship and immigration; and movements for social justice in the U.S. South. Recent community activities include service on the boards of the Mid-South Interfaith Network for Economic Justice and the Highlander Research and Education Center, where she served as board chair (1998-2002).


Visible Scholarship Initiative

The Visible Scholarship Initiative is a collaboration between the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences and the University Libraries that seeks to make visible the stages of research and creative scholarship in the liberal arts and human sciences. Illustrating how faculty address key questions, employ varied methods, and produce significant results makes it possible to acknowledge and encourage research and creative activities that engage challenging questions and demonstrate sophisticated understanding.