Clebrating Nothern Appalachia in Word and Song - NewsClebrating Nothern Appalachia in Word and Song - News

Celebrating Northern Appalachia in Word and Song Monday, April 11, 2011

Portrait of Jennifer HaighA New-York Times best-selling author will deliver the keynote address at the Celebrating Northern Appalachia in Word and Song, a daylong conference set for April 11 at California University of Pennsylvania.

As a novelist and short story writer, Jennifer Haigh’s book, Baker Towers, was a New York Times best-seller and received the 2006 PEN /L.L. Winship Award for outstanding book by a New England author. The book features the vibrant small-town life of America’s Rust Belt at its pinnacle.

Haigh’s talk, at 9 a.m. in the Performance Center inside the Natali Student Center, commences a daylong series of presentations and performances highlighting the people of Northern Appalachia, as well as the literature, poetry and music of an area that encompasses portions of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, New York, Maryland and Ohio.

Join us April 11 at Cal U to:

  • Learn more about the Appalachian identity and explore issues including demographics, de-industrialization and the role of veterans in the region.
  • Listen to the music of Northern Appalachia and readings by poets and authors.
  • Explore Appalachian art and culture as you meet our exhibitors.
  • Enjoy special after-hours entertainment, open to adults age 21 and older, at Jozart Studios, just blocks from the Cal U campus.

Conference fee is $65; register before March 28 and pay just $45. Cost for students with valid ID is $20. Same-day registration for the KEYNOTE ADDRESS ONLY is $10.

Registration is required. Download the registration form. 

Download the conference program for hotel options and additional speaker information.

Updates

The dulcimer workshop with Adam Sutch from 3:15 - 4 p.m. is in Gallagher 107 (NOT Morgan 222).

The room assignments for 2:15 - 3 p.m. in Natali 206/207 have been switched. Dr. Jeffrey, Ms. Boyle and Ms. Trunzo are now in Natali 206 and Dr. Bucci is in Natali 207.

Schedule of Events

8 a.m. Check-in / Same-day Registration

Check-in / Same-day Registration
8 a.m.
Second Floor, Natali Student Center

Conference check-in and same-day registration. Same-day registration for the KEYNOTE ADDRESS ONLY $10.

8: 45 a.m. From a Deep Well: Writing My Appalachia

From a Deep Well: Writing My Appalachia
8:45 a.m.
Performance Center, Natali Student Center

Jennifer Haigh is a novelist and short story writer. Her first book, Mrs. Kimble, received the 2004 PEN/Hemingway Award for debut fiction. Her second, Baker Towers, was a New York Times best-seller and won the 2006 PEN/L.L. Winship Award for outstanding book by a New England author. Both have been published in nine languages. Other fiction has been published in Granta, Ploughshares, Five Points, Good Housekeeping and other places. Born and raised in western Pennsylvania, Jennifer Haigh is a graduate of Dickinson College and the Iowa Writers' Workshop.

 

*CEU Designated Session.

10 a.m. Appalachian Identity Panel

Appalachian Identity Panel
10 a.m.
Performance Center, Natali Student Center


A panel discussion on the historic conception of the region, stereotypes vs. demographic realities, and the development of Appalachian identity with a focus on the northern sub-region. 

Panel Members

10 a.m. Readings from the Midwife-Author

Readings from the Midwife-Author's Best Selling Medical Memoir, The Blue Cotton Gown and Her New Book Arms Wide Open
10 a.m.
Room 207, Natali Student Center

The author will read selected chapters from her writings focusing on the courage of ordinary Appalachian women and the difficulty of surviving medical practice in a health care system in distress. The author will also discuss the writing and publishing process for new authors.

Presenter:

  • Patricia Harman, author published in The Journal of Midwifeery & Women's Health, The Journal of Sigma Theta Tau for Nursing Scholarship and other publications.

10 a.m. School's Ability to Nurture Young Writers

Examining a Pilot Study of Southwestern Pennsylvania Writers in Schools Program's Ability to Nurture Young Writers
10 a.m.
Room 206, Natali Student Center

The presenters will be discussing the need for fostering teenage writers in Southwestern Pennsylvania. The presenters initiated a pilot Writers in the Schools (WITS) program that has succeeded in other areas across the country where a professional writer is placed in a classroom. As the writer models writing, students theoretically will develop as writers and the teacher is supposed to develop more effective teaching strategies. This presentation will report on preliminary assessment of the Spring 2011 WITS pilot. 

Presenters:

  • Dr. Krystia Nora, assistant professor in the Department of English at California University of Pennsylvania.

  • Janice Hatfield, fellow of the Western Pennsylvania Writing Project and mentor for the Journalism Educators Association.

11 a.m. Poetry Reading Workshop

Poetry Reading Workshop
11 a.m.
Performance Center A, Natali Student Center

This poetry reading workshop is designed to provide creative insight as to what it means from the perspective of an African American “Baby Boomer” to have grown up in a small town in the Appalachian region of the country. Dr. Norma Thomas will recite her original works for the presentation while providing the participants with insight into the genesis of each poem. Selected poems will cover a time period from adolescence to adulthood. Participants will be encouraged to think about their own experiences and how they related to or are different from the presenter’s.

Presenter:

  • Dr. Norma Thomas, director of the Master of Social Work program at California University of Pennsylvania.

11 a.m. Selected Readings

Selected Readings

11 a.m.
Room 207, Natali Student Center

Readings from "My Grandfather's Swing," a memoir about the author’s grandfather, Stephen Harenchar, a steel worker from California, PA and "Birth Day" recalling a day spent in the Appalachian Mountains in Eastern Kentucky. 

Presenter:

11 a.m. Northern Appalachian Black Population

Northern Appalachian Black Population: A Demographic Examination
11 a.m.
Room 206, Natali Student Center

Dr. Wilburn Hayden will be presenting a paper using a critical theory approach to examine Northern Appalachian counties. A racial profile of each county is presented with comparative social characteristics. The central premises are: racial and ethnic minorities are important and growing populations; documenting our demographic present is critical to being included in the social, economic, political and culture of the region; and racial barriers continue to be part of the black Appalachian story.

Presenter:


*CEU Designated Session.

Noon: Lunch with Music by Adam Sutch

Lunch with Music by Adam Such
Noon
Performance Center, Natali Student Center

Pre-registered attendees who have chosen the lunch ticket option will eat in the Natali Student Center, while other attendees are welcome to explore California and neighboring towns to find local eateries.    

Performer:

  • Adam Sutch, senior at California University of Pennsylvania and the 2nd-ranked dulcimer player in the nation.

 

1:30 p.m. Mental Health and Perceived Barriers

Mental Health Status and Perceived Barriers to Seeking Treatment in Rural Appalachian Reserve Component Veterans

1:30 p.m.
Performance Center A, Natali Student Center

A panel composed of experts from Washington & Jefferson College’s Combat Stress Intervention Program. CSIP is a three-year research program designed to assess the needs of veterans and their families as members of the National Guard and Reserve return to their homes in rural southwestern Pennsylvania. Their research is based on 617 reserve component warriors returning to the south western region of Pennsylvania. Strengths and barriers will be discussed in the context of their rural Appalachian values and culture.    

Panel Members:

  • Dr. Michael Crabtree, professor in the Psychology Department and member of the Combat Stress Intervention Program at Washington & Jefferson College.
  • Dr. Elizabeth Bennett, professor in the Psychology Department and member of the Combat Stress Intervention Program at Washington & Jefferson College.
  • LTC John Dowling, member of the United States Army Reserves and the Combat Stress Intervention Program at Washington & Jefferson College.
  • Mary E. Schaffer, research association and doctoral intern with the Combat Stress Intervention Program at Washington & Jefferson College.
  • Matthew McNally, student working with the Combat Stress Intervention Program at Washington & Jefferson College.
  • Tony Canzonieri, director of Southwestern Pennsylvania Vets 4 Vets.

 

*CEU Designated Session.

1:30 p.m. Using Digitalized Primary Resources

Using Digitalized Primary Resources to Explore Northern Appalachia

1:30 p.m.
Room 206, Natali Student Center

This session will present tools for accessing and using primary resources for teaching and learning about Northern Appalachia.

Presenter:

  • Dr. Michael J. Brna, director of the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources teacher professional development program at Cal U.

1:30 p.m. Three Readings from the Fiction of Damian Dressick

Past, Present & Possible Future of Pennsylvania’s Coal Country: Three Readings from the Fiction of Damian Dressick

1:30 p.m.
Room 207, Natali Student Center

Damian Dressick will be reading from the opening of his novel 40 Patchtown, a coming-of-age story of a young miner during the 1922 coal strike in Western Pennsylvania. He will also be discussing his writing process with the audience.

Presenter:

  • Damian Dressick, former Harriet Arrow Award winner, two-time Pushcart Prize nominee and writing teacher at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

2:15 p.m. Impacts of Drilling in the Marcellus Shale

Environmental and Public Health Impacts of Drilling for Natural Gas in the Marcellus Shale: What to Expect, How to Mediate

2:15 p.m.
Performance Center, Natali Student Center

This panel will present the environmental and public health concerns triggered by natural gas extraction in the Marcellus Shale region (northeastern US). It will also describe the gaps in data and information associated with this ‘new’ industry. As an attempt to fill those gaps, CHEC and collaborators’ development of www.FracTacker.org, a visual Web 2.0 system, will be described, and its capacity for identifying potential public health concerns discussed.

Panel Members:

  • Samantha Malone, communications specialist for the Center for Healthy Environments and Communities of the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public Health.
  • Drew Michanowicz, GIS specialist for the Center for Healthy Environments and Communities of the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public Health.

2:15 p.m. Celebrating Seminal 20th and 21st Century Life Events

Intergenerational Programming with Northern Appalachian Seniors: Celebrating Seminal 20th and 21st Century Life Events
2:15 p.m.
Room 206, Natali Student Center

This panel will discuss a nationally-funded intergenerational program that links healthy older adults and undergraduate social work students in a nonmetropolitan Northern Appalachian community.  Seminal 20th and 21st century life events (e.g., World War II experiences) provide the focus for in-depth interviews, intergenerational exchange, and education.

Panel Members:

  • Dr. Bernadette Jeffrey, assistant professor in the Department of Social Work at California University of Pennsylvania.
  • Sheri Boyle, field coordinator in the Department of Social Work at California University of Pennsylvania.
  • Gina Trunzo, Master of Social Work candidate and has served as a graduate assistant for the Cycle 2 BEL grant at California University of Pennsylvania.

 

*CEU Designated Session.

2:15 p.m. An Ecofeminist Reading of Tawni O'Dell's Sister Mine

"I Had Been as Easy to Rape as the Land He Owned:" An Ecofeminist Reading of Tawni O'Dell's Sister Mine

2:15 p.m.
Room 207, Natali Student Center

Dr. Diane Todd Bucci’s presentation will involve an ecofeminist reading of Pennsylvania author Tawni O’Dell’s novel entitled Sister Mine. Set in the fictitious southwestern Pennsylvania town of Jolly Mount, the novel dramatizes the aftermath of a mine explosion that nearly took the lives of five workers. When the protagonist proclaims, “I had been as easy to rape as the land he owned,” this is a less-than-subtle hint that the novel will lend itself to an ecofeminist reading.  

Presenter:

  • Dr. Diane Todd Bucci, associate professor of English Studies and coordinator of the Communication Skills Program at Robert Morris University.

 

3:15 p.m. Beneath the Radar

Beneath the Radar: Identifying, Rescuing and Rehabilitating Exploited Children

3:15 p.m.
Room 206, Natali Student Center

This presentation will focus on the need for advocacy on behalf of sexually exploited children in the Northern Appalachian region and throughout the world. 

Presenter:

3:15 p.m. Irish Tunes and Scotch-Irish Myths

Irish Tunes and Scotch-Irish Myths in Early Western Pennsylvania
3:15 p.m.
Room 207, Natali Student Center

Dr. Peter Gilmore will be presenting on ballads and dance music of western Pennsylvania. Ballads and dance music brought to western Pennsylvania in the second half of the eighteenth century by migrants from the north of Ireland helped form the foundation of the region’s traditional music. Initially, the choice to sing particular songs or play particular tunes or dance may have reinforced cultural boundaries with English and German neighbors; over time this music may be part of a shared repertoire.

Presenter:

  • Dr. Peter Gilmore, adjunct lecturer of History at Carlow University.

3:15 p.m. Dulcimer Workshop

Dulcimer Workshop

3:15 p.m.
Room 107, Gallagher Hall

This hands-on workshop will offer participants opportunities to learn about and to play the hammered dulcimer.

Presenter:

  • Adam Sutch, senior at California University of Pennsylvania and the 2nd-ranked dulcimer player in the nation.

4 p.m. Western Pennsylvania Heritage Music

Western Pennsylvania Heritage Music

4 p.m.
Performance Center B, Natali Student Center

Gerald Rohlf will be presenting and demonstrating his work with the Western Pennsylvanian heritage band the NewLanders. The NewLanders just returned from their third tour of Germany with the Westmoreland Museum of American Art’s “Born of Fire” exhibit.

Presenter:

  • Gerard Rohlf, Uniontown native and California State Teachers College graduate who has performed Folk, Blues, Rock, Gospel and Choral music for the past 40 years.

All Day: West Virginia History On View

West Virginia History On View: Photographs from the West Virginia and Regional History Collection

All Day
Natali Student Center

This poster session is a database demonstration of West Virginia History On View, a digital database of historical photorgraphs from the archives of the West Virginia and Regional History Collection of West Virginia University.

Presenter:

  • Anna M. Schein, associate curator for the West Virginia Regional History Collection, West Virginia University

NewLanders - Images from "Born of Fire"

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Links

Jennifer Haigh

Registration Form

Conference Program

Northern Appalachian Network

Department of Social Work

Profession CEUs/Act 48 Credits

Directions

 

Painting by Marilyn Thornton Schraff
Painting by Marilyn Thornton Schraff