Summer 2016 Opportunity for Educators to Explore Appalachia

Asheville, NC 2016, Jan. 14 –Agee Films, in partnership with the University of North Carolina Asheville, is looking for K-12 teachers to join us for a tution free two week teacher institute sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Power of Place: Land and Peoples in Appalachia, held from July 10 to July 22 in Asheville, will explore the environmental history of the Appalachian Mountains using an interdisciplinary approach. Teachers who attend the institute will receive a $2700 stipend as well as possible CEU credit.


The Power of Place: Land and Peoples in Appalachia, will use original source materials along with film, music, art, science, literature and the mountains themselves to examine how landscapes shape culture and in turn how humans shape the land. The Power of Place: Land and Peoples in Appalachia will be open to thirty K-12 teachers.


Using the experience of Appalachia, the institute will demonstrate how environmental history presents new questions to interrogate past events, encourages an interdisciplinary approach to history, and presents an excellent opportunity for team teaching in the classroom. The format of the experience will include becoming a member of a vibrant and engaged learning community. Participants will attend lectures by leading scholars and by some of the region’s most accomplished authors. They will engage in classroom discussions, analyze primary sources, complete reading assignments, watch documentary films, visit historic sites, and develop curricular materials using the ideas and approaches explored in the institute.


The institute is organized chronologically into two one-week sessions exploring different

human societies in the Appalachians and their relationships to the mountains. We look at how

each of the peoples who came to the region were shaped by the land they encountered and, in turn, how their cultural assumptions and their technological tools influenced the life they made for themselves. Participants will consider the Appalachian Mountains as they come under successive groups of human societies—each with different ideas about the relationship of humans to nature and what constitutes the best use of the land. Weekdays will include faculty presentations, guest speakers including noted authors including Crystal Wilkinson, Ron Rash, John Inscoe, and other renowned experts, field trips, small group seminars and group sharing sessions.


Our faculty are deeply committed to engaging with participant scholars, both in and out of the classroom. Our past attendees have found the institute reinvigorated their own learning and inspired new enthusiasm for their classroom teaching. One participant commented, “… helped me see power of using primary sources in my classrooms … the institute was a veritable who’s who in Appalachian studies … one of the best experiences I have had since becoming a teacher”.


Please visit the following websites for additional information: & .
Completed application materials must be postmarked no later than March 1, 2016. Applicants will be notified of the outcome by April 7, 2016.


Contact Information:

Daniel Pierce

Department of History

University of North Carolina, Asheville

203 New Hall, CPO 2830

Asheville, NC 28804-3215