April 18 Speaker - Dr. Julie Shepherd-Powell

Dr. Julie Shepherd-Powell: "Embodying Culture: Community Dances in Rural Appalachia"

shepherd.powell_headshot.jpgThursday, April 18, 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Talk Location: Schaffel Recital Hall, Broyhill Music Center (BMC 129)
Reception Location: 
Broyhill Music Center 212 

About the Series: This event is part of the Music Humanities Community Conversation Series, which provides a forum for students, faculty, and staff at Appalachian State University and community members to engage current topics in music humanities through invited talks and workshops given by scholars, artists, and cultural leaders from Appalachian State and the surrounding region. 

  • The events are free and open to the public.
  • Attendees may park in the Schaefer Lot, Broyhill Lot, or Peacock Lot for free from 7:00pm to the end of the event.  The Broyhill Music Center is at 813 Rivers St, Boone, NC, 28608. 
  • For more information, contact Dr. Jacob Kopcienski, via email at kopcienskija@appstate.edu or by phone at 828-262-7385.

This event is sponsored by the Hayes School of Music with generous co-sponsorship from the Center for Appalachian Studies at Appalachian State University.

Lecture Topic

Embodying Culture: Community Dances in Rural Appalachia

In this presentation, I will explore the ways that rural community dances in Appalachia signify the embeddedness of traditional music and dance in a place. From Sparta, NC to Glenville, WV, community dances are embodied forms of culture that allow intergenerational participants to experience the heritage of their communities while creating new contemporary practices.

Part talk and part dance workshop, attendees will gain an understanding of how traditional dances provide community members of all skill levels an easily accessible opportunity to participate in local music. Participants will be encouraged to think about the ways that dance can be an essential part of place-keeping and place-making in rural communities across the globe.


Dr. Julie Shepherd-Powell is an assistant professor and graduate program director of Appalachian Studies. As an anthropologist, Julie’s research interests include community-based activism around coal extraction and energy regimes in Appalachia.

Julie is also an accomplished traditional Appalachian musician and dancer, winning numerous awards for her flatfoot dancing and performing across the globe. Julie’s creative and scholarly endeavors collide in her research about, and embodied practice of, the diverse roots of mountain music and dance and their contemporary forms.