13th Annual Ozarks Studies Symposium

September 19-21, 2019

Theme: The Ozarks in Reality and Imagination

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.

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Below is the program from our 2018 Symposium. The 2019 program will be available by this summer.

Thursday, September 20, On the Mezzanine, West Plains Civic Center

5 - 7 p.m.
West Plains Council on the Arts Exhibit: Barbara Williams, Rocks and Red Clay

Friday, September 21, Redbud and Gohn Rooms, West Plains Civic Center

8 - 9 a.m.
9 a.m.
Welcome: Dr. Shirley Lawler, Chancellor, Missouri State University-West Plains
9:15 a.m.
Dr. Mark Morgan, Associate Professor, School of Natural Resources, University of Missouri
Presentation: Adventures of a Nature Novice: Henry Rowe Schoolcraft in the Ozarks
Description:Two hundred years ago, Henry Rowe Schoolcraft traveled from New York to Missouri in search of lead deposits in the Ozarks. Though a self-proclaimed novice in all things outdoors, he and a friend somehow managed to traverse the rugged landscape of southern Missouri and northern Arkansas during the winter of 1818. Along the way, they observed many plants and animals, forded streams and recorded the lifestyles of people living in the Ozarks frontier. Schoolcraft was an avid writer, detailing many of his experiences while making the 900-mile trek. As such, Henry Schoolcraft became honored as the first Missouri naturalist. While Schoolcraft characterizes Ozark people as "backwards," his diary is a landmark work of cultural history, offering numerous glimpses of a bygone era. Here are some excerpts from his writings.
9:40 - 9:45 a.m.
Audience Questions
9:50 a.m.
Mara W. Cohen Ioannides, D.S., Senior Instructor, English Department, Missouri State University and President of the Midwest Jewish Studies Association
Presentation: The First Families: Foundation of the Jewish Ozarks
Description:This paper will present the history of the first Jewish families who settled on the eastern edge of the Ozarks and their impact on Missouri and Jewish life. While scholars often focus on the western side of the Ozarks, the region of Missouri that is both Ozarks and Mississippi River Valley has the oldest history of Jews in the region. These people were part of the growth into a state and into an important part of the US economy. This paper will examine some of these early families and their impact on the State of Missouri.
10:15 - 10:20 a.m.
Audience Questions:
10:20 a.m.
10:35 a.m.
Timothy G. Nutt, Director of Historical Research Center, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Presentation: Spritual Medicine in the Hills: The Catholic Churches, Hospitals and Communities of the Arkansas Ozarks
Description:The history of Catholicism throughout the Arkansas Ozarks is as varied as the architectural styles of the Catholic churches that dot the landscape. From Our Lady of the Ozarks to St. Mary's Hospital, the churches, hospitals and other institutions in Arkansas's highlands often formed the bedrock of their respective communities. The churches served as primary avenues for social engagement while also administering to their members' spiritual needs. The hospitals established by religious communities provided much needed access to medical care. Overall, Catholic institutions have become part of the social and cultural fabric of the Ozarks.
11:00 - 11:05 a.m.
Audience Questions:
11:10 a.m.
Dr. Kevin L. Jones, Associate Professor of English, Rehetoric and Writing, University of Arkansas Fort Smith
Presentation: At the Source: Stories of the Hires, Wilson, Kilby, McKedy and Williams families in Taney County
Description:This study uses primary sources, such as oral histories, official documents, diaries, journals, home movies and photographs, as well as secondary sources (in some cases written for the White River Valley Historical Quarterly), to show the example of these families and how they lived. The events of these families, including early church histories, the Civil War, Baldknobbers, orchards and railroads, their connections to the origins of ice-plants and mills in the area and Silver Dollar City, for example, will be discussed. A mixture of Swiss, German, Scots-Irish, Cherokee, English and Welsh, these families reflect stories of similar immigrants to the US during the 18th and 19th Centuries, who assimilated and left their mark in many ways through to the 20th Century on the area and the nation. Examples of migration patterns are discussed, as are effects of technology, industry and opportunity within these families will be reviewed. A secondary focus of this study addresses the importance of archival preservation and documentation techniques to help protect historic items and to continue sharing our collective history before it is lost. Additionally, the use of these types of sources from these families as an example to teach local history and cultural studies is also addressed.
11:35 - 11:40 a.m.
Audience Questions:
11:45 a.m.
Jamie Middleton, University of Arkansas
Presentation: "The Gettysburg of the West:" The Utility of Public Archaeology to Supplement and Enhance Public Interpretation and the Reversal of Ozark Stereotypes at Pea Ridge National Military Park
Description:Pea Ridge National Military Park is charged with providing accessible interpretation of the three-day battle that occurred there in March,1862. The park's landscape is managed to reflect the physical environment of 1862 and its exhibits, website and tour loop explain the events of that battle. While the park has been successful in framing the battle's events from historical documentation, it has neglected numerous archaeological studies from the last few decades that would further expand the breadth of the park's current interpretation to include narratives about the people who lived there before, during and after the battle. The Leetown hamlet, a small settlement established in Pea Ridge occupied from the 1840s to the 1950s, will serve as a case study in which artifacts recovered here have the ability to both corroborate the events of the battle of Pea Ridge as well as complicate the "hillbilly narrative" associated with the Ozarks which depicts the region's inhabitants as backwards, anti-modern, isolated hillbillies. This paper builds upon the works of established academics in the veins of Pea Ridge Civil War History, battlefield and public archaeology and the Ozarks in order to create additional and resonant public narratives that will eventually be of service to Pea Ridge National Military Park to further enhance their current interpretations through a publicly accessible website in association with the Arkansas Archaeological Survey.
12:10 - 12:15 p.m.
Audience Questions:
12:15 p.m.
2:00 p.m.
Lisa Irle, Former Curator, Johnson County Historical Society, Warrensburg, MO
Presentation: The Captain and the Judge: Building Camps, Forts, Dams, Bridges and Character Across the Ozarks
Description:This presentation will explore the themes of Irle's 2016 book (written with Natalie Prussing Halpin), The Captain and the Judge: Building Camps, Forts, Dams, Bridges and Character Across the Ozarks.
2:25 - 2:30 p.m.
Audience Questions:
2:35 p.m.
Dr. John J. Han, Professor of English and Creative Writing, Missouri Baptist University
Presentation: Harold Bell Wright as an Inspiration for Guy Howard and Ronald Reagan
Description:Harold Bell Wright's The Shepherd of Hills (1907) has spawned multiple cultural productions, including movies and theatrical presentations. The rural Ozark setting of the novel has also made Branson a popular travel destination. In the words of Gary Snadon, "Shepherd of the Hills is the history of Branson [and] at one time, the whole area was known as Shepherd of the Hills country." However, the impact of The Shepherd of Hills and other Wright novels set in the Ozarks reaches beyond performing arts and Branson tourism. This paper examines the ways in which Wright's moral fiction influenced Guy Howard—the author of the memoir Walkin' Preacher of the Ozarks (1944)—and President Ronald Reagan.

The Shepherd of Hills and The Re-Creation of Brian Kent (1919) were an inspiration for Guy Howard. A native of Iowa and a young widower, he read the two novels before he decided to move to the Ozarks. The word Ozarks became for Howard "a symbol of haven—a symbol of peace and quiet [and] the refuge of [a] weary man" (Walkin' 36). Both Dad Howitt (the main character of The Shepherd of Hills) and Guy Howard come to the Ozarks in search of spiritual and emotional restoration, eventually tending to others' needs as Christ did. Similar to Wright, Howard serves the hill people of southern Missouri as their "shepherd."

Reading Wright's That Printer of Udell's (1903) at age eleven was a turning point in President Ronald Reagan's life. In the words of Reagan, the novel "had an impact I shall always remember. […] The term 'role model' was not a familiar term in that time and place. But I realize I found a role model in that traveling printer whom Harold Bell Wright had brought to life. He set me on a course I've tried to follow even unto this day. I shall always be grateful." The novel made Reagan aware of the presence of good and evil in this world. Reagan's political career was riddled with controversy and Wright's social gospel is not exactly in line with Regan's right-wing ideology. However, it is undeniable that Wright's idea of moral clarity laid the foundation for "Reagan conservatism."

3:00 - 3:05 p.m.
Audience Questions:
3:10 p.m.
Dr. Phil Howerton, Professor of English, Missouri State University-West Plains
Presentation: Debating Social Foundations in Parson Brooks: A Plumb Powerful Hardshell
Description:John Monteith's Parson Brooks: A Plumb Powerful Hardshell (1884) has often been identified as one of the earliest Ozarks-based novels of significant literary and cultural value. The June 1913 edition of St. Louis Library Monthly Bulletin identified it as being "the best Missouri dialect book." In a biographical sketch of Monteith in the April 1926 issue of Missouri Historical Review, William Clark Breckenridge asserted that the novel "is the best character study yet made of the native and the manners and customs and the mode of thought of himself and his people are faithfully and sympathetically depicted." The WPA Guide to Missouri states that Monteith pioneered literature of the Ozarks and "portrayed the Missouri hillman with honesty and restraint." Finally, in Ozark Folklore: An Annotated Bibliography, Vance Randolph notes that Parson Books "is a pretty good story… it gives a good picture of rural Missouri in the 1870's when farmers were already talking about 'the good old days'."

Due to its limited availability, Parson Brooks has received little scholarly treatment, yet it remains a significant text in Ozarks studies for several reasons. First, Monteith is a noteworthy figure in the history of Missouri, serving as a progressive state superintendent of schools from 1871 to 1874, during which time he established public schools for African-Americans throughout the state and worked to establish four normal schools. Second, Monteith directly based the setting and characters in Parson Brooks on his home and neighbors at the foot of Buford Mountain, north of Pilot Knob, Missouri. In doing so, Monteith provides a verbal snapshot of life in southeastern Missouri during the early 1870s, a place and culture that would soon undergo rapid and irrevocable change with the coming of railroads and the timber and mining companies. Third, Parson Brooks is an early challenge to the representation of the Ozarks as a place of isolation and exceptionalism. This presentation will explore how Monteith depicts the Ozarks as a crossroads of culture as he provides an entertaining study of the forces shaping the region. Of special interest is Monteith's use of main characters who are transplanted representatives of northern and southern ideals and who debate the cultural benefits and consequences of progress, a debate that seems to undermine the author's defense of progress.

3:35 - 3:40 p.m.
Audience Questions:
3:45 p.m.
Dr. Benjamin G. Rader, James L. Sellers Professor of History, emeritus, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Dr. Roger D. Kirby, Professor of Physics, emeritus, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; and Dr. John Comer, Professor of Political Science, emeritus, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Presentation: Rugged Terrains and Unspoiled Human Habitats in Missouri's Ozarks
Description:In this paper, we have two parts: one is to offer a brief review of the idea that certain places in Missouri's Ozarks are, or have been, considered Arcadias and two examine some of these places for actual evidence of whether and to what degree they were similar or differed from the remainder of the Ozarks as well as the non-Ozarks of Missouri. We found that the idea of Arcadia has had its strongest presence in the most rugged of the Ozarks counties and that as well the most rugged counties have had some traits distinctive from their flatter counterparts. In reaching these conclusions, we have, insofar as we know, been the first investigators to apply a county terrain ruggedness index (made possible by satellite imagery and computer programs) to the study of history.
4:10 - 4:15 p.m.
Audience Questions:
4:15 p.m.
5:00 p.m.
Keynote: Brian D. Walter, Ph. D., Professor of English, St. Louis College of Pharmacy
Presentation: Sage and Osage: Donald Harington and the Long History of the Ozarks
Description:In his 1986 nonfiction novel Let Us Build Us a City, Donald Harington deepens the failed dreams of European settlers who optimistically named their little communities "cities" by invoking the much older and more resonant artistic traditions of the first human inhabitants of the Mississippi basin:

Emulating his great mentor Nabokov, Harington insists that time does not advance with mindless linearity, but instead moves in magically repeated patterns that pay tribute to the inspired human imagination from time immemorial. In this philosophically conservative view of time and history, Harington emphasizes the organic genius of Native Americans' allegedly "primitive" art, as he does throughout his novels, consistently honoring the profound work of their imaginations even when it appears only as ruins and remnants, vestiges of human cultures that his beloved Stay Morons replace but also (often unknowingly) renew.

Still, if his Nabokovian sense of gleefully recurrent time consistently roots Stay More in Native American culture, Harington also perpetuates numerous colonialist motifs in his treatment of the earliest human inhabitants of this continent. In fact, one could argue that Harington's work displaces some of the horrors of this country's treatment of blacks into his inextricably contradictory treatment of Native Americans. From the complicated "noble savage" portrait he draws of Fanshaw in The Architecture of the Arkansas Ozarks to Clifford Stone's attempts to imitate the cliff-dwellers in Farther Along to the eponymous heroine's composition of a nonfiction book about the Osage nation in Ekaterina to the selectively defiant Osage millionaire Juliana Heartstays in Thirteen Albatrosses, or Falling Off the Mountain, Harington could never add a chapter to the Stay More saga without, in some way or other, both honoring the native inhabitants and, yet, affixing them with some of the racist tropes so deeply embedded in U. S. traditions.

"Sage & Osage: Donald Harington and the Long History of the Ozarks" adapts some ideas from Toni Morrison's Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination to illuminate Harington's tellingly complicated treatment of Native Americans. In short, the Faulkner of the Ozarks seems to have his colonialism and yet to undermine it too, especially to assert and fulfill his tragicomedic vision of incorrigible sociability as the antidote to inescapable human loneliness, the endless quest for a loving other that unifies all of his work.

Social Hour at Wages Brewing Company

7 - 10 p.m.
Wages Brewing Company (1382 Bill Virdon Blvd., in the East Towne Village Center, West Plains, )
  • Please join us for drinks, food and music at West Plains's first microbrewery.
  • Food served by Chef Ryan Van Winkle until 9 p.m., no reservations required
  • Music by Creek Stink, 8 - 10 p.m.

Saturday, September 22, Magnolia Room, West Plains Civic Center

8 - 9 a.m.

Missouri Archaeological Society Symposium: The Journey of Schoolcraft

9 - 9:10 a.m.
Dr. Neal H. Lopinot, Secretary, Missouri Archaeological Society and Director, Center for Archaeological Research, Missouri State University
9:10 - 9:35 a.m.
Dr. Michael J. Fuller, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology, St. Louis Community College
Presentation: A Biography of H. R. Schoolcraft and His Visit to the Lead Source Near Springfield
Description:A brief biography of Schoolcraft will be presented, followed by a discussion of the impetus for his journey—the search for lead deposits. Aware that the Osage and Euro-American settlers were mining lead in the vicinity, Schoolcraft journeyed to the confluence of Pierson Creek and the James River in present-day Greene County. There he observed abundant lead ore and spent several days mining and smelting. This location later became a large mine known as the Phelps Diggings, the first recorded commercial mines in southwest Missouri. From around 1844 into the 1930s, at least seven mines with eleven or more productive shafts were in operation intermittently in or near the vicinity of Schoolcraft's original camp.
9:35 - 10 a.m.
Curtis Copeland, G.I.S.P., Geographic Information Systems Coordinator, City of Branson
Presentation: Utilizing GIS Technology to Trace the Route of Schoolcraft's Journey
Description:In recognition of the bicentennial of Schoolcraft's exploration into the Ozarks, Copeland has produced digital, spatial mapping data of Schoolcraft's route utilizing modern GIS technology and created an interactive web map application. This map refines the general maps created by Dr. Milton Rafferty several years ago. The application includes not only Schoolcraft's route, but also map points for his campsites and points of interest. Schoolcraft's journal entries are an excellent source of information and a window to a time before the Ozarks were heavily impacted by European settlers, evidence for Native American activities was still prominent and descriptions of the geography, flora and fauna and the daily lives of the earliest pioneers were well described.
10 - 10:10 a.m.
10:10 - 10:35 a.m.
Jack H. Ray, Assistant Director, Center for Archaeological Research, Missouri State University
Presentation: In Search of an Osage Indian Hunting Camp
Description:Although the purpose of Schoolcraft's journey through the Ozarks in 1818–1819 was to search for and document lead deposits in southwest Missouri, he also observed the presence of Native Americans at certain locations along the way. Midway through his journey, Schoolcraft encountered three abandoned Osage Indian hunting camps in the valley of Swan Creek in Christian County. During 2016 and 2017, Missouri State University's (MSU) archaeology field school tested a site located in the upper reaches of Swan Creek to determine if it might represent one of the abandoned Osage hunting camps noted by Schoolcraft on December 30, 1818. The results of these investigations, including the recovery of metal artifacts associated with hunting and butchering, indicate that MSU's investigations were successful in discovering the third early nineteenth-century Osage hunting camp reported by Schoolcraft. This investigation represents the first documentation of an open-air Osage hunting camp anywhere in their former territories in Missouri.
10:35 - 11:00 a.m.
Eric Fuller, Archaeologist, Smallin Civil War Cave
Presentation: Schoolcraft at Smallin Cave: Then and Now
Description:On New Year's Day, 1819, Schoolcraft and Pettibone made their way to one of the largest cave openings in Missouri. Amazed by the geologic wonders of this stream-determined cave, Schoolcraft then wrote one of his most detailed geologic descriptions of any area he visited. The words of Schoolcraft still match the same distinctive features found today. Hear the Schoolcraft quotes and see modern photographs that help relive that moment in Smallin Cave (Schoolcraft's Winoca Cave). Learn how the Schoolcraft bicentennial is being celebrated at the cave with its recent inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places and a visit from Principal Chief Geoffrey Standingbear of the Osage Nation.
11 - 11:10 a.m.
11:10 - 11:35 a.m.
Jennifer A. Rideout, Project Supervisor, Center for Archaeological Research, Missouri State University
Presentation: The Widow Harris Cabin
Description:Micajah and Sally Harris arrived in what is now Ripley County in about 1814. They chose a well situated location above a large spring very near the Natchitoches Trace for their cabin. As Schoolcraft traveled the Trace on January 25, 1819, he found himself without lodging as the cold night approached. He persuaded the reluctant Harris Family to give him shelter. Various members of the Harris family occupied this locale until around 1870. Excavations conducted at the Widow Harris site (23RI19) by Cynthia Price and James Price in the 1970s and 1980s revealed that although Schoolcraft was the first to publish about this area, Euro-American settlement was already well underway when he journeyed through. The artifacts indicate that, although isolated, early settlers had reliable connections to trade networks and were well established in their farms and fledgling communities.
11:35 a.m. - Noon
Rusty Weisman, Senior Historic Preservation Specialist, Missouri Department of Transportation
Presentation: On the Trail of H. R. Schoolcraft in Southeast Missouri
Description:Maps, early travel accounts, GLO survey fieldnotes, GLO land records and Schoolcraft's published journal accounts provide the basis for reconstructing his January 1819 trek north from the Current River to Fredericktown (St. Michael). Remarkably well preserved segments of the nineteenth-century roads that Schoolcraft and other early travelers followed are still readily identifiable in Ripley, Butler, Wayne and Madison Counties. This presentation follows Schoolcraft's route thorough southeast Missouri and illustrates those roads.
Noon - 12:30 p.m.
Student Poster Panel
12:30 - 1:30 p.m.
Catered BBQ Lunch (at the West Plains Civic Center)
1:30 p.m.
Tour of West Plains historic sites and the Harlin Museum

Saturday, September 22, Gohn and Redbud Rooms, West Plains Civic Center

Leslie Reed, Instructor of English, Arkansas State University
Presentation: "Here or There: Community and the Ease of Navigating the Criminal World in Daniel Woodrell's Winter's Bone and Give Us a Kiss"
Description:Readers of Daniel Woodrell's novels are often fascinated by the criminal lifestyles of many of his Ozark characters and alongside them, we meet characters who have chosen to live on the right side of the law, or at least close to it, even when their family members do not. While this seems to be quite an ordinary situation, we sometimes see the unexpected move that happens when characters change their mind about which side of the law they reside. Woodrell's novels Give Us a Kiss and Winter's Bone demonstrate how easily the residents of the Ozarks can enter the criminal world operating around them. In this presentation, I argue that the reason for the ease of the transition is not found in the individual characters but in the framework of the Ozark communities. For those moving into that world, they arrive knowing much about its operation because the rurality of the area means everyone knows everyone else and how they live. With a small population and a lot of kinfolk, the community cannot splinter in isolated groups as ones in metropolitan areas might. In Winter's Bone, Ree Dolly must deal with the mess her crystal-methamphetamine cooking father has created by navigating his world in order to save her family home. In Give Us a Kiss, Doyle Redmond returns home after after his divorce takes a turn for the worse. Because of this, Doyle sees several benefits to joining his brother's marijuana-growing operation. Both characters have goals to reach in the criminal world and they are well prepared before they begin their work.
12:25-12:30 p.m.
Audience Questions:
12:35 p.m.
Carla Kirchner, Assistant Professor of Language and Literature, Southwest Baptist University
Presentation: The Witch and the Wizard: Writing Ozark Characters in Contemporary Fiction
Description:Every region has its own "characters" which so influence society that they become the stuff of legend. Missouri Ozark legends include Jeanne Wallace, also known as the Mountain Maid, a mysterious figure who lived on a hill overlooking Roaring River State Park until her death in 1940. Because of Wallace's reputation as a clairvoyant and finder of lost things, folks flocked to her cabin for counsel for decades. Another mysterious character, The Wizard of Oto, suddenly appeared in Stone County during the Great Depression. Claiming an extensive medical background and using a fake name, the Wizard treated thousands of patients and inspired national news stories before closing his clinic in 1938. These are just some of the real-life Ozarkers that have inspired the fictional characters and cultures in my short stories, which draw heavily from folklore and history. In this presentation, I will read some of my own short fiction that features protagonists who have both shaped and been shaped by the social architecture of the Ozarks.
1 - 1:05 p.m.
Audience Questions:
1:10 p.m.
Dr. Thomas Kersen, Associate Professor of Sociology, Jackson State University
Presentation: When the Electric Music Came to Arkansas
Description:Music has relevance to various facets of social life. Musicians convey big ideas on important topics and are often a catalyst to, or accompanies, social movements. In the United States rock-and-roll helped spread communitarian sentiments with groups such as the Grateful Dead in the 1960s-1970s. It took a while for rock to become acceptable in the Ozarks and the Ozarks Rock Festival held June 1970 near Fayetteville was the first major rock festival in the Missouri or Arkansas Ozarks. Later, Sedalia would become the big rock scene. At the forefront of rock and communal living was Black Oak Arkansas (BOA). The group was already famous when they found a site deep in the Ozarks 20 miles from Mountain Home, Arkansas to establish a commune in 1973. Lyrics from BOA showcase their communitarian ideals and neo-Confederate identity. On the other hand, the other famous Ozark band, Ozark Mountain Daredevils often stressed ideals more attuned to spirituality and social justice. I will discuss the impact these bands and rock in general, had on changing the culture of the region.
1:35 - 1:40 p.m.
Audience Questions:
1:40 p.m.
2 p.m.
Dr. Steve Wiegenstein, author of Slant of Light; This Old World and The Language of Trees
Presentation: The Social Panoply of the Ozarks: Appreciating the Writing of John Mort
Description:Springfield writer John Mort has been quietly assembling a significant catalog of Ozarks characters in his novels and short stories for many decades. In his novels Goat-Boy of the Ozarks and The Illegal and his story collections The Walnut King and the soon-to-be-released Down Along the Piney (winner of the Sullivan Prize from the University of Notre Dame Press), Mort has portrayed a wide variety of Ozarkers, ex-Ozarkers and displaced Ozarkers in an equally wide range of settings. Mort does not restrict himself to a particular socioeconomic class or character type in his work, but rather ranges among the prosperous, poor, naïve, cynical, educated, ignorant and everything in between. My presentation will introduce Mort's work to those unfamiliar with it and will describe major themes in his fiction. Special attention will be given to Mort's connection to the Ozarks literary landscape.
2:25 - 2:30 p.m.
Audience Questions:
2:35 p.m.
Dr. Jared Phillips, Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Arkansas
Presentation: Mountain Midwives: Midwifery Practice and Culture in the Arkansas Ozarks during the 20th Century
Description:For many, the imagery of midwives in the Arkansas Ozarks conjures up competing personalities: poor, wizened granny women; free-loving hippies and communards; and, increasingly, upper-middle class communities. This complicated picture reflects the contested history of midwifery throughout the region's history. While birthing with a midwife was once the norm throughout America—and the Ozarks—such practices were largely abandoned as medical practitioners "professionalized" during the mid-twentieth century. As a result, by the 1960s the use of midwives and home birth in Arkansas was denounced as an unsafe folkway that only poor and remote communities like the Ozarks maintained. Despite such claims, communities in the hill country and beyond kept these skills alive, providing justification for the legalization of midwifery in the state in the 1980s. Thanks to this belittling in the popular mind, there are few studies of midwifery that explore its legacy in the Arkansas uplands. As such, this study utilizes a mixed methodological approach of archival research, oral histories, ethnohistorical and ethnobotanical techniques to understand the practice of midwifery in the region during the long 20th century (1900-2010). This project, then, begins with the "granny women" of the early 20th century, moves through the state's battles with poverty in mountain communities at mid-century, the arrival of the counterculture in the 1970s and concludes with the growth in popularity of homebirth throughout the Springfield Plain region of the Ozarks at the start of the 21st century.
3-3:05 p.m.
Audience Questions:
3:10 p.m.
Dr. Craig Albin, Professor of English, Missouri State University-West Plains
Presentation: "Rose of Sharon"
Description:Dr. Albin will give a poetry reading from section four of his recently published book Axe, Fire, Mule. Section four, entitled "Rose of Sharon," consists of poems that address teaching in the Ozarks—particularly college level teaching. Education is both a foundation and an architectural underpinning of the Ozarks, yet the region is not always at ease with the goals, tenets, or methods of higher education. The speaker in the "Rose of Sharon" section adopts the persona of a college teacher, but his ruminations are often personal rather than professorial. As a result, the views of education in the Ozarks that emerge from the various poems are meant to be wide ranging and might be said to explore something of the "social architecture" of the Ozarks.
3:35 - 3:40 p.m.
Audience Questions:
3:45 p.m.
Dr. Jason McCollom, Assistant Professor of History, Missouri State University-West Plains and Jim McFarland, Trillium Trust
Presentation: In Search of Schoolcraft: The Hunt for Potato Cave and the Role of the Unlock the Ozarks Project
Description:Two hundred years ago, Henry Schoolcraft traveled through present-day Ozark County and stayed overnight in a cave that he referred to as Potato Cave. Using details from Schoolcraft's journal, a group of explorers spent several days in the autumn of 2017 searching for this cave. This presentation describes the search and the role of the Unlock the Ozarks Project in bringing public attention to Ozarks history and culture.
4:10 - 4:15 p.m.
Audience Questions: