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
1201 Locust Avenue
Fairmont, WV 26554
(304) 367-4403
wvfolklife@fairmontstate.edu


Pat Musick
Pat Musick
, Interim Director
Frank & Jane Gabor WV Folklife Center
(304) 333-3606
pmusick@fairmontstate.edu
 


 

FSUNow Stories

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Kestrel: A Journal of Literature and Art, the Fairmont State University Department of Language and Literature and the Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center will host a two-day Celebration of Issue 35.

Ten Kestrel contributors will be on campus to participate in a panel discussion, as well as give readings from their own work.

On Friday, Sept. 23, from 1 to 1:50 p.m. in Jaynes Hall 304, Dr. Elizabeth Savage will moderate a panel discussion on the topic, “Accessibility,” featuring visiting writers. Admission to the event is free and open to the public.

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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center at Fairmont State University will officially open a new exhibition, “From Mountain Roots….” in its Ruth Ann Musick Gallery from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9.

Admission to the opening reception and the exhibit is free and open to the public. The exhibition will be on view through mid-February 2017. For more information, call (304) 367-4403.

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Friday, August 26, 2016

The Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center at Fairmont State University will host “Film & Fiction Italian Family Style: An Afternoon of Italian Heritage” from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 18.

Diana Pishner Walker will read from her children’s books, and her sister Anna Pishner Harsh offer a premier screening of “La Danza-Bridging Time Through Dance,” an Italian dance documentary. Walker and Harsh’s paternal grandparents were from Caulonia, Italy, (Reggio Calabria), and their maternal grandparents were from San Giovani in Fiore, Provence of Cosenza, Italy.

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