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Dear AppalachiaReaders, Identity, and Popular Fiction since 1878$
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Emily Satterwhite

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780813130101

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813130101.001.0001

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Conclusion

Conclusion

The Production of Region and the Romance with Whiteness

Chapter:
(p.211) Conclusion
Source:
Dear Appalachia
Author(s):

Emily Satterwhite

Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
DOI:10.5810/kentucky/9780813130101.003.0007

This final chapter speculates that Appalachia may be commodified in ways that have the potential to undermine the region as a tool to critique dominant assumptions. The first section, “The Production of Regional Identity,” discusses the relationship between regional fiction and the construction of regionalism. Readers' testimonies, alongside maps of mobile readers' geographic trajectories, indicate that the role of regional fiction is to produce readers who learn to feel regionally. Migration frequently provoked among white Americans a sense of deep estrangement that they turned to fiction to ameliorate. Readers' mobility in effect produced a market for regional fiction which in turn produced regional identity. The second section, “Romancing Appalachia,” urges the critique of popular celebratory representations of the region, arguing that they frequently code Appalachia as a simple, racially innocent, disadvantaged, “pure” Anglo-Saxon, and white ethnic community. For some Americans, romance with Appalachia is a romance with simple authentic white folk that may reinforce nativism, xenophobia, white nationalism, and the patronization of culturalized and racialized groups domestically and internationally.

Keywords:   regional fiction, regionalism, regional identity, readers, white ethnic, white nationalism, Appalachia

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