Storytelling in Queer Appalachia: Imagining and Writing the Unspeakable Other


Edited by Hillery Glasby, Sherrie Gradin, and Rachael Ryerson

July 2020
PB 978-1-949199-48-2
CL 978-1-949199-47-5
eBook 978-1-949199-49-9





In one of the first collections of scholarship at the intersection of LGBTQ studies and Appalachian studies, voices from the region’s valleys, hollers, mountains, and campuses blend personal stories with scholarly and creative examinations of living and surviving as queers in Appalachia. The essayists collected in Storytelling in Queer Appalachia are academics, social workers, riot grrrl activists, teachers, students, practitioners, scholars of divinity, and boundary crossers, all imagining how to make legible the unspeakable other of Appalachian queerness.

Focusing especially on disciplinary approaches from rhetoric and composition, the volume explores sexual identities in rural places, community and individual meaning-making among the Appalachian diaspora, the storytelling infrastructure of queer Appalachia, and the role of the metronormative in discourses of difference. Storytelling in Queer Appalachia affirms queer people, fights for queer visibility over queer erasure, seeks intersectional understanding, and imagines radically embodied queer selves through social media.


Part I: The Heart Over the Head: Queer-affirming Epistles and Queer-phobic Challenges
A Letter to Appalachia
Amanda Hayes
Challenging Dominant Christianity’s Queerphobic Rhetoric
Justin Ray Dutton
Part II: Queer Diaspora: Existence and Erasure in Appalachia
A Drowning in the Foothills
Adam Denney
A Pedagogy of the Flesh: Deconstructing the “Quare” Appalachian Archetype
Matthew Thomas Reid
Pickin’ and Grinnin’: Quare Hillbillies, Counter Rhetorics, and the Recovery of Home
Kim Gunter
Part III: Both/And: Intersectional Understandings of Appalachian Queers
The Crik Is Crooked: Appalachia as Moveable Queer Space
Lydia McDermott
“Are Y’all Homo?”: Mêtis as Method for Queer Appalachia
Caleb Pendygraft and Travis A. Rountree
Queering Trauma and Resilience, Appalachian Style!
delfin bautista
Part IV: Queer Media: Radical Acts of Embodiment and Resistance
Working against the Past: Queering the Appalachian Narrative
Tijah Bumgarner
Writing the Self: Trans Zine Making in Appalachia
Savi Ettinger, Katie Manthey, Sonny Romano, Cynthia Suryawan
Queer Appalachia: A Homespun Praxis of Rural Resistance in Appalachian Media
Gina Mamone and Sarah E. Meng
List of Contributors


Hillery Glasby is an assistant professor in the writing, rhetoric, and American cultures department and a faculty fellow for the Center for Gender in Global Context at Michigan State University.

Sherrie Gradin is a professor of English at Ohio University.

Rachael Ryerson is the director of composition and a lecturer at Ohio University.


Storytelling in Queer Appalachia offers us a beautifully disruptive way to rethink our understandings of a singular Appalachia—as a place, as a people, as an ideology. These insightful chapters approach queerness-in-place through a host of engaging lenses and frameworks.”
William P. Banks, coeditor of Approaches to Teaching LGBT Literature

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