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WVU Festival of Ideas to host speaker on Appalachian culture

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The David C. Hardesty Jr. Festival of Ideas presents a talk by public historian Elizabeth Catte, T February 27 at 7:30 p.m. in room G15 of the Life Sciences Building on the downtown campus.  The event is open to the public and co-sponsored by the WVU Humanities Center and West Virginia University Press.

Catte will discuss her new book What You Are Getting Wrong About Appalachia, a frank assessment of the country's recent obsession with the people and problems of Appalachia, from the uncertain fate of the coal industry to the opioid epidemic to the role of the region in the 2016 presidential election. Catte argues that the depictions of Appalachia that emerge around these issues do not tell nearly the whole story, and she uses the region's rich and complex history to push back against media stereotypes.

A historian and writer based in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, Catte has been featured in the Guardian, NPR, Salon, LitHub, Rewire, Outline and New Republic.  She is also a regular contributor to Belt Magazine. Catte holds a Ph.D. in public history and recently joined WVU Press as an editor-at-large.

Founded in 2017, the Humanities Center at West Virginia University works to cultivate critical humanistic inquiry, fostering collaborative, interdisciplinary, and publicly accessible scholarship and teaching to benefit the common good of the university, the state, and the world.

The David C. Hardesty Jr. Festival of Ideas was created in 1995 by former WVU president David C. Hardesty Jr. and is produced by University Events. It was inspired by events he organized as WVU’s student body president in the 1960s. Today, the lecture series spans the academic year and engages a diverse group of newsmakers, public figures, thought leaders, and WVU’s own superstars.

For more information visit the What You Are Getting Wrong About Appalachia page on the Festival of Ideas website.