Fortuitous Flashpoint: How an Appalachian-Carpathian Mountain Conference Transformed my Life
Keywords:Appalachia, Carpathian Mountains, Jiu Valley, Fulbright, Coalmining
AbstractDocumenting her unexpected deep connection to Romania, the Appalachian author shares her transformational experiences in this Eastern European country she embarrassingly knew nothing about prior to 2015. A conference call for proposals, co-authored submission on a whim, and subsequent conference acceptance changed her life in profound ways, both professionally and personally. The author’s scholarly dedication to Romania over these brief years led to a 2021 Fulbright Teaching & Research grant. From teaching Appalachian literature at Transilvania University-Brasov to conducting ethnographic research and interviews in the Jiu Valley, Romania’s coalmining region, the author documents the depth of her professional and personal change after that fortuitous flashpoint of the 2015 Appalachian-Carpathian Mountain Conference. Keywords: Appalachia, Carpathian Mountains, Jiu Valley, Fulbright, Coalmining“.