Appalachian Images in Folk and Popular Culture, Second Edition

  • Author(s): McNeil, W. K., ed.
  • Series:
  • Imprint: Univ Tennessee Press
  • Publication Date: 1995-03-08
  • Status: Active
  • Available in Paper: Price $30.00 | Buy Now

In this second edition of his valuable anthology, W. K. McNeil presents an updated compilation of articles and essays from the last 130 years that illuminate the character and spirit of Appalachian culture and show how attitudes toward the region have evolved.

The essays cover a diverse and eclectic range of topics—from moonshining to Kentucky feuds, from mountain handicrafts to changing dietary habits, from shingle making to serpent handling. The articles are organized according to four major periods in the awareness of Appalachian culture. Between the years 1860 and 1899, the region was “discovered” as a “strange land” populated by a “peculiar people.” From 1900 to 1930, the published perceptions of Appalachia not only emphasized its distinctiveness but defined its culture as largely Elizabethan. From 1930 to 1950, essayists began discussing the manner in which the region’s inhabitants were forsaking their “Elizabethan ways” and adopting those of modern civilization. In the most recent period, observers not only have described aspects of folklife but have considered the ways in which they function in Appalachian society.

In addition to a new introduction and editorial commentary by McNeil, this edition includes for the first time an article by media scholar Horace Newcomb, who examines the cultural ramifications of “Appalachian” television programs, including The Beverly Hillbillies and The Waltons.

The Editor: W. K. McNeil is the folklorist at the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, Arkansas. He is the author or editor of several books on folklore, including, most recently, Southern Mountain Folksongs.