Across Rural America 2019
What is life like outside the urban blue bubble that most of us who are associated with higher education live in? And how does this lived experience influence political sentiment? Following the election of Donald Trump in 2016, I’ve become increasingly interested in this issue. Having driven across the US a number of times in previous years, I complemented my reading and writing about politics, class, racism, sexism, and political economy in the US by taking a 10,000-mile road trip across 25 states in the US (plus segments of southern Canada) during spring 2019 while on a sabbatical leave from teaching. I traveled as much as possible on state highways, roads that wander through towns and villages, farmlands and open vistas, rather than simply going as quickly as possible from one place to another. This was an eye-opening experience. I got a feel for places and lives that I had begun to glean powerfully from books, articles, and conversations with colleagues. But beyond these, my travel experiences were more personal and visceral. The larger project of which this travel experience is nested is my interest and intended larger book on “The Revenge of the Suffering Subject in America.” In the interim, I’ve configured on these web pages an overview statement concerning my recent road trip through rural America and few specific posts concerning particular places and people that have seemed particularly noteworthy. Enjoy!