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NEH Summer Seminar for Teachers

Shepherd University’s Appalachian Studies Program will host the State’s second NEH Summer Seminar for Teachers, again partnering with the Contemporary American Theater Festival (CATF) to bring the public school teachers from across the country to the Eastern Panhandle to study Appalachian culture, literature, art and music, and enjoy the Contemporary American Theater Festival.

Guest artists will be featured in the seminar, among them novelist and playwright Silas House, poet and activist Frank X Walker, and storyteller and award-winning “liar” Adam Booth. Contemporary American Theater Director Ed Herendeen will also take part in the seminar, and participants will enjoy CATF theater tickets, special programs, workshops, and lectures that will bring the contemporary theatrical arts into the study of Appalachian literature and culture.

Performing Arts Director at Shepherd University Rachael Meads will host musical and cultural events for the seminar participants, and 2006 WV Professor of the Year Sylvia Bailey Shurbutt will serve as principal discussion leader and seminar director. Participants will study the literary art of Lee Smith, Denise Giardina, Fred Chappell, Ron Rash, and Nikki Giovanni, as well as the work of House and Walker.

In addition to theater and literary events on the Shepherd University campus, NEH Summer Seminar participants will have access to musical events and a “road trip” around the region to visit places discussed in the seminar.

Any public or private school teacher or graduate student considering public school teaching may apply for the seminar. Application information can be found at the Misty Mountains website at The deadline for application is March 1, 2016. Seminar participants and alternates will be notified in early April. Participants will be on the Shepherd campus from July 10 through 30, 2016, for the series of events and seminar discussions. For questions about the seminar, contact Sylvia Bailey Shurbutt at

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