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Center for Appalachian Studies host August 23 reading by Silas House

ISSUED: 2 August 2021

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Appalachian author and activist Silas House will be the featured reader on Monday, August 23, at 6:30 p.m. in the Scarborough Library Reading Room as Shepherd University’s Center for Appalachian Studies and Communities celebrates its relocation to room 209 in the library with an open house. The event, which is free and open to the public, will include a ribbon cutting and comments by Shepherd President Mary J.C. Hendrix.

“Silas House is one of the premier contemporary authors in the Appalachian region and in American letters today,” said Dr. Sylvia Bailey Shurbutt, center director. “His activism and focus on social justice complement the work of the center, which just completed publication of a collection of essays on his writing that will be featured at the open house.”

Shurbutt said with the recent approval of the new undergraduate B.A./B.S. interdisciplinary Appalachian studies degree, the center has broadened its mission of telling Appalachia’s story to include social justice and economic/environmental development in the state and region.

“West Virginia’s Appalachian identity is central to the mission of the center, and Shepherd’s importance as a gateway to both Appalachia and the world beyond our mountains and valleys will impact all our programs,” Shurbutt said. “The new space will put us squarely in the center of the campus, near the Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education collections and our own Appalachian studies collections in the Scarborough Library.”

The Community partner is the Social Justice Committee of the Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church. Four Seasons Books will offer House’s books for sale, as well as the new book about his work, “Silas House: Exploring an Appalachian Writer’s Work,” coauthored by Shurbutt and published by the University of Kentucky Press.

For more information, contact Dr. Sylvia Bailey Shurbutt at or Dr. Christy Wenger at

Those attending the performance in person will be required to follow Shepherd’s current COVID-19 policies. Before attending this or any event on campus, visit our COVID-19 information page to learn what policies are in effect.

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