Marshall University to present events exploring Appalachian identity

Updated 50 weeks ago Special to HNN Provided by Marshall University

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Marshall University is presenting a series of events exploring Appalachian identity.

Appalachian Narratives: Notes on Identity” is a series of events and a monthlong photography exhibit that bring together creatives from central Appalachia who are directly involved in transforming the dominant narrative about Appalachia through film, art, music and writing. Through these media, they contextualize their own processes for storytelling and share their Appalachian experience.


The sessions will include:


Film Screening

Appalachian Narratives: Notes on Identity – Selected LGBTQIA Films

6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 6

Memorial Student Center, Room SW 16


Film Screening and Poetry Reading

Mabel Hardison Smith (1985) and Evelyn Williams (1995)

Appalachian Narratives: Notes on Identity with Burnis Morris, Kevin Barksdale, and Crystal Good

6 pm. Tuesday, Feb. 13

The Cellar Door, 905 3rd Ave.


Audio-Visual Performance

Shawnee, Ohio, by Brian Harnetty

Appalachian Narratives: Notes on Identity

6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 15

Smith Hall, Room 143


Photography Exhibition

How to Get Home Again by Roger May

Appalachian Narratives: Notes on Identity

5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 22

Smith Hall, Birke Art Gallery



“This program is conceived as a monthlong series of film screenings, readings of poetry and literature, and a photography exhibit, which culminate with a final discussion panel of Appalachian creatives who discuss their process of telling stories which articulate Appalachian narratives,” said Daniel Dean, an assistant professor of art and design at Marshall. “Workshops and studio visits with students by panel participants leading up to the panel will convey practical skills and critique, respectively. Some events, such as an off-campus poetry reading and music performance, are intended to connect with the greater Huntington and regional community.”


This time of economic transition is an opportunity to shift this region’s narrative, he said.


The focus will shift throughout the month of February but will connect DIY self-publishing and media efforts from the Kentucky-founded Affrilachian poetry movement, Queer Appalachia, Appalshop, and regional films,” said Tijah Bumgarner, co-presenter and assistant professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. “As we look into the moments of upheaval in the Appalachian region, these selected presenters and artists propose an alternative view for future discussion of Appalachia through their work.” 


The Appalachian Narratives sessions are being presented as part of the Birke Fine Arts Symposium, a monthlong celebration of local and regional art that began Feb. 3 and continues through March 1.

The Birke Fine Arts Symposium is presented by the Marshall University College of Arts and Media and made possible by the generosity of Mrs. Helen Birke and her daughter, Julie, through the Birke Fine Arts Symposium Endowment. 
The entire symposium schedule can be found online at  For more information, contactDaniel Dean at

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