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King University News :: Emily Satterwhite to Kick Off Appalachian Emphasis Week Sept. 9

Bristol native Emily Satterwhite, author and professor of Opens external link in new windowCanadian Pharmacy viagra Appalachian studies, will kick off Appalachian Emphasis Week, a part of the 2013-2014 lecture series by the Buechner Institute at King University focusing on Appalachian art and culture. 

Satterwhite will begin the week with two talks addressing Appalachian stereotypes in literature and film, specifically the notion of Appalachia as “down home,” on Sept. 9 at 9:15 a.m. at Memorial Chapel on King’s Bristol campus, and again at Virginia Intermont College at 7 p.m. in Nunn Recital Hall.  Satterwhite’s events are co-sponsored by the Bristol Herald Courier and Virginia Intermont’s Convocation Program.

“Satterwhite challenges the idea, often embodied in fiction and film, that the region is merely ‘cozy, sweet, and relaxing,’ and takes on the stereotype that Appalachia has not yet arrived in the 21st century,” said Dale Brown, director of the Buechner Institute at King.

Currently, Satterwhite serves as an associate professor in the Department of Religion and Culture at Virginia Tech, in Blacksburg, Va., where she teaches Appalachian Studies, American Studies, and Pop Culture.  Her research fields include critical regionalism, reception studies, and the politics of culture.  She is also an affiliate of the ASPECT program (Alliance for Social, Political, Ethical, and Cultural Thought) at Virginia Tech and an editorial reviewer for the web journal Southern Spaces.

In 2011, she authored the book, “Dear Appalachia: Readers, Identity, and Popular Fiction Since 1878” (The University Press of Kentucky, Nov. 2011), which received the 2011 Weatherford Award presented by the Appalachian Studies Association and Berea College for the best work of non-?ction illuminating the Appalachian South.  The work also won Virginia Tech’s Phi Beta Kappa Sturm Award for Faculty Excellence in Research in 2013.  The book examines fan mail and reviews to ascertain readers’ investments in the idea of Appalachia.

In a book review of Satterwhite’s “Dear Appalachia,” Niki King, journalist and co-publisher of The HillVille, the online magazine of urban Appalachia, said, “It’s an important contribution, not just for Appalachian people, but anyone who has ever been influenced by regional literature.  Its ideas can powerfully challenge how we view ourselves, which is, by my estimation, the truest mark of a work’s worth.”

“In ‘The Longing for Home,’ Frederick Buechner writes about what he calls a ‘universal homesickness,’ which is both a nostalgia for the home we remember and a dream of finding a place of wholeness, meaning, and safe haven,” said Satterwhite.  “In my work, I am interested in the ways in which Appalachia serves as a kind of ancestral, spiritual, or imaginary homeplace. Customer reviews at Amazon.com help illuminate shared dreams of Appalachia among readers of authors as diverse as Ron Rash, Jan Karon, Charles Frazier, and Adriana Trigiani.”

Satterwhite received her Bachelor of Arts in English with honors, magna cum laude, in 1994 from Transylvania University in Lexington, Ky.  She then attended the Graduate Institute of the Liberal Arts (ILA) at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga., where, in 2002, she received her Master of Arts in American Studies, and in 2005 her Ph.D. in American Studies.  

Satterwhite’s Appalachian Emphasis Week lectures will be followed by award-winning, internationally-known author Ron Rash at 7 p.m. on Sept. 11 at King’s Memorial Chapel.  Susanne Bier’s film version of “Serena,” Rash’s 2008 novel, is due in theatres in October; this cinematic exploration will no doubt project Rash’s insights into the national conversation.  The week will continue with a theatrical performance by Barbara Bates Smith - accomplished actress, storyteller, and monologist.  Best known, perhaps, for her adaptations of the work of Lee Smith, Smith will be accompanied on stage by musician Jeff Sebens.  Their performance, at 7 p.m. on Sept. 13 in King’s Fine Arts Building, will be an expressive interpretation of the ideas raised by Satterwhite and Rash. 

Emily Satterwhite will present “Dreams of Appalachia: Popular Regional Fiction and ‘Universal Homesickness’” at 9:15 a.m. at King University’s Memorial Chapel and Longing for Home, Appalachian Fiction, and Ron Rash at 7 p.m. at the Nunn Recital Hall at Virginia Intermont College. The events are free and open to the public.  For more information, contact Dale Brown at 423.652.4156 or visit www.buechnerinstitute.org.

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