A future-focused, materialist, and collaborative approach to cultural work is what Emily Hilliard, former state folklorist of West Virginia, offers in Making our Future: Visionary Folklore and Everyday Culture in Appalachia.

From diverse examples such as a teacher’s strike, a multiracial coal camp community, and the tradition of independent pro wrestling, Hilliard paints a picture of folklore as a unifying concept that puts diverse cultural forms in conversation, one that creates a framework that helps us understand our past and shape our future. In conversation with Katy Clune, Director of the Virginia Humanities Folklife Program.

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