by Z. Zane McNeill
Y'all Means All is a celebration of the weird and wonderful aspects of a troubled region in all of their manifest glory! This collection is a thought-provoking hoot and a holler of we're queer and we're here to stay, cause we're every bit a piece of the landscape as the rocks and the trees echoing through the hills of Appalachia and into the boardrooms of every media outlet and opportunistic author seeking to define Appalachia from the outside for their own political agendas. Multidisciplinary and multi-genre, Y'all necessarily incorporates elements of critical theory, such as critical race theory and queer theory, while dealing with a multitude of methodologies, from quantitative analysis, to oral history and autoethnography.
This collection eschews the contemporary trend of reactive or responsive writing in the genre of Appalachian studies, and alternatively, provides examples of how modern Appalachians are defining themselves on their own terms. As such, it also serves as a toolkit for other Appalachian readers to follow suit, and similarly challenge the labels, stereotypes and definitions often thrust upon them. While providing blunt commentary on the region's past and present, the book's soul is sustained by the resilience, ingenuity, and spirit exhibited by the authors; values which have historically characterized the Appalachian region and are continuing to define its culture to the present.
This book demonstrates above all else that Appalachia and its people are filled with a vitality and passion for their region which will slowly but surely effect long-lasting and positive changes in the region. If historically Appalachia has been treated as a mirror of the country, this book breaks that trend by allowing modern Appalachians to examine their own reflections and to share their insights in an honest, unfiltered manner with the world.
"Too often writers and artists from Appalachia find themselves on the defensive, responding to the many ways that popular media misrepresents the region and erases complexities of gender, race, and sexuality. Not so in Y'all Means All. As members of radical queer communities, the authors imagine the past, present, and future in Appalachia with sharp analysis and glorious storytelling. They define Appalachia on their own terms, with theoretical ferment, honesty, and heart." --Jessica Wilkerson, Associate Professor and Stuart & Joyce Robbins Distinguished Chair in History, West Virginia University
"These deeply personal and theoretically informed essays explore the fight for social justice and inclusivity in Appalachia through the intersections of environmental action, LGBTQA+ representational politics, anti-racism, and movements for disability justice. This Appalachia is inhabited by a queer temporality and geography, where gardening lore teaches us that seeds dance into plants in their own time, not according to a straight-edged neoliberal discipline." --Rebecca Scott, author of Removing Mountains: Extracting Nature and Identity in the Appalachian Coalfields
About the Author:
Z. Zane McNeill is an independent scholar-activist from West Virginia. He currently sits on the steering committee for the Appalachian Studies Association and has written on choreopolitics, socially engaged art, critical animal studies, and queer ecologies. They are co-editor of Queer and Trans Voices: Achieving Liberation Through Consistent Anti-Oppression.