Skip to main content

Amanda E. Hayes

October 2018
PB 978-1-946684-46-2
CL 978-1-946684-45-5
eBook 978-1-946684-47-9


2019 College English Association of Ohio's Nancy Dasher Award winner

In exploring the ways that Appalachian people speak and write, Amanda E. Hayes raises the importance of knowing and respecting communication styles within a marginalized culture. Diving deep into the region’s historical roots—especially those of the Scotch-Irish and their influence on her own Appalachian Ohio—Hayes reveals a rhetoric with its own unique logic, utility, and poetry.

Hayes also considers the headwinds against Appalachian rhetoric, notably ideologies about poverty and the biases of the school system. She connects these to challenges that Appalachian students face in the classroom and pinpoints pedagogical and structural approaches for change. 

Throughout, Hayes blends conventional scholarship with autobiography, storytelling, and dialect, illustrating Appalachian rhetoric’s validity as a means of creating and sharing knowledge.



Introduction: Writing Takes Place     

1. Ethos       

2. Language   

3. Celtic Rhetoric      

4. Celtic Rhetoric in Appalachia        

5. Writing an Appalachian Rhetoric

6. When Rhetoric Is a Deficit

7. Categorizing Education      

8. Education and Rhetorical Identity  

9. Rhetoric and Repercussions           





Amanda E. Hayes is an assistant professor of English at Kent State University–Tuscarawas.


“In this book, Hayes takes a critical approach in her examination of traditional writing pedagogy and its tendency toward resistance to Appalachian rhetoric, which has a complex history worth exploring. Teachers of writing—particularly those in rural Appalachia—will benefit from Hayes’s important work. This exciting book fills a need for more conversation about what constitutes Appalachian rhetoric and why teachers at all levels should know more about it to better understand the diverse voices their students bring to the classroom.”
Amy D. Clark, coeditor of Talking Appalachian: Voice, Identity, and Community