Africana Studies

A Guide to African, African American, and Africans in the Diaspora Resources

Unrequited: The Paradox of Black Appalachia Event

Unrequited: The Paradox of Black Appalachia Event

Dr. Kenton Butcher imageUnrequited Display with presenter, Dr. Kenton Butcher, photo by Dr.Jasper  Waugh-Quasebarth

Unrequited Display with presenter, Dr. Kenton Butcher, photo by Dr.Jasper  Waugh-Quasebarth

LIBRARY FREE EVENT

Join us February 14, 2024, 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM in Thompson Library Room 165 for Dr. Kenton Butcher's presentation on the intersection of rurality and blackness by analyzing a cultural institution, the Tablertown Museum, in Appalachian Ohio.

The Appalachian Studies Association adopted the theme of "Beloved" for its upcoming conference. As the call for papers explains, the theme celebrates Appalachia as a physical and cultural space that is both "sacred" and "dearly loved." This presentation explores the intersection of rurality and blackness by analyzing a cultural institution, the Tablertown Museum, in Appalachian Ohio, and it posits that “unrequited” may be a better descriptor of the community’s understanding of its internal and external relations within Appalachia. In its efforts to preserve Tablertown’s oral history and its existential struggles through periods marked by slavery, Native American displacement, segregation, economic underdevelopment, and environmental degradation, the Tablertown Museum grapples with these legacies within the physical and cultural space of Appalachia and the neoliberal quagmire that is nonprofit status. This presentation explores how the Tablertown Museum represents a community forged at the frequently unrecognized intersection of "Black" and "Appalachia" and its ongoing struggles with self-definition, cultural preservation, and economic survival. 

Kenton Butcher is an assistant professor of English at Bucknell University. He specializes in African American and South African literature and holds a Ph.D. in English and certificates in Africana studies and film studies from the University of Pennsylvania. His work has appeared in LIT: Literature, Interpretation, Theory, Safundi: The Journal of South African and American Studies, and Contemporaries. He is currently revising an essay for a forthcoming collection from Ohio University Press on Black Life in the Ohio Valley.

In addition to his academic work, Kenton serves as president of the Tablertown Museum in Athens County, Ohio. The Tablertown Museum preserves the history and legacy of Tablertown, a rural Black enclave in southeast Ohio established in the 1830s, and provides regular programming on Tablertown’s history and culture. 

This event is free and open to the public. Co-sponsored by the Department of Comparative Studies and OSU Libraries. 

African American and African Studies Librarian and Comparative Studies Librarian

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Leta Hendricks
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