March 20, 2024 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Afton Thomas

“Amplifying ‘Anotherness’: Disrupting Dominant Narratives about Appalachia”

a Virtual Event with Neema Avashia

Both Appalachia and the South are frequently represented as monoliths in mainstream media representations of place and people. But for the folks who live in these regions, we know that they are far from monolithic. That they are home to immigrants, to queer people, to Hindus and Buddhists and Muslims and Jews, to people who are politically radical, to every identity not included in a dominant narrative that casts our homes as white, Christian, straight, and conservative. This dominant narrative has been used to vilify Appalachian people, to dehumanize them, and ultimately, to extract the resources from the regions without any accountability for that extraction. In this SouthTalk, Neema Avashia explores what happens when we challenge that dominant narrative, when we write and publish and amplify narratives that complicate understanding of place and people.

Neema Avashia is the daughter of Indian immigrants and was born and raised in southern West Virginia. She has been an educator and activist in the Boston Public Schools since 2003 and was named a City of Boston Educator of the Year in 2013. Her first book was Another Appalachia: Coming Up Queer and Indian in a Mountain Place.

SouthTalks is a series of events (including lectures, performances, film screenings, and panel discussions) that explores the interdisciplinary nature of Southern Studies. This series is free and open to the public, and typically takes place in the Tupelo Room of Barnard Observatory unless otherwise noted. Visit southernstudies.olemiss.edu for more information about all Center events.