• Life After the Mines

    A long read examines the social disruption that ensues when coal companies close shop and abandon the communities that have grown around mining work for decades and generations. 

  • Left Behind: The Trouble with Euphemism

    by Nancy Isenberg

    A historian of white rural poverty says that the cultural phenomenon of JD Vance's book "Hillbilly Elegy" is just the latest deployment of the "left behind" euphemism to obscure the nature of poverty in the United States. The rural poor are and have been part and parcel of the American economic order.

  • “Making a Living by the Sweat of Her Brow”: Hazel Dickens and a Life of Work

    by Emily Hilliard

    "Hazel’s song catalog is often divided into separate categories of personal songs, women’s songs, and labor songs. But in her view and experience, these issues all bled together; her songs address struggle against any form of domination and oppression, whether of women, workers, or herself."

  • West Virginia Has Everyone’s Attention. What Does It Really Need?

    by Emily Badger

    The influence of Senator Joe Manchin in Washington has fueled speculation about federal aid to depressed communities in the Mountaineer State. But historians like William Hal Gorby and in-state activists say that there will be no quick fixes. 

  • The Real Meaning of Hillbilly

    The work of historian Chuck Keeney is critical to recovering the radicalism of Appalachian miners and a "redneck" identity that is based in struggles for equality and shared dignity instead of reactionary individualism, says writer Abby Lee Hood. 

  • Unearthing New Histories of Black Appalachia (Review)

    by Jillean McCommons

    Tension between Black and white memory of the founding of Liberia, South Carolina drives John M. Coggeshall’s study, which adds significant insight to the history of Black Appalachia.

  • The Truth About Appalachia

    A conversation with historian Elizabeth Catte, author of a new book that upends narratives about a region that has been dubbed Trump Country