Making Our Future
Visionary Folklore and Everyday Culture in Appalachia
By Emily Hilliard
312 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 18 color plates, 15 halftones, notes, bibl., index
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-7162-8
Published: November 2022
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-7161-1
Published: November 2022
eBook ISBN: 978-1-4696-7163-5
Published: September 2022
Buy this Book
- Paperback $24.95
- Hardcover $99.00
- E-Book $19.99
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With chapters on the expressive culture of the West Virginia teachers' strike, the cultural significance of the West Virginia hot dog, the tradition of independent pro wrestling in Appalachia, the practice of nonprofessional women songwriters, the collective counternarrative of a multiracial coal camp community, the invisible landscape of writer Breece D'J Pancake's hometown, the foodways of an Appalachian Swiss community, the postapocalyptic vision presented in the video game Fallout 76, and more, the book centers the collective nature of folklife and examines the role of the public folklorist in collaborative engagements with communities and culture. Hilliard argues that folklore is a unifying concept that puts diverse cultural forms in conversation, as well as a framework that helps us reckon with the past, understand the present, and collectively shape the future.
About the Author
Emily Hilliard is a folklorist and writer based in central Appalachia. She is the former West Virginia state folklorist and the founding director of the West Virginia Folklife Program. Find more of her work at emilyehilliard.com.
For more information about Emily Hilliard, visit the Author Page.
“A fascinating example of folklore fieldwork in West Virginia. People from the state . . . will find places and concepts they recognize thoughtfully and respectfully represented, and outsiders will gain an understanding of the deeply complex and communal past and present of the Mountain State.”—Southern Review of Books
"An incontrovertible case for viewing folklore as a dynamic force not just of the past, but of the present & the future."—Appalachian Mountain Books
"Making Our Future brings fresh and profound insights to our current understanding of Appalachian culture and music."—Songlines
"[Hilliard] is . . . in an excellent position to observe her surroundings, able to see things from a curious outsider’s perspective and with a degree of freshness that lends authority to her observations. Not once does she condescend.”—Los Angeles Review of Books
"A benchmark in public folklore. Hilliard's ability to weave together many voices has given us a work that expands the horizons of critical heritage work to encompass hot dog condiments, wrestling matches, and teachers' strikes, calling attention to community life itself as the object of cultural stewardship."
—Mary Hufford, Ohio State University and the Livelihoods Knowledge Exchange Network
"West Virginia has long deserved a book like Hilliard’s delightfully written guide, which showcases the breadth and diversity of its cultural practices and centers the imaginations of those who produced them. With deep commitment to both place and field, Making Our Future is sure to be a lasting model of public scholarship at its most inventive." —Elizabeth Catte, author of What You Are Getting Wrong about Appalachia