Dr. Deborah R. Weiner to speak on Jewish life in Appalachian coalfields on WVU Tech campus
West Virginia University Institute of Technology (WVU Tech) and the City of Beckley are partnering to bring Dr. Deborah R. Weiner, a historian, writer, editor and curator, to Carter Hall on Tech’s campus for the 13th Annual Otis K. Rice Lecture series. Dr. Weiner’s talk, "A Century of Jewish Life in the Appalachian Coalfields," will be held in the Carter Hall auditorium on Thursday, October 26, 2023, at 6:30 p.m.
Dr. Weiner is originally from Chicago and earned a bachelor’s degree from Grinnell College and a doctorate in history from WVU. Her doctoral work focused on Jewish communities in the Appalachian coalfields of West Virginia. She authored “Coalfield Jews: An Appalachian History” and co-authored “On Middle Ground: A History of the Jews of Baltimore,” which both won the Southern Jewish Historical Society Book Prize. Dr. Weiner’s work has been featured in “WV Encyclopedia,” “Southern Jewish History” and on the Appalachia Meets World podcast.
Dr. Weiner’s lecture will explore a century of Jewish life in West Virginia. She follows Jews as they transformed from peddlers to shop owners in county seats, examines how they interacted with others in the coalfields, and how they preserved their cultural and religious practices in Appalachia. Her work challenges commonly held views about the American Jewish experience and their experiences in Appalachia.
This lecture series is named for Otis K. Rice, West Virginia’s first Historian Laureate who spent much of his career at WVU Tech. This event is free and open to the public.