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Lewis, Helen M. 1924- (Helen Matthews Lewis)

Lewis, Helen M. 1924- (Helen Matthews Lewis)

PERSONAL:

Born October 2, 1924, in Nicholson, GA; daughter of Hugh (a rural letter carrier) and Maurie (a nurse) Matthews; married Judd W. Lewis, September 13, 1947 (divorced July 2, 1974). Ethnicity: "European." Education: Georgia State College for Women (now Georgia College and State University), B.A., 1946; University of Virginia, M.A., 1949; University of Kentucky, Ph.D., 1970. Politics: Democrat. Religion: Christian Church-Disciples of Christ. Hobbies and other interests: Reading, gardening, cat care.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Morganton, GA. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

University of Virginia, Charlottesville, director of Bureau of Population and Economic Research, 1949-52; University of Virginia, Wise, professor, 1955-77; Highlander Research and Education Center, New Market, TN, member of education staff, 1977-80, director, 1978-79; Appalshop Media Center, Whitesburg, KY, director of Appalachian history film project, 1980-84; Highlander Research and Education Center, member of education staff, 1985-93; Berea College, Berea, KY, director of Appalachian Center, 1993-95; Highlander Research and Education Center, member of education staff, 1995-97. National Academy of Science, member of committee on underground coal mine safety, 1980; consultant to Kellogg Foundation.

MEMBER:

Appalachian Studies Association, Federation of Communities in Service.

AWARDS, HONORS:

W.D. Weatherford Award, Berea College, 1990, for Remembering Our Past, Building Our Future; honorary D.Letters, Emory and Henry College, 1999, and D.D., Wake Forest University, 2000.

WRITINGS:

(With Linda Johnson and Donald Askins) Colonialism in Modern America: The Appalachian Case, Appalachian Consortium Press (Boone, NC), 1978.

(With Suzanne O'Donnell) Remembering Our Past, Building Our Future, Ivanhoe Civic League (Ivanhoe, VA), 1990.

(With Mary Ann Hinsdale and Maxine Waller) It Comes from the People, Temple University Press (Philadelphia, PA), 1995.

(With Monica Appleby) Mountain Sisters: From Convent to Community in Appalachia, University Press of Kentucky (Lexington, KY), 2003.

Author of monographs. Contributor to books. Contributor to periodicals, including Mountain Life and Work. Appalachian Journal, board member.

SIDELIGHTS:

Helen M. Lewis told CA: "Much of my writing has been devoted to helping people and communities tell their stories using oral histories, interviews, and life stories. Other writing has been documentation of work in communities or research related to social problems in Appalachian coal mining communities. As an academic and activist in the Appalachian region, many of my articles began as speeches or papers written to aid movements for social change or education for social change.

"I wrote an early article, ‘Fatalism or the Coal Industry,’ published in Mountain Life and Work, in 1970, which set forth the colonialism model to counter the culture of poverty explanation. This turned out to be a useful rewriting of history and influenced many young scholars and researchers and activists. Colonialism was a useful metaphor to explain the exploitation of the region and was developed further in the book Colonialism in Modern America: The Appalachian Case."

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