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West Virginia University Press
Arts, Crafts, Music and Living on the Land in West Virginia
It’s the 1960s. The Vietnam War is raging and protests are erupting across the United States. In many quarters, young people are dropping out of society, leaving their urban homes behind in an attempt to find a safe place to live on their own terms, to grow their own food, and to avoid a war they passionately decry. During this time, West Virginia becomes a haven for thousands of these homesteaders—or back-to-the-landers, as they are termed by some. Others call them hippies.
When the going got rough, many left. But a significant number remain to this day. Some were artisans when they arrived, while others adopted a craft that provided them with the cash necessary to survive. Hippie Homesteaders tells the story of this movement from the viewpoint of forty artisans and musicians who came to the state, lived on the land, and created successful careers with their craft. There’s the couple that made baskets coveted by the Smithsonian Institution’s Renwick Gallery. There’s the draft-dodger that fled to Canada and then became a premier furniture maker. There’s the Boston-born VISTA worker who started a quilting cooperative. And, there’s the immigrant Chinese potter who lived on a commune.
Along with these stories, Hippie Homesteaders examines the serendipitous timing of this influx and the community and economic support these crafters received from residents and state agencies in West Virginia. Without these young transplants, it’s possible there would be no Tamarack: The Best of West Virginia, the first statewide collection of fine arts and handcrafts in the nation, and no Mountain Stage, the weekly live musical program broadcast worldwide on National Public Radio since 1983. Forget what you know about West Virginia.
Hippie Homesteaders isn’t about coal or hillbillies or moonshine or poverty. It is the story of why West Virginia was—and still is—a kind of heaven to so many.
ENVIRONMENT, DEVELOPMENT, AND SOCIETY
In the 1700s, Jean-Jacques Rousseau celebrated the Alps as the quintessence of the triumph of nature over the “horrors” of civilization. Now available in English, History of the Alps, 1500-1900: Environment, Development, and Society provides a precise history of one of the greatest mountain range systems in the world. Jon Mathieu’s work disproves a number of commonly held notions about the Alps, positioning them as neither an inversion of lowland society nor a world apart with respect to Europe. Mathieu’s broad historical portrait addresses both the economic and sociopolitical—exploring the relationship between population levels, development, and the Alpine environment, as well as the complex links between agrarian structure, society, and the development of modern civilization. More detailed analysis examines the relationship between various agrarian structures and shifting political configurations, several aspects of family history between the late Middle Ages and the turn of the twentieth century, and exploration of the Savoy, Grisons, and Carinthia regions.
West Virginia Edition
An Appalachian Mountain Ecology
In this revised and expanded edition of Hollows, Peepers, and Highlanders, author George Constantz, a biologist and naturalist, writes about the beauty and nature of the Appalachian landscape. While the information is scientific in nature, Constantz's accessible descriptions of the adaptation of various organisms to their environment enable the reader to enjoy learning about the Appalachian ecosystem. The book is divided into three sections: "Stage and Theater," "The Players," and "Seasonal Act." Each section sets the scene and describes the events occurring in nature. "Stage and Theatre" is comprised of chapters that describe the origins of the Appalachia region. "The Players" is an interesting and in-depth look into the ecology of animals, such as the mating rituals of different species, and the evolutionary explanation for the adaptation of Appalachian wildlife. The last section, "Seasonal Act," makes note of the changes in Appalachian weather each season and its effect on the inhabitants.
The Eastham-Thompson Feud and the Struggle for West Virginia's Timber Frontier
The Eastham-Thompson feud pitted a former Confederate against a member of the new business elite who was, as a northern Republican, his cultural and political opposite. For Lewis, their clash was one flashpoint in a larger phenomenon central to US history in the second half of the nineteenth century: the often violent imposition of new commercial and legal regimes over holdout areas stretching from Appalachia to the trans-Missouri West. Taking a ground-level view of these so-called “wars of incorporation,” Lewis’s powerful microhistory shows just how strongly local communities guarded traditional relationships to natural resources. Modernizers sought to convict Eastham of murder, but juries drawn from the traditionalist population refused to comply. Although the resisters won the courtroom battle, the modernizers eventually won the war for control of the state’s timber frontier.
Works prior to this book focused on Bede as not only a European, but also as an English scholar, historian, scientist, or a biographer of saints, and have used a traditional approach towards his explanation of the Bible. Bede's interpretation of his work, its continuous progress, and the reasons behind his hurried appointment to an authority almost as high as the Church Fathers are all topics examined within the text. Essays are by Roger Ray, Faith Wallis, Calvin B. Kendall, George Hardin Brown, Scott DeGregorio, Arthur G. Holder, Lawrence T. Martin, Walter Goffart, and Joyce Hill.
The Exeter Book Riddles and Medieval Latin Enigmata
This book discusses the considerable influence exerted by Isidore’s Etymologiae on the compilation of early medieval enigmata. Either in the form of thematic clusters or pairs, Isidorean encyclopedic patterns are observed not only in major Latin riddle collections in verse but can also be detected in the two vernacular assemblages contained in the Exeter Book.
As with encyclopedias, the topic-centered arrangement of riddles was pursued by compilers as a strategy intended to optimize the didactic and instructional possibilities inherent in these texts and favor the readers’ assimilation of their contents. This book thus provides a thoroughgoing investigation of medieval riddling, with special attention to the Exeter Book Riddles, demonstrating that this genre constituted an important part of the school curriculum of the early Middle Ages.
Thinking Out Loud on Public Radio
What’s wrong with the contemporary American medical system? What does it mean when a state’s democratic presidential primary casts 40% of its votes for a felon incarcerated in another state? What’s so bad about teaching by PowerPoint? What is truly the dirtiest word in America?
These are just a few of the engaging and controversial issues that Michael Blumenthal, poet, novelist, essayist, and law professor, tackles in this collection of poignant essays commissioned by West Virginia Public Radio.
In these brief essays, Blumenthal provides unconventional insights into our contemporary political, educational, and social systems, challenging us to look beyond the headlines to the psychological and sociological realities that underlie our conventional thinking.
As a widely published poet and novelist, Blumenthal brings along a lawyer’s analytical ability with his literary sensibility, effortlessly facilitating a distinction between the clichés of today’s pallid political discourse and the deeper realities that lie beneath. This collection will captivate and provoke those with an interest in literature, politics, law, and the unwritten rules of our social and political engagements.
Vol. 27 (2002) - vol. 31 (2006)
Labor Studies Journal is a multi-disciplinary publication about work, workers, labor organizations, and labor studies and worker education in the United States and internationally. As the official journal of the United Association for Labor Education, the journal is directed at a diverse audience including union, university and community-based sciences and humanities.
The Southern West Virginia Miners, 1880-1922 2nd Edition
Between 1880 and 1922, the coal fields of southern West Virginia witnessed two bloody and protracted strikes, the formation of two competing unions, and the largest armed conflict in American labor history—a week-long battle between 20,000 coal miners and 5,000 state police, deputy sheriffs, and mine guards. These events resulted in an untold number of deaths, indictments of over 550 coal miners for insurrection and treason, and four declarations of martial law. Corbin argues that these violent events were collective and militant acts of aggression interconnected and conditioned by decades of oppression. His study goes a long way toward breaking down the old stereotypes of Appalachian and coal mining culture. This second edition contains a new preface and afterword by author David A. Corbin.