A cursory glance at contemporary coverage of life in rural America might make you think that all is lost. An opioid epidemic, rolling ecological catastrophes, hollowed-out downtowns, and jobs and people fleeing to the cities: these are the stories we are told about rural America. But anyone who has spent time in a small town knows that this doesn’t come close to capturing the vibrancy of rural life.
Please join The Cornell Law and Political Economy Collective on October 19th at 6pm for an impassioned and thoughtful conversation with Ann Eisenberg and Daniel T. Lichter about living & working in rural America, and the economic, political, and social decisions that will determine our rural futures.
Ann Eisenberg is Professor of Law at West Virginia University College of Law and Research Director for WVU Law’s Center for Energy and Sustainable Development. Her work focuses on the extractive rural economy, energy law, and community economic development. Her book, Reviving Rural America: Toward Policies for Resilience, is forthcoming from Cambridge University Press. Earlier this year she hosted a symposium on the Law and Political Economy of Rural America on the LPE Blog.
Daniel T. Lichter is the Ferris Family Professor emeritus in the Cornell Brooks School of Public Policy and the Department of Sociology at Cornell University. Dr. Lichter’s recent research focuses on racial inequality, especially on the social and economic boundaries that separate minority and immigrant populations from mainstream native-born Whites. He has studied impoverished parts of rural America–in Appalachia, Indian Reservations, and the Mississippi Delta–and whether new immigrant populations can provide a demographic lifeline to depopulating rural areas. He’s especially interesting in rural Hispanic “boom towns” working in meatpacking, corporate agriculture, dairy farming, and the hospitality industry.