Fulbright Grantee Organizes the First “Transatlantic Mountain Cultures: Appalachian and Carpathian Perspectives” Lecture Series

8On 12 April 2013, Transylvania University of Brașov hosted its first lecture series on “Transatlantic Mountain Cultures: Appalachian and Carpathian Perspectives.” Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Elijah Ferbrache, along with professors Dr. Cristian Pralea and Dr. Georgeta Moarcăs organized the event. Presenters from the United States via Skype video conference included:  Dr. Don Davis, author of several books, as well as a a former Fulbrighter to both Romania and Ukraine and Dr. Dan Schope from Shawnee State University in Southern Ohio. Presenters in Brașov included: Dr. Georgeta Moarcăs professor in the Transylvania University faculty of letters, Dr Anne Murray, Senior Fulbright Scholar at  SNSPA in Bucharest and professor at Pfeiffer University, USA, and Elijah Ferbrache, Fulbright ETA at Transylvania University of Brașov.

9The event was inspired by Elijah Ferbrache's experience growing up in rural Appalachia, where he engaged with a community of 1st, 2nd and 3rd generation immigrants from the Carpathian Mountain region. As Dr. Moarcăs, Dr. Pralea, and Mr. Ferbrache collaborated on the event, the cultural, social and environmental similarities between the two regions became more and more salient. When they happened upon Dr. Don Davis' book, "Home Place Geography: Essays for Appalachia" in Transylvania University's book collection, they were pleased to see that they were not the only ones noticing the startling similarities between the two regions.

10While in Bucharest, Mr. Ferbrache also collaborated with Dr. Anne Murray on a segment dealing with education in Appalachia. While Mr. Ferbrache spoke about the unintended marginalization of rural Appalachian students in public schools, Dr. Murray spoke about the John C. Campbell folk school in North Carolina as an alternative to the marginalizing effects of public education. To further enrich the lecture series, Dr. Murray offered a bookbinding workshop the next day for students and faculty who were interested in learning a traditional folk craft.

Other presentations included: Mountains Apart, Cultures Connected: A Synopsis and Historical Timeline of Carpathian-Appalachian Exchanges presented by Dr. Don Davis; Cultural Survival: Rediscovery and Reinvention in in Today's World presented by Dr. Dan Schope and Dr. Georgeta Moarcăs. For more information on the lecture series and the continuing dialogue between the Appalachian and Carpathian mountain regions visit http://elijahferbrache.wordpress.com/.

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