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WVU Humanities Center to host launch event for “Indigenous Appalachia” exhibit

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
November 3rd, 2022
Indigenous Appalachia banner
Banner designed by Maryam Marne Zafar.

The West Virginia University Humanities Center will host a program Nov. 14 at 7:30 p.m. to launch the “Indigenous Appalachia” exhibit currently on display in the WVU Libraries’ Downtown Library.

“Indigenous Appalachia” is an exhibit designed to increase awareness of the contributions of Indigenous Appalachians to the region’s shared history and present while also recognizing continuing injustices faced by Indigenous people.

“The Humanities Center is excited and humbled to sponsor this event,” Humanities Center Director Renée Nicholson said. “It brings together the Art in the Libraries program, the Native American Studies program, and a tremendous group of artist and scholars, two of which will visit our campus for the opening.”

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Downtown Library hosting “Indigenous Appalachia” exhibit

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
October 26th, 2022
Abstract painting
Abstract painting by John Gritts. It is currently on display in the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution.

West Virginia University’s Downtown Library is hosting “Indigenous Appalachia,” an exhibit designed to increase awareness of the contributions of Indigenous Appalachians to the region’s shared history and present while also recognizing continuing injustices faced by Indigenous people.

“Most Americans do not know about Indigenous culture, from history to today, but they are a large part of America’s fabric. Invisibility is a modern form of bias,” WVU Libraries Exhibits Coordinator Sally Brown said. “With this exhibit, we hope to both acknowledge the contradictions in the Indigenous histories of our areas and in our collections, and highlight Indigenous stories, perspectives and successes, all curated in collaboration with Indigenous advisement.”

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“Women, Work, and Activism in the Coal Mines” virtual event set for Nov. 2

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
October 21st, 2022

The West Virginia & Regional History Center (WVRHC) extends an open invitation to a virtual presentation titled Women, Work, and Activism in the Coal Mines: Stories from the Women Miners Oral History Project on Wednesday, November 2, at 7 p.m.

Dr. Jessie Wilkerson, an associate professor in WVU’s Department of History, and graduate student Emily Walter will discuss the oral history project and what they have learned talking to women miners from the region.

The Women Miners Oral History Project aims to collect and preserve the life histories of women in the Appalachian region who entered the mines as protected workers in the late 1970s after decades of exclusion.

Register for the Zoom event here.

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Humanities Center to host Korean American Author Matthew Salesses

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
October 21st, 2022
Matthew Salesses

The WVU Humanities Center is pleased to present “An Evening with Matthew Salesses” on Thursday, November 3, at 7 p.m. via Zoom. Salesses will read from his work and discuss contemporary Asian American literature, his innovative approaches to writing workshops and other topics. This reading and discussion is a Campus Read tie-in event.

To pre-register for this Zoom event, go to wvu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_xy5ysQ3LSkCVY5FPQivQCQ

“We are excited to continue the conversation about Asian American writing with this event,” WVU Humanities Center Director Renée Nicholson said. “Our Campus Read, “Interior Chinatown,” brought up some important issues around the Asian American experience. By bringing in Matthew Salesses, we not only further that discussion, but we also have the opportunity to see how writing spaces can be re-imagined to reduce bias.”

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Humanities Center to host “From WV to NY: Hip Hop Geography”

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
October 12th, 2022
Graphic for Hip Hop event

The West Virginia University Humanities Center will host “From WV to NY: Hip Hop Geography,” a panel discussion around hip-hop, Black culture and place, Oct. 20 at 7:30 p.m. in the Mountainlair’s Blue Ballroom.

Amy M. Alvarez, an assistant professor of English, will moderate the discussion between West Virginia natives Steven Dunn, a novelist, and Deep Jackson, a hip-hop artist. Alvarez is a New York native, poet and self-described hip-hop head.

Also, as part of the program, Dunn will read from his new book “Travel with Nas” and Jackson will perform.

Register here to attend via Zoom.

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Libraries hosting “Collage Art: A panel discussion around collage as an art and therapy” on Friday

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
October 11th, 2022
Collage

WVU Libraries will host “Collage Art: A panel discussion around collage as an art and therapy” Friday at noon. Preregistration is required for this Zoom event.

The panel presentation is in conjunction with artist Corrine Lightweaver’s collage display currently up in Health Sciences Library through December.

Presenters will be Annie McFarland, WVU assistant professor and Art Therapy Program coordinator, and Linda Rosefsky, art historian. Libraries Exhibits Coordinator Sally Brown will moderate.

Lightweaver is the EveryLibrary 2021 Artist-in-Residence. Her exquisite collage-work is about the “delicate balance between people and nature as part of the story of public, private and school libraries.” The exhibition of collages, weaving animal imagery with people, domestic objects and architecture, debuted at Hastings Library in Pasadena, California in 2021.

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“West Virginia’s Poetic Heart” celebrates poets Maggie Anderson and Marc Harshman

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
September 30th, 2022

West Virginia University Libraries, the West Virginia and Regional History Center and the West Virginia University Humanities Center continue the “West Virginia’s Poetic Heart” celebration on October 10 at 7:30 p.m. in the Downtown Libraries’ Milano Reading Room.

Attend in person or register to watch the Zoom event here.

At 6:30 p.m., the WVRHC will be open to showcase its latest exhibit, which documents selected West Virginia poets with materials from the Center’s book and archival collections.

The “West Virginia’s Poetic Heart” program brings together West Virginia Poet Laureate Marc Harshman and the poetry of noted Appalachian poet Maggie Anderson.

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Campus Read “Interior Chinatown” inspiring action across campus

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
September 20th, 2022
Students in Taiwan
Ching-Hsuan Wu (center) discusses “Interior Chinatown” with her students in a tea shop in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

This year’s West Virginia University Campus Read, “Interior Chinatown” by Charles Yu, is inspiring students, faculty and staff to ponder race, stereotypes and, possibly, even the confines of achieving the American Dream through versatile coursework, events and social media.

“In choosing a book like ‘Interior Chinatown,’ we not only bring a book of outstanding literary merit to our campus, but one that challenges us to think deeply about aspects of race in America, of the roles we play, and of our sense of home, among many others,” WVU Humanities Center Director Renée Nicholson, who oversees the Campus Read, said. “It balances the weight of these themes with a compelling protagonist and satirical humor.”

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“Book it!” panel to explore careers in publishing industry

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
September 9th, 2022

Curious about a career in the publishing industry? The West Virginia University Humanities Center and the WVU Career Services Center are co-hosting an online panel titled “Book It: Careers in Publishing and Book Promotion” on September 19 from 4-5 p.m.

Register for the Zoom event here:

wvu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUodu2orT8sEtXDGR1Ne_46rG9yuMFbKarX

Students who are interested in book-related careers can learn more about job opportunities post-graduation, including how to prepare academically, personally and professionally to pursue these career paths.

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WVU Libraries to mark West Virginia Day on June 21 with “West Virginia’s Poetic Heart”

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
June 14th, 2022
West Virginia Day postcard

West Virginia University Libraries and the West Virginia and Regional History Center will help you find the words to celebrate the Mountain State’s 159th birthday with “West Virginia’s Poetic Heart” on June 21 at 1 p.m. in the Downtown Libraries’ Milano Reading Room. The date of this event has changed because of a University holiday.

The West Virginia Day program brings together West Virginia Poet Laureate Marc Harshman and the poetry of noted Appalachian poet Maggie Anderson.

“We are thrilled for Marc to headline our first in-person West Virginia Day program since 2019,” WVRHC Interim Director Lori Hostuttler said. “Although Maggie isn’t able to participate in the program, she will be present through Marc reading her works. Listening is poetry is always moving and inspiring, and will help us celebrate the experiences and relationships we as West Virginians value most.”

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Libraries unveil inaugural Inclusive Portrait

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
May 11th, 2022
Portrait of Victorine Louistall Monroe
Dean of Libraries Karen Diaz and artist Anna Allen pose with Allen’s portrait of Victorine Louistall Monroe.

Victorine Louistall Monroe made history twice at West Virginia University. She received her master’s in education from WVU in 1945, making her the first known Black female to be awarded a graduate degree from the University. Then, Monroe made history again in 1966 when WVU hired her to teach Library Science, making her the University’s first Black faculty member.

In April, WVU Libraries unveiled a portrait of Monroe (1912-2006), Professor Emerita of Library Science, the first painting to be commissioned as part of the Inclusive Portrait Project, in the Downtown Library’s Robinson Reading Room.

“We are excited to celebrate Victorine Louistall Monroe with this portrait,” Libraries Dean Karen Diaz said. “A true Mountaineer, Victorine broke several barriers throughout her life and set a shining example for future generations to emulate.”

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Libraries to unveil inaugural Inclusive Portrait

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
April 13th, 2022
Victorine Louistall Monroe gives a presentation at a public library, circa 1974.

West Virginia University Libraries will unveil a portrait of Victorine Louistall Monroe (1912-2006), Professor Emerita of Library Science, the first painting to be commissioned as part of the Inclusive Portrait Project, April 28 from 4-6 p.m. in the Downtown Library’s Robinson Reading Room.

“We are thrilled to honor Victorine Louistall Monroe with this portrait,” Libraries Dean Karen Diaz said. “A true Mountaineer, Victorine broke several barriers throughout her life and set a shining example for future generations to emulate.”

Monroe graduated from Kelly Miller High School in Clarksburg and earned her bachelor’s degree from West Virginia State College. She received her master’s in education from WVU in 1945, making her the first known Black female to be awarded a graduate degree from the University.

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Libraries to host Food Justice in Appalachia “Community+Food” virtual panel discussion

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
April 6th, 2022
Food Justice poster

Food is vital to sustaining all living things; yet, not everyone has access to a constant food supply, let alone fresh healthy foods. Do you want to know what local organizations are doing to help the community access food security?

West Virginia University Libraries will host a panel discussion titled “Community+Food” April 13 from 4-5 p.m. in the Downtown Library, Room 104. The program is in conjunction with the “Food Justice in Appalachia” exhibit and will give panelists the opportunity to share their organization’s role in making food more accessible to the community. For those who can’t physically attend, the discussion will also be available for viewing on Zoom.

Register for the Zoom event here.

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WVRHC to host “Engaging the Queer Feminist Archive” discussion

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
March 9th, 2022

The histories of traditionally marginalized groups have long gone unrepresented in archives. As part of its effort to reduce that disparity, the West Virginia & Regional History Center will host researcher and author Susan Ferentinos to discuss how to better represent LGBTQ+ communities in archival collections. The hybrid event will take place on March 31 from 3-4 p.m. in the Milano Room in WVU’s Downtown Library and on Zoom.

Register for the Zoom event here: https://wvu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJIld-6qpj4oHNU8cntURXD1sq_mQPReRIkN%20

“Engaging the Queer Feminist Archive” is part of the WVRHC’s newly developed West Virginia Feminist Activist Collection (WVFAC). The growing collection works to capture the stories of West Virginia individuals and organizations who have fought for social justice and equity. Often, such activists are left out of the historical record for going against the status quo and/or having marginalized identities.

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Libraries to host Women of Appalachia Project’s “Women Speak” on March 12

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
March 8th, 2022
Women Speak graphic

The Women of Appalachia Project’s (WOAP) “Women Speak” performance, a juried presentation of story, poetry and song showcasing women artists living in or having strong ties to Appalachia, will be held Saturday, March 12, from 1-3 p.m. on Zoom. Register for the event here. https://wvu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJAqceCqpzgqGNQRinIi6rE00i9V7PIx3EGh

The event is a presentation of readings published in WOAP’s anthology series “Women Speak.” This is WVU Libraries’ fifth time hosting the event, which is co-sponsored by the Women’s Resource Center, WVU LGBTQ+ Center and Center for Women’s and Gender Studies.

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Libraries, History Department mark Buffalo Creek disaster anniversary with exhibits, event

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
February 23rd, 2022
Photograph of Buffalo Creek
Photograph of the damage along Buffalo Creek after the flood, February 1972, Governor Arch A. Moore Jr. papers, WVRHC.

In the early the morning of February 26, 1972, a coal slurry impoundment on Buffalo Creek collapsed, sending millions of gallons of wastewater rushing into the valley below. Hundreds of people died or were injured, and thousands were left homeless. The cleanup, investigations, and lawsuits that followed further strained the community.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the disaster, WVU Libraries and the Department of History have created exhibitions online and in the Downtown Library’s Atrium that will remain on display through December.

In conjunction with the exhibits, the Libraries’ Local to Global Film Series and Department of History will host a virtual screening of Buffalo Creek Flood: An Act of Man and Buffalo Creek Flood Revisited followed by a discussionwith award-winning film director Mimi Pickering on March 3 at 7 p.m. Registration for the event is open.  

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Graduate Assistant Reflects on Buffalo Creek Disaster 50th Anniversary Archives and Exhibit

Posted by Admin.
February 21st, 2022

By Crystal Coon

Early on the morning of February 26, 1972, a coal slurry impoundment on Buffalo Creek collapsed, sending millions of gallons of wastewater rushing into the valley below. Hundreds died or were injured, and thousands were left homeless. The cleanup, investigations, and lawsuits that followed further strained the community.

Located in Logan County, West Virginia, the Buffalo Creek Valley is a series of communities built upon the coal mining industry along the banks of a small stream known as Buffalo Creek. At 8 o’clock in the morning on that fateful day, Dam No. 3 failed, sending 132 million gallons of water careening down the Buffalo Creek Valley. It traveled in a twenty- to thirty-foot-high flood wave that moved at about seven feet per second. Within three hours, the wall of water had traveled over seventeen miles, and seventeen communities were partially or totally destroyed by the flood. In total, 118 people were killed in the flood, while seven were never accounted for after the disaster. There were 1,119 people who were physically injured by the floodwaters. Approximately 4,000 people were left homeless when 507 homes were destroyed, 273 homes were left with major damage, and 44 mobile homes were completely destroyed. Ten bridges were destroyed in the flood as well as hundreds of miles of roads and highways. The destruction left behind in the valley after the water receded would take years to recover from, physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Photograph of property damage done in the Buffalo Creek area by the flood, 1972 | from the Arch A. Moore Papers

Governor Moore created the Ad Hoc Commission of Inquiry into the Buffalo Creek Flood to investigate the reasons for the failure of Dam No. 3. The commission was charged with determining who was at fault for the collapse of the dam and the resulting loss of life and the destruction of property. The Commission gathered witnesses, heard testimonies, and talked to experts in the field of coal mining operations to best figure out why the tragedy occurred, who was responsible for it, and how it could be avoided in the future. In their conclusion, the Commission placed the blame on the parent company of Buffalo Mining Company but acknowledged that the lack of laws and regulations by the state and federal governments contributed to the failure of the dam.

Telegram from William Egan, Governor of Alaska, 1972 | from the Arch A. Moore Papers

On the 50th anniversary of the disaster, an online exhibit explores its history and implications for the present. The Buffalo Creek Disaster: 50 Years From Flooding is an online exhibit that showcases the disaster and aftermath of the devastating flood that hit Logan County in 1972. Curated from documents and photographs available through the West Virginia and Regional History Center, this exhibit focuses on the tragedy and recovery of the Buffalo Creek area. There is also an in-person exhibit that will be on display in the Downtown Library Atrium until December 2022. This exhibit will have some documents and photographs from the archives that show and discuss the disaster. During the spring semester, Mimi Pickering, filmmaker and director of “The Buffalo Creek Flood: An Act of Man,” will be hosting a virtual screening on her film at the Downtown Library. More information will be available as the event draws closer.

Photograph of Crystal standing next to the exhibit she worked on in the downtown library, personal photo

Having had the opportunity to sort through the papers from the Arch Moore administration about the disaster, I feel more connected to the event and the devastation that it left behind. Putting the exhibit together allowed me to sift through some of the more unseen side of the flood and people’s response to it. It gave me a deeper appreciation for the response of people all around the world when disaster strikes and they see other people in need. Seeing the letters, photographs, newspaper articles, disaster reports, and memos telling the governor of another body that was identified has allowed me to truly see even more meaning in the work that archives do in preserving emotion and memory.

Join the 2022 “Amplifying Appalachia” Art + Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
January 26th, 2022
Amplifying Appalachia logo

WVU Libraries is once again hosting its “Amplifying Appalachia” Art + Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon, an effort to amplify the stories and figures of under-represented Appalachian artists, writers, and other creators, particularly women, people of color, and LGBTQ+ individuals.

“Amplifying Appalachia” is open to all and will run virtually from March 21-25. Participants can contribute whenever it is convenient them. Prior Wiki experience is not necessary.

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“Justice for Afghan Women and Girls Now” virtual event set for January 25

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
January 12th, 2022

Plan to log on to “Justice for Afghan Women and Girls Now: Understanding and Action,” a virtual event January 25 from 6-7 p.m. that will explore the aftermath of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021 that has placed many women and girls in crisis.

“One of the strengths of the panel is we have speakers who are approaching the issue from a variety of perspectives. This is a unique opportunity to hear multiple sides and multiple perspectives on women’s and girl’s rights in Afghanistan,” said Amy S. Thompson, Chair of the Department of World Languages, Literatures & Linguistics and the Director of International Relations and Strategic Planning for the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences.

Register for this Zoom event here: https://wvu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYsfuuvqDwqH9xubfAt-5S-LEq6TwqNTEoP

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Libraries select two Student Art Award recipients

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
December 8th, 2021

The Art in the Libraries Committee and Dean of Libraries Karen Diaz selected Payton Brown, a first-year MFA candidate in painting, and Liuqing Ruth Yang, a senior BFA candidate in painting graduating this December, to receive the 2021 Dean of the Libraries’ Student Art Award.

Brown received the award for her work, “The Star Theatre,”an oil canvas painting. Brown describes the subjects of her paintings as, “vintage, seemingly outdated scenes of urban life in America” with the goal of perpetuating a “sense of nostalgia and longing amongst viewers.”

Payton Brown poses with painting
Payton Brown poses with her painting, “The Star Theatre.”
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