Thursday, November 02, 8:30 am–10:00 am
This live event will not be recorded.
Chair: Danille Elise Christensen (Virginia Tech)
The Taming of Mothman: Cute-ification and Marketization of Cultural Forms in Appalachia
Sarah Craycraft (Indiana University Bloomington) and Jordan Lovejoy (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
This panel examines how authenticity–in its metaphorical guise as “grassroots” theory and praxis–is deployed to benefit specific interests across the political spectrum. Exploring topics that include astroturfing ‘authentic’ minoritized (heterosexual, cisgender) voices within the far-right group Moms for Liberty (M4L) , the neoliberal transformation of Mothman into a cute (apparently progressive) commodity in Appalachia, and the ways that Bicentennial-era dolls perform national narratives of homespun production for both conservatives and liberals, we ask, “Who is invoking ‘everyday folk’ and ‘grassroots practice,’ and why? Within a revivalist search for moral and cultural roots, what do we gain and lose?