PLEASE NOTE: The start/end date above is NOT the event date. This lecture will be held Oct. 11.
JOHNSON CITY (Posted Oct. 4, 2012) – Dr. Helen Matthews Lewis, a sociologist, anthropologist, educator and social activist often referred to as the “Mother of Appalachian Studies,” will visit East Tennessee State University on Thursday, Oct. 11, for a 5 p.m. lecture and book-signing in the D.P. Culp University Center forum.
The title of her free public talk is the same as that of her latest book, Helen Matthews Lewis: Living Social Justice in Appalachia. She will be joined by the book’s editors, Drs. Patricia Beaver and Judi Jennings.
The book, published by the University Press of Kentucky, is a collection of Lewis’ writings and memories and begins in 1943 with her job on the yearbook staff at Georgia State College for Women with Mary Flannery O’Connor. In 1948, she was arrested in Atlanta for attending an interracial conference.
Lewis’ scholarship and activism are explored throughout the book. The editors highlight the achievements of Lewis’ extensive career, including her role as a teacher and activist at Clinch Valley College (now University of Virginia’s College at Wise) and ETSU in the 1960s. She has worked with Appalshop in Kentucky and the Highlander Research and Education Center in Tennessee.
Helen Matthews Lewis also connects her work to wider social movements in Appalachia. At its heart, the book delivers “a captivating personal narrative of one woman’s mission to educate and to live a lifelong commitment to social justice.”
Lewis, a founding member of the Appalachian Studies Association, is also the co-author of Mountain Sisters: From Convent to Community in Appalachia and Colonialism in Modern America: The Appalachian Case.
Her appearance at ETSU is sponsored by the university’s Center for Appalachian Studies and Services (CASS) and Department of Appalachian Studies. For more information or special assistance for those with disabilities, call CASS at (423) 439-7865.