Roads to Appalachia through Belgium and the Germanic Roots of Western Germany & Northern Switzerland

Roads to Appalachia through Belgium
and the Germanic Roots of Western Germany & Northern Switzerland

July 08 – 20, 2011
Itinerary & Application
 
Sponsored by the Frank & Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center Arrangements by National Travel In Summer 2011, the “Roads to Appalachia through Study-Travel Abroad” will travel to Belgium, Germany, and Switzerland in search of our region’s connections to these root areas. As part of the largest and earliest ethnic population in America, the Germans settled in eastern and northern “western” (West) Virginia by the early to mid 18th Century, primarily emigrating from the Rhineland-Palatinate region of western Germany. By the mid 19th Century, German Swiss settlements were being made throughout central West Virginia, with the Aargau Region of Switzerland populating the small West Virginia mountain village of Helvetia. Among the heavy wave of settlers into Central Appalachia during the early 20th Century’s Industrial Revolution, many glassworkers came from Belgian cities, such as Charleroi. Settling throughout West Virginia, these Europeans brought with them varied skills, traditions, customs, storytelling, and other folkloric elements that are still being perpetuated in parts of Central Appalachia.

    A 2011 Spring Semester course, “Roads to Appalachia through Belgium and the Germanic roots of Western Germany and Northern Switzerland,” will be offered for those traveling to the European Countries during the Summer of 2011. Two local texts have been chosen to accent this course including Gerald Milnes’ Signs, Cures, and Witchery: German Appalachian Folklore, and David H. Sutton’s Helvetia: The History of a Swiss Village in the Mountains of West Virginia. This special “Study-Travel Abroad” program will be led and hosted by Dr. Judy Prozzillo Byers, Director, and Noel W. Tenney, Cultural Specialist, both of the Folklife Center.

Contact Info

The Frank and Jane Gabor
West Virginia Folklife Center

on the campus of Fairmont State University and Pierpont Community and Technical College
1201 Locust Avenue
Fairmont, WV 26554
(304) 367-4403
wvfolklife@fairmontstate.edu
wvfolklife@pierpont.edu

Dr. Judy P. Byers
Dr. Judy P. Byers
, Director Frank & Jane Gabor WV Folklife Center,
  Abelina Suarez Professor, Senior Level,
  English & Folklore Studies
Fairmont State University
(304) 367-4286
jbyers@fairmontstate.edu
jbyers@pierpont.edu


Mr. Noel W. Tenney, Folk Cultural Specialist
   Frank & Jane Gabor WV Folklife Center
   and Museum Studies Program Coordinator
   Pierpont Community & Technical College
(304) 367-3606 

ntenney@fairmontstate.edu
ntenney@pierpont.edu

FSUNow Stories

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center will host a special event in April honoring the work of acclaimed poet Maggie Anderson and the legacy of former West Virginia Poet Laureate Louise McNeill.

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Three West Virginia writers will read from their new books at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5, at the Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center on the Fairmont State University main campus. The writers include Michael W. Cox, Jessie Van Eerden and John Van Kirk.

A question-and-answer session and book signing will follow the reading. Admission is free and open to the public. The event is sponsored by sponsored by the Office of Student Affairs at Fairmont State University and the Department of Language and Literature.

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Friday, January 24, 2014

Playwright, author and screenwriter Tom DeTitta has been named the 2014 Artist-in-Residence for Fairmont State University. With a specialty in historical drama, he has written two plays with content closely connected to this area, “Monongah,” which is about an immigrant family affected by the 1907 mine disaster, and “Street of Gold,” which is about a coal mining family in Western Pennsylvania.

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