Call for Proposals

The Ozarks Studies Committee of Missouri State University-West Plains seeks proposals for its 14th annual symposium to be held at the West Plains Civic Center on September 24-26, 2021. Kaitlyn McConnell, founder of Ozarks Alive ( will deliver the keynote address at 5:30 p.m. on September 25.

The theme of the 2021 symposium is "Creation in the Ozarks." This broad theme is intended to accommodate consideration of a wide variety of topics related to the beginnings of communities or socio-cultural groups, political ideas, or the emergence of economic structures; the construction of various identities or outlooks; environmental/geological/floral/faunal formation; the initial stages of any facet of historical development in the Ozarks; the idea of “creation” in works of Ozarks literature; and any alternative approaches to the theme. The committee is also happy to consider a variety of supplemental topics or approaches related to the Ozarks.

For purposes of this symposium, the Ozarks is defined broadly to encompass much of southern Missouri and northern Arkansas and adjacent portions of Oklahoma, Kansas, and Illinois.

Community members, historians, oral historians, folklorists, artists, writers, scholars, or students representing any discipline or field are invited to propose presentations consistent with this theme. Each presenter will be allotted 30 minutes; presenters will be asked to limit their prepared presentations to approximately 20 to 25 minutes to allow time for questions and discussion. Presentations may take the form of conventional conference papers or any other form suitable for such a symposium.

Proposals should be approximately 200 to 300 words in length and should include a preliminary summary of the content of the proposed presentation and a list of any audio-visual or other technological requirements. They should also include the submitter's name, institutional affiliation (if applicable), and complete contact information.

Student Poster Sessions: The Ozarks Studies Symposium encourages students of all levels to contribute poster session proposals related to the theme.

Email proposals to Dr. Jason McCollom, Assistant Professor of History at Missouri State University-West Plains, at either or To be given first consideration, proposals must be received by July 1, 2021.