Front Porch Blog

Public Conference Shares Perspective on Appalachia

The Filson Historical Society of Louisville will host a conference, “The Changing Faces of Appalachia: Problems, Promises and Perspectives,” Nov. 12 to 14 in Louisville, Ky.

The keynote speaker will be West Virginia-born historian and educator Dr. Ronald Eller, a descendant of eight generations of Appalachian families and director of the Appalachian Center and Professor of History at the University of Kentucky.

Over the two days of lectures, documentary screenings and musical performances, dialogues will be raised on the past, present and future of many facets of the region.

Don’t miss Saturday morning’s debate between Kentucky Resource Council’s Tom FitzGerald and J. Steven Gardner, Chairman of the UK Mining Engineering Foundation and a representative of the Coal and Energy Industry. The two will debate the pros and cons of the presence of the coal industry in Appalachia.

The conference will end with a lecture by Dr. Chad Berry who serves as Director of the Loyal Jones Appalachian Center and Associate Professor of History at Berea College. He will address the central question facing Appalachia:

In 1965, Congress passed the Appalachian Redevelopment Act, which created the Appalachian Regional Commission, designed to promote economic development in Appalachia. Almost half a century later, after more than $4 billion in appropriations and countless human hours spent trying to improve the quality of life for mountaineers, many who study Appalachia believe that some parts of the region – particularly Central Appalachia – are no better off in 2009 than they were in 1965. How could this be so? Why do we still speak about and concentrate on persistent problems in the region?

Contact the Filson Historical Society at 502-635-5083 to find out more information and make reservations. If you mention this statement: “Our Mission: To collect, preserve and tell the significant stories of Kentucky and the Ohio valley history and culture,” all registration fees will be waived.




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