13th annual Ozarks Studies Symposium set for Sept. 19-21
The Ozarks in Reality and Imagination" is the theme of the 13th annual Ozarks Studies Symposium set for Sept. 19-21 at the West Plains Civic Center.
Hosted by Missouri State University-West Plains, the event celebrates various aspects of Ozarks culture and history through a variety of presentations and performances.
Funding is provided by the West Plains Council on the Arts (WPCA); the University of Arkansas Press; and Carol Silvey, West Plains. Silvey is a long-time history professor and former director of development at Missouri State-West Plains. She currently serves on the Missouri State University Board of Governors.
"Your average Ozarker is probably familiar with outsiders' assumptions about our region. Those perceptions of hillbillies and backwardness do not usually reflect reality," said Dr. Jason McCollom, assistant professor of history at Missouri State-West Plains and coordinator of the symposium. "Our presenters will investigate this contrast through a variety of studies related to history, literature, poetry, geography, and even comic strips such as Li'l Abner."
As in past years, WPCA will sponsor an art exhibit related to the symposium's theme beginning at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 19. "Ten area art teachers explore the conference theme through their work," McCollom said. "We are always grateful for the participation of the WPCA in the symposium."
Another key sponsor of the event is The University of Arkansas Press. "We are pleased to have a meet-and-greet event with the authors of three new Ozarks-related books from the press," McCollom said. "Come chat with Dr. Phil Howerton ("The Literature of the Ozarks"), Dr. Jared Phillips ("Hipbillies: Deep Revolution in the Arkansas Ozarks"), and Dr. Andrew Milson ("Arkansas Travelers, Geographies of Exploration and Perception, 1804-1834") from 4:15 to 4:45 p.m. Sept. 20."
The symposium's keynote address will be given at 5:15 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20, by Dr. Jared Phillips, assistant professor of international studies at the University of Arkansas. He will discuss his book on Ozark back-to-the-landers, "Hipbillies: Deep Revolution in the Arkansas Ozarks."
"In 'Hipbillies,' Phillips combines oral histories and archival resources to weave the story of the Ozarks and its population of country beatniks into the national narrative, showing how the back-to-the-landers engaged in 'deep revolution' by sharing their ideas on rural development, small farm economy, and education with the locals-and how they became a fascinating part of a traditional region's coming to terms with the modern world in the process," he added.
Phillips' keynote address will include a roundtable discussion with some of the central figures of his book who were integral to the back-to-the-land movement in the Ozarks.
In addition, a group of Missouri State-West Plains students will share their poems about the Ozarks on Friday, Sept. 20.
For more information about the symposium, including a complete schedule of presentation times, visit Ozark Symposium.
DR. JARED PHILLIPS, assistant professor of international studies at the University of Arkansas, will be the keynote speaker at the 13th annual Ozarks Studies Symposium hosted by Missouri State University-West Plains Sept. 19-21 at the West Plains Civic Center. Phillips will discuss his book on Ozark back-to-the-landers, "Hipbillies: Deep Revolution in the Arkansas Ozarks," at 5:15 p.m. Sept. 20. (Photo provided)