11th Annual Ozarks Studies Symposium

September 22-23, 2017

Theme: Marginal Voices of 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.

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Keynote Speaker
Abby Burnett
Susan Young
Presentation: "Good Times and Sorrow: An Oral History Project"

It wasn't a new idea. Ever since the Foxfire series of books began back in the 1970s, recording the memories of older members of a community about traditional life has become a popular way to document aspects of a region's folk culture. So when Juanita Bryant, director of the Madison County Senior Center in Huntsville, Arkansas, called me and said, "You need to come over here and interview some of these folks. They have a lot of history to share," I figured this was a chance to document life in the Ozarks a la Foxfire. Traditional Ozark life in Madison County has been a part of my own life for as long as I can remember. It was where my great-aunts and great-uncles lived in houses full of the mingled smells of wood smoke and moth balls, where my family attended Decoration each year at the Wesley cemetery, where I first learned about squirrel hunting, picking blackberries, and "the old home place." For me, an oral history project in Madison County seemed like the most natural of pursuits. And ultimately, it has been one of the most rewarding.

With Mrs. Bryant's guidance, and aided by a grant for supplies from the Northwest Arkansas Mental Health Association, I set out to record the lives of Madison County women. Here, in their own words, are their recollections. The common threads of family devotion, a strong work ethic, courage in the face of loneliness, and an abiding faith in the Lord are woven throughout these stories. Another belief that echoed from each woman was that her life was "nothing special."

Oh, how I beg to differ.

Susan Young is the outreach coordinator at the Shiloh Museum of Ozark History in Springdale, a position she has held since 1994. Susan is a lifelong resident of Fayetteville and a fifth-generation Ozarker.

She is the author of So Big, This Little Place, a history of the founding of Tontitown, Arkansas, and the editor of Memories I Can't Let Go Of, a collection of life stories from Tontitown, Arkansas.

Susan serves on the boards of the Arkansas Historical Association and the Ozark Folk Cultural Center Commission.

Her Ozark history interests include traditional folkways, religion and cemeteries.

In her spare time, Susan enjoys reading, traveling, gardening, genealogy and birdwatching.

Additional speakers to be announced.

Thursday, September 21, 2017
On the Mezzanine, West Plains Civic Center
7:00 PM
Sponsor: West Plains Council on the Arts
Exhibit: Marginal Voices of the Ozarks: Images by Artists of the Region
Friday, September 22, 2017
Redbud and Gohn Rooms, West Plains Civic Center
8:00 AM
9:00 AM
Chancellor Dr. Drew Bennett
9:15 AM
Dr. Jared Phillips
Not Coming Gently: Hipbilly Babies, Small Farm Voices, and Environmental Advocacy
9:45 AM
Dr. Mara Cohen Ioannides
From the Outside to the Margin: German Jewish Refugees in the Ozarks
10:15 AM
10:30 AM
Dr. Thomas Kersen
The Purple People of the Ozarks
11:00 AM
Lynn Morrow
“Refugee” Bradford & Backcountry Radicals
11:30 AM
Eric Tumminia
"Paranoid People": Live Original Songs by Creek Stink
12:00 PM
1:30 PM
Steve Yates
The Legend of the Albino Farm
2:00 PM
Carla Kirchner
A “whole ‘nother side of life”: Setting as Character in Daniel Woodrell’s Ozarks Novels
2:30 PM
2:45 PM
Diana Fox Bentele
3:15 PM
Dr. Craig Albin
"Will and Testament"
3:45 PM
Stanley Kick and Andrew Dietz, creators of Feral
Feral: A Journal of Ozarkian Gothic
4:15 PM
5:00 PM
Susan Young
Keynote: Good Times and Sorrow: An Oral History Project
Saturday, September 24, 2016
Redbud and Gohn Rooms, West Plains Civic Center
8:00 AM
9:00 AM
Dr. John J. Han
A Wind for the East: Haiku in the Ozarks
9:30 AM
Dr. Jason McCollom
Towards an African American History of Olden and West Plains, Missouri
10:00 AM
10:15 AM
Dr. Steve Wiegenstein
The Language of Trees
10:45 AM
Dr. James S. Baumlin
Parlor Music and Musicianship in Early Springfield, Missouri
11:15 AM
Dr. Blake Perkins
The War on Poverty and a Closer Look at Anti-Government Defiance in the Arkansas Ozarks, 1960s-70s
12:00 PM
1:30 PM
Tim Nutt
Dr. W.A. Jaquith and His 1906 Tour of the Ozarks
2:00 PM
Leslie Reed
Life on the Fringes: The Desperate Reactions of Isolation and Marginalism in Daniel Woodrell's Tomato Red and The Death of Sweet Mister
2:30 PM
Dr. Alice Black
First in Time, First in Importance: The Germans and Scotch-Irish in the Ozarks