1800's old Church of Christ wooden building
14th Annual Ozarks Studies Symposium

September 23-25, 2021

Theme: Creation in the Ozarks

Entrance to the symposium is free and pre-registration is not required. Those who attend will be invited to register on site when they arrive.

All presenters are found in the Full Conference Program.

2021 Keynote Speaker

Kaitlyn McConnell
Preserving a Changing Ozarks

The Ozarks region is experiencing significant shifts in its appearance, people, land and longtime traditions. Cue Kaitlyn McConnell: An Ozarks storysharer, it is her goal to capture many of these stories before they are gone.

Since 2015, Kaitlyn has written more than 400 stories about people, traditions, history and unique sites through Ozarks Alive, a website dedicated to the documentation of local culture and history. Through the site, she works to preserve and share pieces of the region's fabric so that it creates awareness for today and also a footprint to learn from in the future.

In this presentation, she will share more about the site's work and goals, and as well as observations from her travels throughout the region, and she will focus on some of the unique people and places of this changing region that shouldn't be forgotten.

As a seventh-generation Ozarker, Kaitlyn's love of the region goes deep. She is a native of Webster County, where she grew up on the farm her great-great-grandmother bought in the early 1900s. She began sharing the Ozarks when she was 17, when she wrote a weekly column about local history for The Marshfield Mail newspaper, and for which she was recognized as The History Channel's Student of the Year. She currently works as System Director of Public Relations for Cox Health.

Vincent S Anderson
Local Historian and Adult Programs and Collections Coordinator, Baxter County Library, Mountain Home, AR
Presentation: Capt. Henry Sheldon Taber: Leadership, Conflict, and Insight for the Ozarks from the U. S. Corps of Engineers Little Rock, Arkansas, District
Dr. James S. Baumlin
Distinguished Professor, Department of English Missouri State University
Presentation: Who Was M. C. Schricker?
Dr. Brooks Blevins
Noel Boyd Professor of Ozarks Studies, Missouri State University
Presentation: Twenty-five Years and Counting: A Look Back at the Symposium
Faith Collins
Student, Missouri State University-West Plains
Presentation: Beekeeping in the Ozarks: A Madman's Pursuit of Happiness
Curtis Copeland
The Society of Ozarkian Hillcrofters
Presentation: Ozarks Bohemians: How A Circle of Creative Friends Established a Culture of Nostalgia in the Early 20th Century Ozarks
Dr. James Fowler
Professor of English, University of Central Arkansas
Presentation: Poetry Reading
Dr. John J. Han
Professor of English and Creative Writing, Missouri Baptist University
Presentation: Harold Bell Wright’s Otherization of Ozarkers: That Printer of Udell’s, The Shepherd of the Hills, and The Re-Creation of Brian Kent
Dr. Mara Cohen Ioannides
Department of English, Missouri State University
Presentation: Creating New Congregations: The Cases of Jewish congregations in Bentonville and Eureka Springs
Dr. Thomas Kersen
Associate Professor of Sociology, Jackson State University
Presentation: Buck Nelson’s Mountain View Flying Saucer Convention 
Dave Malone
Poet and Fiction Writer,
Presentation: Poetry Reading: Tornado Drills and Hitchhiking Skills
Matt McGowan
Science and Research Writer, University of Arkansas
Presentation: A Reading from McGowan’s Book, 1971
Tim Nutt
Director of the Historical Research Center, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Presentation: Liver Squares and Fake Cures: The Promotion of Quack Medicine in the Ozarks
Crystal & Leland Payton
Founders, Lens and Pen Press
Presentation: Video Presentation: Lover’s Leap Legends: A New Book from Lens & Pen Press
Jaxson Priest
Stream Ecology Laboratory, Missouri State University
Presentation: The Creation of Biodiversity Post-Drying in Intermittent Ozark Streams
Leslie Reed
Instructor of English, Arkansas State University
Presentation: More Than Just Fun Dances: The Influence of Rural Representation and Identity Conversations on TikTok
Dr. Kristen Ruccio
Assistant Professor of English, Arkansas State University
Presentation: There Are No Bootstraps for the Blind: Considering Representations of Disability in The Little House on the Prairie Series of Books
Jordyn Smith
Student, Missouri State University-West Plains
Presentation: The Trials and Tribulations of War, on the Battlefield and the Homefront of the Ozarks
Prof. Mark Spitzer
Associate Professor of Creative Writing, University of Central Arkansas
Presentation: An Overview of Select Cryptozoological Myths Created in the Ozark Imagination
William B. Stacy
Per Course Faculty, Department of Music Missouri State University
Presentation: “Hurrah, Hurrah, of the Normal Sing”: Musical and Cultural Contexts for “State Normal March”
Dr. Steve Wiegenstein
Presentation: Fiction Reading: Scattered Lights