Bill Lynch, Mason Adams, Kelley Libby, Zander Aloi, Zack Harold, Lydia Warren Published

Remembering Travis Stimeling And The Age Of Deer, Inside Appalachia

Nine adult people stand side by side. Some hold musical instruments like guitars and banjos. They are all smiling for the camera.
Stimeling, second from right, and the WVU Bluegrass and Old-Time Band pose with WVU President Gordon Gee, center.
Photo courtesy of Mary Linscheid

Inside Appalachia remembers Travis Stimeling. The author, musician and educator left a deep mark on Appalachian culture, and the people who practice and document it.  

And, grab your dancing shoes and learn about a movement to make square dance calling more inclusive.

Plus, it’s not just you. There are more deer than ever these days. A writer explores the long, complicated entwinement of people and our wild kin.  

You’ll hear these stories and more this week, Inside Appalachia.

In This Episode:

Remembering Travis Stimeling, A Musician, Scholar And Mentor

An adult person with brown hair and beard smiles for the camera. They are outside, wearing a blue shirt. Behind them is an overcast sky and green trees.
Travis Stimeling, a WVU professor and noted scholar of traditional Appalachian music, died in their home on Nov. 14, 2023.

Photo Credit: Ellen Linscheid

Travis Stimeling carried the torch for bluegrass and traditional music in Appalachia.

It was a shock when the author, musician and West Virginia University (WVU) professor died abruptly in November at the age of 43. News of their passing prompted an outpouring of remembrances from colleagues, former students and friends.

Some shared their stories with Folkways Reporter Zack Harold, who brought us this remembrance.

Traditional Dance Callers Updating For Inclusivity

A group of people square dance together.
A multi-generational group of dancers follows Becky Hill’s calling at the Augusta Heritage Center in July 2023.

Photo Credit: Lydia Warren/West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The use of they/them pronouns signals more than a change in language; it’s also a cultural change that allows for people to be identified as they see themselves. And, it’s happening even in the region’s dance halls.

Folkways Reporter Lydia Warren brought us the story.

The Age Of Deer

A photograph of an adult woman with long brown hair, looks off screen up toward the sky. She wears a gray jacket, white shirt, and earrings.
Erika Howsare explores our relationship to deer, which has been long and complicated.

Courtesy Photo

Few animals are as polarizing as the white tail deer. They’re graceful and majestic — and kind of cool to see up close. But they can also ravage gardens, and drivers hit countless deer every year. 

Yet, there seem to be more deer than ever.

Erika Howsare is the author of The Age of Deer: Trouble and Kinship with Our Wild Neighbors.

Producer Bill Lynch spoke with Howsare.


Our theme music is by Matt Jackfert. Other music this week was provided by Amythyst Kiah, Watchhouse, John Blissard, Yonder Mountain String Band and Larry Rader.

Bill Lynch is our producer. Zander Aloi is our associate producer. Our executive producer is Eric Douglas. Kelley Libby is our editor. Our audio mixer is Patrick Stephens.

You can find us on Instagram, Threads and Twitter @InAppalachia. Or here on Facebook.

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Inside Appalachia is a production of West Virginia Public Broadcasting.