Roads to Appalachia Through
Scotland and Ireland Study Abroad

Fairmont State University
Folk 3399
Spring Semester and summer 2005


  Dr. Judy P. Byers (
Noel W. Tenney (

Office Hours: M, W, 2:30-4:00 p.m., 113 Education Building
Phone:367-4403 (WV Folklife Center at FSU)

Course description
  Roads to Appalachia Through Scotland and Ireland Study Abroad, Folk 3399 is a course designed to support the 15-day travel study to Scotland and Ireland, July 4-18, 2005. The course will study the historical and cultural context, geography and landmarks, cities, historical monuments, natural features, and museums of Highland and Lowland Scotland and Northern and the Republic of Ireland. Study will rely on texts, videos, guided discussion, and presentations by students.
Meeting Place and Time: 114 Education Building, Wednesday, 5:30p.m. - 8:20 p.m.
Leyburn, James G. The Scotch-Irish: A Social History, Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press, 1962.
  Ray, Celeste.Highland Heritage:Scottish Americans in the American South, Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press, 2001.
Colum, Padraic, ed. A Treasury of Irish Folklore: The Stories, Traditions, Legends, Humor, Wisdom, Ballads, and Songs of the Irish People. New York: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1967.
  Douglas, Ronald Macdonald, compiler. Scottish Lore and Folklore. New York: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1982.
Music: Music:
Ritchie, Fiona. "The Thistle and Shamrock.” National Public Radio (a weekly radio show of Celtic roots music with Fiona Ritchie, WV Public Radio: Buckhannon, 88.9 or Morgantown, 90.9, Sundays 12:00-1:00p.m.

  (1) Four written assessments on content presented from texts and videos (20 points total)

(2) Two-part Journal (40 points total)

Course Journal composed of responses to reading, videos, class discussion and presentations, radio music, as well as questions or issues to be studied during actual Study Abroad.

Travel Journal composed of observations, information, data, anecdotes and stories collected during travel, and thoughts and feelings about the Study Abroad.

(3) Course Presentations with partner (40 points total)

Shared brief introduction followed by a 40-mintue discussion from presenters, and closing with a brief period of shared questions and answers. Discussion should be supported by a handout on major topics and issues covered by presenters and by visual material (such as maps, internet materials, posters, or power point presentations on topics important to the Study Abroad)(This entire presentation must not be more than an hour and a half long).

Subjects of the presentations will be cities of Scotland and Ireland and cultural elements of these countries as experienced on the Study Abroad. Both of these categories are outlined in the following course weekly schedule and the same partners will stay together for both presentations; however, different teams will explore the same regional city and cultural content. The following content should be included for each of the presentations. Presenters should equally divide the research and presentational content.

Presenters should discuss topics of interest concerning the cities, such as location, topography, climate, major landmarks, thumbnail history, famous citizens (past and present), shopping specialities, cuisine, and entertainment and night life.

Cultural Content:
Presenters, using the itinerary (as detailed in the weekly schedule) should discuss such topics as folklore (oral and customary) of stories, music (vocal and instrumental), dance, festivals, community activities; material culture pertaining to vernacular architecture, traditional arts and crafts (process and product), local industrial products and processes (weaving of the plaid, breweries, ship building, etc.); language usage; traditional foods and recipes; family history and genealogy centers of study; cultural history; and contemporary presentations of historical content (types of museums, reenactments, historic site interpretations, exhibits, educational programs and publications, and etc.) for each city or region.

(4) Public Presentation to Follow-up Study Abroad (20 points total)

This presentation is a 30-45 minute discussion of some topic encountered during the Study Abroad that would interest high school students, college students, or adults. Materials should be carefully organized around some guiding principle and developed by means of ideas and evidence, such as those collected in the journals or class presentations. Speech should be supported by artifacts collected during the Study Abroad travels (photographs, slides, videos, or posters), though these should be subordinated to the discussion itself. It is expected that these discussions will be presented to actual audiences, college or otherwise.

(5) Summer Institute for Teachers:
Since there will be several public educators/teachers traveling on the Study Abroad experience, the WV Folklife Center at FSU in conjunction with GEARUP will be conducting a two day Institute on June 23 and 24, 2005 to be held on campus and at Prickett's Fort. You will be provided with a complete agenda for the two day affair and you are highly encouraged/required to be in attendance. A display of your class presentation materials will be a part of this Institute. It will also provide the opportunity for you to "get to know” some of your fellow travelers.

(6) Term Paper for those not actually traveling on the Study Abroad in place of Travel Journal and Public Presentation (30 points). Discuss with professors for subjects and terms.

Evaluation Scale:

90-100 = A
80-89 = B
70-79 = C
60-69 = D
50- 0 = F


Attendance is MANDATORY for full cultural experience. If there is an emergency, students must inform the instructors immediately by email or phone as listed on this syllabus only. There will be little flexible time in the course schedule so please do not ask to rearrange presentation times.

  Academic Integrity:
Fairmont State values highly the integrity of its student scholars. All students and faculty members are urged to share in the responsibility for removing every situation which might permit or encourage academic dishonesty. Cheating in any form, including plagiarism, must be considered a matter of the gravest concern. Cheating is defined here as the obtaining of information during an examination; the unauthorized use of books, notes, or other sources of information prior to or during an examination; the removal of faculty examination materials; the alteration of documents or records; or actions identifiable as occurring with the intent to defraud or use under false pretense.

Plagiarism is defined here as the submission of the ideas, words (written or oral), or artistic productions of another, falsely represented as one's original effort or without giving due credit. Students and faculty should examine proper citation forms to avoid inadvertent plagiarism.
Copyright Notice: Material presented in this course may be protected by copyright law.

Course Calendar: Spring Semester, 2005

January 19- Introduction and Overview
Instructors will discuss the entire course, texts, projects, as well as introductory/background content on folklore/cultural studies.

  January 26 - Highland Scotland
Discussion based on readings from Highland Heritage Chapters 1-2 and film
  February 2- Scotch-Irish
Discussion based on readings from Scotch-Irish Parts I-II and film
  February 9-Irish Catholics (Southern/Republic of Ireland) and the Potato Famine
Discussion based on excerpts from "The Irish in America” PBS series
(small quiz)
[Scotland: Edinburgh, St. Andrews, Glamis]
Discussion based on readings from Scottish Folklore Parts 1-2
[Scotland: Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace, Haggis presentation, Glamis Castle, Angus Folk Museum, etc.]
Discussion based on readings from Scottish Folklore Parts 3-4
[Scotland: Culloden, Inverness, Isle of Skye, Glascow, Westwart, Alloway, Wigtown, Stranraer]
Discussion based on readings from Highland Heritage Chapters 3-4
[Scotland: Culloden Visitor Center, Inverness (general museums and art galleries), Loch Ness (folklore of monster), Isle of Skye (Museum of the Isles and Clan Donald Center), Alloway (birthplace of Bobby Burns)]
Discussion based on readings fromHighland Heritage Chapters 5-7 and Scottish Folklore Part V (Bobby Burns and Sir Walter Scott)
  March 16 - SPRING BREAK
[Northern Ireland: Belfast, Sligo, Southern/Republic of Ireland: Strokestown]
Discussion based on readings from Scotch-Irish Part III
(small quiz)
[Northern Ireland:Belfast (general culture), Caelie (Irish festival), Queens University, Giants Causeway, Dunluce Castle, Ulster/American Folk Park in Omagh, Yeats (the poet),
Southern/Republic of Ireland: Strokestown (Museum of the Famine)]
Discussion based on readings from Irish Folklore Parts 1-3 and pages 581-586
(guest speaker)
[Southern/Republic of Ireland: Clifden, Galway, Limerick, Adare, Tralee, Cork]
Discussion based on readings from Irish Folklore Parts 4-6
Southern/Republic of Ireland:
[Connemara Region (role of Marble Factory), Burrne at Moycullen, Cliffs of Moher, Limerick's cultural offerings, Knappogue Castle (Medieval Celtic celebration), Quaint cottage architecture of Adare, Ring of Kerry, Fenit (east of Tralee..birthplace of St. Brendan), Blarney Castle and Stone of Eloquence/Industrialization influences, Rock of Cashel of St. Patrick]
Discussion based on readings from Irish Folklore Parts 7-9
  April 20 - Discussion based on PBS film "The Journey of St. Brendan” and documentary film footage with archaeologist Robert L. Pyle and his work on Irish and West Virginia petroglyph sites.
Southern/Republic of Ireland: [Waterford, Wexford, Dublin]
Southern/Republic of Ireland: [Waterford (crystal factory and the culture of glassmaking), Wexford (Irish National Heritage Park..dolmens), Dublin (Trinity College and Book of Kells), St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin Castle (Heraldic and Genealogical Office), Guinness's Brewery (pub culture of Ireland)]
Discussion based on excerpts from the film "Riverdance: The Show”
  May 4 - Class Review
(small quiz)
Class will end with a mini-Ceilidh- a Celtic celebration with traditional food, dance, and music with guest scholars Mary Dillow Stewart and John H.Randolph.
  May 11 - FINAL EXAM


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

Pat Musick
Pat Musick
, Interim Director
Frank & Jane Gabor WV Folklife Center
(304) 367-3606


FSUNow Stories

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Fairmont State University’s roots reach back to the formation of public education in the state of West Virginia. In 2015, students, faculty, staff, alumni and the community are celebrating Fairmont State’s 150th birthday with special remembrances and events.

As part of the Sesquicentennial Celebration, author Dr. M. Raymond Alvarez will present a talk about his recent book “The Normal on Fairmont Avenue.” The event will take place at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 11, at the Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center on the main campus.

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Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Fairmont State University College of Liberal Arts honored its high achieving students during the fifth annual Academic Awards Ceremony at the end of the spring 2015 semester.

Dr. Deanna Shields, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts; Dr. Maria Rose, FSU President; and Bill Holmes of the Fairmont State Foundation Inc. presented greetings and congratulations to the students for their academic achievements.

Department of Behavioral Sciences

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Thursday, May 28, 2015

In celebration of Fairmont State University’s Sesquicentennial, the Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center has created an exhibit titled “On a Hill by a Dream,” which features FSU history, traditions and lore.

The title for the exhibition was taken from a poem by Louise McNeill, West Virginia’s former Poet Laureate who taught history at Fairmont State. The following quote is from her “Chestnut Orchard” (“Paradox Hill: From Appalachia to Lunar Shore”):

“Back through the years beyond time and space,
On a hill—by a dream—we will find that place.”

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