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Centre for Rural Policy Research Seminar: Prof. Jesse Richardson - Hillbilly Resurrection: a critical look at socio-political-economic-legal issues in rural America through the lens of Appalachia

A College of Social Sciences and International Studies seminar
Date22 May 2019
Time10:30 to 12:00
PlaceAmory B106

Shockwaves resonated throughout much of the United States (and the wider world) upon announcement of the 2016 US presidential election results—Donald Trump had secured a victory. Over half the voters (Hilary Clinton won a majority of the votes) and onlookers wondered despondently, “How did this happen?”. One hypothesis which has given rise to controversy is presented in Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance, a New York Times Best Seller, which provided fuel for a debate about the role of the deteriorating white working class in the election and post-industrial American society. Professor Jesse Richardson, Professor of Law at West Virginia University Law School and Lead Land Use Attorney at the WVU Land Use and Sustainable Development Law Clinic, will provide insights into the socio-political, economic, and legal aspects he encounters through his work in Appalachia that challenge many assumptions about rural America and arguments such as Vance’s.


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