West of Asheville there has been little done with LGBTQ activism. Just last year, Rountree and colleagues from Western Carolina received an internal grant to expand drag performer oral narratives to include other LGBTQ+ voices from Jackson County. This presentation will talk about how they collected these voices and how they inspired a local community performance. It will also touch upon how these narratives helped to spark the first ever Sylva Pride event (and the first Pride to occur west of Asheville). These collections and events are crucial to making all identities feel welcome in these mountains that we call home.
Dr. Travis A. Rountree is an assistant professor in the English Department at Western Carolina University. He earned his PhD from the University of Louisville, his MA in English from Appalachian State University with a certificate in Appalachian Studies, and his BA in English from James Madison University with a minor in American Studies. He teaches first year composition courses as well as graduate courses in composition and rhetoric. His research interests include queer archival research and pedagogy, Country Music, Appalachian Rhetorics, place-based pedagogy, and public memory studies. He has been published in The North Carolina Folklore Journal, Journal of Southern History, and Appalachian Journal. He is from Richmond, Virginia, but lived in Boone, NC for 9 years. He enjoys running, weight lifting, and gardening. He is an avid fan of old time, bluegrass, and country music and lives in Sylva, NC with his two kitties.
Brought to you by the Ramsey Center for Appalachian Studies in partnership with the Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. This event is for MHU students and employees only. Social distancing and masks will be required.