[COMM-ORG] New Book: Transforming Places: Lessons from Appalachia

Discussion list for COMM-ORG colist at comm-org.wisc.edu
Sun May 20 10:17:43 CDT 2012

[ed: congratulations to Stephen and Barbara on the new book.]

From: "Stephen L Fisher" <slfisher44 at embarqmail.com>

Dear Comm-Org List readers,

We want to let you know about our new book

Stephen L. Fisher and Barbara Ellen Smith, eds. TRANSFORMING PLACES: 
Lessons from Appalachia (University of Illinois Press, 2012)

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. Our 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. 
Our 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.

“This is an outstanding collection. Using the concept of place as their 
conceptual lens, Fisher and Smith weave together a series of diverse 
case studies of grassroots resistance to present a rich tapestry of 
citizen action in an increasingly globalizing world. This will be of 
interest to scholars, activists, students, and community lead­ers, 
within the Appalachian region and beyond.”—

John Gaventa, author of Power and Powerlessness: Quiescence and 
Rebellion in an Appalachian Valley

“I cannot recall a book that has excited me more than Transforming 
Places. This work is a major step forward in the study of social change, 
our understanding of ‘free spaces,’ and local resistance—how people get 
power and how they can use it to get more.”—Richard A. Couto, editor of 
Political and Civic Leadership: A Reference Handbook

Table of Contents


Invocation, Marta Maria Miranda

Introduction: Placing Appalachia, Stephen L. Fisher and Barbara Ellen Smith

I. Go Tell It on the Mountains: Place, Identity, and Culture

1. Stop the Bombs: Local Organizing with Global Reach, Ralph Hutchison

2. RAIL Solution: Taking on Halliburton on the Home Front, Rees Shearer

3. This Land Is Your Land: Local Organizing and the Hegemony of Growth,

Nina Gregg and Doug Gamble

4. Identity Matters: Building an Urban Appalachian Movement in 
Cincinnati, Phillip J.

Obermiller, M. Kathryn Brown, Donna Jones, Michael E. Maloney, and Thomas E.


5. Appalachian Youth Re-envisioning Home, Re-making Identities, Katie 

Schuster and Rebecca O’Doherty

6. Resistance through Community-based Arts, Maureen Mullinax

II. Where No One Stands Alone: Bridging Divides

7. Organizing Appalachian Women: Hope Lies in the Struggle, Meredith 
Dean with

Edna Gulley and Linda McKinney

8. The Southern Empowerment Project: Homegrown Organizing Gone Too Soon, 

Rostan and Walter Davis

9. Center for Participatory Change: Cultivating Grassroots Support 
Organizing, Craig

White, Paul Castelloe, Molly Hemstreet, Yaira Andrea Arias Soto, and 
Jeannette Butterworth

10. Faith-based Coalitions and Organized Labor: New Forms of 
Collaboration in the 21st

Century? Jill Kriesky and Daniel Swan

11. Talking Union in Two Languages: Labor Rights and Immigrant Workers 
in East

Tennessee, Fran Ansley

III. Climbing Jacob’s Ladder: Scaling Up

12. Virginia Organizing: The Action Is at the State Level, Joe Szakos 
and Ladelle


13. OxyContin Flood in the Coalfields: ‘Searching for Higher Ground,’ 
Sue Ella Kobak

14. Not Your Grandmother’s Agrarianism: The Community Farm Alliance’s 

Activism, Jenrose Fitzgerald, Lisa Markowitz, and Dwight B. Billings

15. Mountain Justice, Cassie Robinson Pfleger, Randal Pfleger, Ryan 
Wishart, and Dave


16. Who Knows? Who Tells? Creating a Knowledge Commons, Anita Puckett, 

C. Fine, Mary Hufford, Ann Kingsolver, and Betsy Taylor

17. North and South: Struggles over Coal in Colombia and Appalachia, 
Aviva Chomsky

and Chad Montrie

18. Conclusion: Transformations in Place, Barbara Ellen Smith and 
Stephen L. Fisher

List of Contributors


Stephen L. Fisher is professor emeri­tus at Emory & Henry College, where 
he founded and directed the Appalachian Center for Community Service. 
Barbara Ellen Smith is profes­sor of women’s and gender studies at 
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Ordering information

Phone orders: (800) 621-2736 (USA/Canada); (773) 702-7000 
(International) Fax orders: (800) 621-8476 (USA/Canada); (773) 702-7212 
(International) Online orders: www.press.uillinois.edu U.S. Mail orders: 
Customer Service, Chicago Distribution Center, 11030 South Langley 
Avenue, Chicago IL 60628

Exam copies: Visit www.press.uillinois.edu/books/exam_copies.html

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