“Extreme Appalachia” is the theme for the 40th annual Appalachian Studies Conference. By "extreme" we mean the impassioned commitments people have to the region, the land, and Appalachian communities, ways of life, and livelihoods. We mean the ways extreme economics—excessive resource extraction and use, underfunding of public education and services, and dismal job opportunities—have sparked community resilience and activism that advance a sustainable future for the region. “Extreme Appalachia” also references exploitative pop culture products like reality television programming—as well as the countering power of the region’s visual, performance, and literary arts to nurture, provoke, and inspire. In the face of extremity, regionalist scholarship continues to augment ongoing struggles for racial, social, economic, and environmental justice.
Keynote Speaker: Dr. James Hansen, director, Program on Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions, Columbia Univ.