Ozarks Studies Symposium Schedule

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.

Thursday, September 23, 2021, On the Mezzanine, West Plains Civic Center

5:30 - 7:00 p.m.
West Plains Council on the Arts Gallery Exhibit: Carr Ward, "Ozark Landscape and Nature Photography"
Description:Carr Ward is a landscape and nature photographer living in West Plains, MO. He began his serious photography pursuit eleven years ago while working construction on the road. As a kid he was always interested in art through drawing and sometimes taking pictures. Ward loved taking photos as a kid even before it was popular to post on social media, but his passion for photography came by accident or possibly divine providence.

Ward says, "I had just purchased my first digital camera the day before my third child was born so I could photograph the birth. That very day after her birth I was out in the hospital’s flower beds taking pictures of their flowers. I had had a 35mm camera and used it a lot during my time in the Navy, but after shooting with the digital camera and instantly being able to see what I was doing, I was hooked. I began looking at the work of professional photographers and my desire to shoot like them is what has driven me to where I am today, that and my faith in God. I love being in nature and photographing the things around me in ways that capture how I see things around me. I love looking for compositions that are naturally there, bringing all the elements around the subject into one photo."

Refreshments will be served, and the artists will be available to discuss their works.

Friday, September 24, 2019, Redbud and Gohn Rooms, West Plains Civic Center

8 - 9 a.m.
9 a.m.
Welcome: Dr. Dennis Lancaster, Interim Chancellor, Missouri State University-West Plains
9:15 a.m.
Prof. Mark Spitzer, Associate Professor of Creative Writing, University of Central Arkansas
Presentation: An Overview of Select Cryptozoological Myths Created in the Ozark Imagination
Description:Via the form of investigative poetics developed in American letters by Ezra Pound, Charles Olson, William Carlos Williams and Ed Sanders, monsterologist Mark Spitzer will read from the product of his research on iconic folk-phenomena created in the Ozark oral tradition. Select narratives manifested in the literature and art of the region will range in subject matter from wampus cats to hoop snakes to hybrid-human fish fusions, etc., and will reflect a colorful collage of culture context relevant to the history, science, psychology, sociology, and politics of specific Ozark legends. Spitzer will also read from his book Crypto-Arkansas (Spuyten Duyvil, 2013), which studies the evolution of questionable caricatures now recognized as the Lake Conway Monster, the White River Monster, the Terrible Green Gowrow, the Greers Ferry Water Panther, “Catfish Creatures of the Ozarks,” and what has been termed “Arkasquatch.” Authorities and sources cited include Vance Randolph, Otto Rayburn, Jimmy Driftwood, H.L. Mencken, W.C. Jameson, The Arkansas Gazette, plus excerpts from original interviews and conclusions derived from immersive field work.
9:40 - 9:45 a.m.
Audience Questions
9:50 a.m.
Dr. Mara W. Cohen Ioannides, Department of English, Missouri State University
Presentation: Creating New Congregations: The Cases of Jewish congregations in Bentonville and Eureka Springs
Description:Despite the growing number small Jewish congregations in the south closing, there are two that were founded in the last two decades. The two new congregations were founded because of the needs of the communities. As Jewish communities sprouted in the Arkansas Ozarks, the people joined to create religious communities just as congregations had been created in the past. What brought these Jews to the Arkansas Ozarks is not that different than Jews arriving in other times: economic opportunity. This paper will examine why these communities were founded and how they are faring.
10:15 - 10:20 a.m.
Audience Questions:
10:20 a.m.
10:35 a.m.
Dr. James Fowler, Professor of English, University of Central Arkansas
Presentation: Poetry Reading
Description:This reading will start with a poem cycle, Mountain Airs, about the marriage of an Ozarks couple between the two world wars. After that will come poems on such topics as a rural highway anchored at one end by the Arkansas-Missouri border; the search for common ground between an academic and a maintenance worker; and the image of an unknown person, maybe distant relative or neighbor, in a shoebox assortment of photos.
11:00 - 11:05 a.m.
Audience Questions:
11:10 a.m.
Matt McGowan, Science and Research Writer, University of Arkansas
Presentation: A Reading from McGowan’s Book, 1971
Description:Matt McGowan will read a few chapters from 1971, his first novel, which is set in the Ozarks. The story is about Fanny Harrod, a recent widow; Fanny’s stepson Bud; Hershel and Martha Claypool, the couple who own a farm north of Cassville, Missouri; and Clifford Villines, the Barry County Sheriff who doesn’t know how to retire. Grieving and getting more desperate by the minute, Fanny decides to leave Detroit in her deceased husband’s 1970 Pontiac Le Mans. In the front seat next to her is Bud, her 13-year-old stepson whom Fanny found out about days after she married the boy’s father. Fanny was just getting to know Bud – and getting used to the idea of being his stepmother – when her husband was killed in flight-training exercise in California. Fanny drives to the southwest corner of Missouri, where she abandons Bud near the farm owned by the Claypools. She leaves the Le Mans behind too, keys in the ignition, and she hitches a ride to Fort Smith, Arkansas, where she catches a Greyhound west to Oklahoma City, Amarillo and then Albuquerque. There, she joins in with a rock band and keeps running, all the way to Southern California, where she thinks she needs to visit the location of her husband’s death. Unaware that Fanny has left him, Bud walks onto the Claypools’ farm and runs into Hershel. The farmer and his wife take Bud in, and he likes them right away. Meanwhile, Barry County Sheriff Clifford Villines, who is trying to retire, embarks on an arduous and sometimes comedic effort to find the boy’s stepmother.


11:35 - 11:40 a.m.
Audience Questions:
11:45 a.m.
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
Description:Although Harold Hell Wright’s Ozark novels reflect his affection for the Ozark region, a close reading of those novels reveals that he held a view of the Ozarkers reminiscent of the European objectification of Asia, North Africa, and the Middle East. In his landmark study Orientalism (1978), Said analyzes the romanticized representation of the Eastern world by Eurocentric Orientalists, who approached the non-Western world in a patronizing, condescending manner. Said’s postcolonial critique of Orientalism can be a useful tool in discussing how Wright objectifies Ozarkers who need to be “improved on.” Most of the heroic figures in Wright’s Ozark novels are outsiders—typically from the cities—who are intellectually sophisticated and culturally refined. Dick Falkner—the main character of That Printer of Udell’s—is from Kansas City. The main character of The Shepherd of the Hills is from Chicago. In The Re-Creation of Brian Kent, exemplary characters come from outside the Ozarks: Betty Sue is from Connecticut, Betty Jo is from Cincinnati, and Homer Ward is from Chicago. Meanwhile, the “good” locals are of “good stock” whose ancestries originate in an area outside the Ozarks. For instance, in The Shepherd of the Hills, Old Matt says, “Our folks all live back in Illinois. And if I do say so, they are as good stock as you’ll find anywhere.” Sammy Lane, who “kn[ows] nothing of the laws and customs of the, so-called, best society,” is of “good stock” as well. Before they moved to the Ozarks, her father was a plantation owner, and her mother was a Southern belle. Her father tells Sammy, “When you get to be a fine lady, you ought to know that you got as good blood as the best of the thorough-breds.” These “good” locals adore, follow, and learn from the transplanted Ozarkers with supposedly superior intellect and cultural tastes.
12:10 - 12:15 p.m.
Audience Questions:
12:30 p.m.
Lunch on your own
2:00 p.m.
Dr. Thomas Kersen, Associate Professor of Sociology, Jackson State University
Presentation: Buck Nelson’s Mountain View Flying Saucer Convention
Description:Keeping with the theme of creation in the Ozarks, I will discuss how Buck Nelson created a space for other UFO enthusiasts, contacts, paranormalists, and end-of-the-worlders could meet and share stories, prophecies, and other information with each other. In 1954, overall-clad and bearded aliens visited Buck at his ranch a few miles northwest of Mountain View. Along with them they had a dog named Bo who weighed over 800 pounds. The aliens took Buck to the Moon, Mars, and Venus. Buck became famous for his story and ended up hosting an annual Flying Saucer Convention on his ranch. From the late 1950s through the 1960s, the convention attracted a wide range of characters from the area and the country.
2:25 - 2:30 p.m.
Audience Questions:
2:35 p.m.
Student Presentation: Jordyn Smith, Missouri State University-West Plains
Presentation: The Trials and Tribulations of War, on the Battlefield and the Homefront of the Ozarks
Description:This presentation is a retelling of World War II veterans’ and their families experiences that lived in the Ozarks. Examples of artifacts and real life interviews will take you back to relive this historical time period.
3:00 - 3:05 p.m.
Audience Questions:
3:10 p.m.
Student Presentation: Faith Collins, Missouri State University-West Plains
Presentation: Beekeeping in the Ozarks: A Madman's Pursuit of Happiness
Description:Beekeeping in the Missouri Ozarks is like trying to farm cows in the Sahara Desert — there is not much forage, and there are many pests ready to cause havoc. What makes it worthwhile? Multiple areas in the Ozarks experience less pesticide use than the traditional farms utilized by U.S. beekeepers. Since bees cannot thrive in an environment constantly bombarded with chemicals and pesticides, this constitutes a primary reason to keep bees in the Ozarks. In this presentation, I explore the realities of keeping bees in general and specifically in the Ozarks — the challenges and the benefits. There are challenges (varroa mites, hive beetles, and viruses) in common with what beekeepers experience outside the Ozarks, but the lack of pesticide use is unique. Much of the Ozarks is either forests or fields of fescue created by cattle farmers. Forests and fescue are not a food source for bees, but then, they do not have to be sprayed and the chances of massive, pesticide-induced hive deaths are minimal. This job of beekeeping in the Ozarks is an adventure: it's the borderline between rational and irrational behavior, it's a song with an ending that you don't expect, and it's where pain and art intersect. In other words, it shouldn't be, but it is.
3:35 - 3:40 p.m.
Audience Questions:
3:45 p.m.
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
Description:In the pre-WWII era, in the tiny community of Day, Southwest Missouri Ozarks, in an out-of-place mansion called “Bonniebrook”, a unique network of friends was forming with artist and illustrator, Rose O’Neill as its premier. This group of friends included a regionalist artist, a folklorist, a poet, a radio personality, a novelist, and a tour guide. Thomas Hart Benton, Vance Randolph, Mary Elizabeth Mahnkey, May Kennedy McCord, Harold Bell Wright, and Pearl Spurlock, were not only friends of Rose O’Neill, but also attained a level of fame, be it locally, regionally, nationally, or worldwide. By the definition of lower-case “b” bohemians, each of these individuals had their own “artistic way” and some of them could even be described as “socially unconventional,” and in some cases, even controversial. One common theme of this group of creative friends was their love for the Ozarks. Each of them used their individual talents to describe their perception of the Ozarks region and its people. More often than not, the nature of these descriptions, be it through words, verse, or visual arts, were romantic and nostalgic. Due to their success and the wide-ranging distribution of their works, this nostalgic view of the Ozarks was the impression for many outside of, or unfamiliar with the Ozarks region. This presentation will offer brief biographical information about each individual in this circle of friends, how they relate to Rose O’Neill and other members of the group. The presentation will also cover how each individual’s literary or artistic contributions helped to establish a culture of nostalgic interest and a romanticized image of the Ozarks that persists, even today.
4:10 - 4:15 p.m.
Audience Questions:
4:15 - 5:15 p.m.
Book Signing Events
Presentation: Come visit with the Authors about their books.
  • Curtis Copeland and Tom Koob, Ozarks Hillbilly: From Stereotype and Reality
    • In their new book Ozarks Hillbilly: From Stereotype and Reality, Tom Koob and Curtis Copeland delve into the source, development and use of the term “hillbilly”. They reveal through their research a label based on misconceptions, comic presentations and outright insults. The authors compare these portrayals to actual real life stories of Ozarks individuals and families (many of these from personal interviews). The book explores the dichotomous usage of the hillbilly personae; its use as an insult by outlanders and its use as a shared term of comradeship by native Ozarkers. Koob and Copeland cite the extensive work of several historians, with viewpoints ranging from the nostalgia of Randolph to the pragmatism of Blevins. The topic is illustrated with several images and photos, including some iconic photographs from the collections of Vance Randolph and Townsend Godsey. Ozarks Hillbilly provides an interesting, balanced appraisal of the stereotypical view of the Ozarks folks compared with the real life positive attributes it takes to survive and prosper in this rugged, beautiful region.
      Books available for purchase.
  • Thomas Michael Kersen, Where Misfits Fit: Counterculture and Influence in the Ozarks
    • In his new book published by University Press of Mississippi, Thomas Michael Kersen shows how the hardscrabble borderland frontier of the Ozarks nurtured zones of creativity, community, and cults. He explores the people who made a home in the Ozarks and the ways they contributed to American popular culture. Drawing on a wide variety of sources, Kersen argues the area attracts and even nurtures people and groups on the margins of the mainstream. These include UFO enthusiasts, cults, musical troupes, and back-to-the-land groups. Kersen examines how the Ozarks became a haven for creative, innovative, even nutty people to express themselves—a place where community could be reimagined in a variety of ways.
      Books available for purchase.
5:30 p.m.
Keynote: Kaitlyn McConnell
Presentation: Preserving a Changing Ozarks
Description:The Ozarks region is experencing 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 Reations for CoxHealth.


Social Hour at Wages Brewing Company

7:00 - 10 p.m.
Wages Brewing Company (1382 Bill Virdon Blvd., in the East Towne Village Center, West Plains)
  • Please join us for drinks and food at West Plains's first microbrewery.

Saturday, September 25, 2021, Gohn and Redbud Rooms, West Plains Civic Center

8:30 a.m.
Dr. Brooks Blevins, Noel Boyd Professor of Ozarks Studies, Missouri State University
Presentation: Twenty-five Years and Counting: A Look Back at the Symposium
Description:The presentation will chronicle the history of the event now known as the Ozarks Studies Symposium. Beginning at the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, Arkansas, in 1996, the symposium has featured dozens of speakers and topics through the years and has taken place in six different towns in the region. The presentation will introduce the audience to the founder, the late Dr. W. K. McNeil, and to other planners and presenters who have played important roles in the perpetuation and growth of the symposium over the past quarter century.
8:55 - 9:00 a.m.
Audience Questions:
9:05 a.m.
Leslie Reed, Instructor of English, Arkansas State University
Presentation: More Than Just Fun Dances: The Influence of Rural Representation and Identity Conversations on TikTok
Description:Residents of rural areas have long faced stereotypes perpetuated by popular culture and identity politics, especially as identify politics has become more prominent through social media over the last decade. We have seen people from all backgrounds and interests use the internet to find like-minded individuals. However, as Tiktok has grown in its popularity, rural users are creating videos that challenge established stereotypes and definitions. Unlike other platforms, TikTok does not require users to be “friends” to see each others activity, and with its automatic playing of the next video, users tend to see the video that the algorithm plays, bypassing any need for the user to click on a video. These sixty second videos are often interwoven with intertextual layers of meaning from other online conversations and have created a space for discussion about what it means to embrace and/or refute the stereotypes and identities often encountered in rural areas. And, since users do not have to interact with anyone to watch these videos, members of a community will often see the same video, allowing for the conversations to continue offline. Currently, one of the most prominent discussions concerns itself what it means to be a “redneck.” Some users embrace the term as most commonly used while others suggest that they are the “true” rednecks due to their progressive politics and rejections of the stereotype of “red-state redneck” and the “Jeff Foxworthy redneck.’' Similar conversations take place around other aspects of identity for those living in rural communities, such as environmental activism and conservation, social justice issues, community building, education, and other aspects of rural life, These conversations have the potential to change the political and cultural landscape of our rural areas, and my presentation will provide a close examination of the ways in which those changes might unfold in the coming years due to the influence of rural TikTok users.
9:30 - 9:35 a.m.
Audience Questions:
9:40 a.m.
Vincent S. Anderson, 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
Description: Capt. Henry Sheldon Taber’s leadership at the Little Rock Corps of Engineers District displayed his vision of western expansion, garnered the Ozark’s attention, and harnessed commercial trade boards. In 1884, at the beginning of his tenure, Taber successfully fulfilled his mandate to save the city of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, from the Arkansas River eroding the city’s streets and buildings. Taber’s plan, below budget, devised a new method using sandboxes securing permeable dikes in key locations and redirecting the current. The salvation of Pine Bluff proved to be a template for future accomplishments, serving as a springboard success on other district rivers including rivers in the Ozarks. Capt. As Capt. Taber appealed for Congressional funds, he devised methods to save communities from the river torrents and open district river channels to accessible commerce and transportation. Taber’s continual resolve to temper his district’s rivers endeared him to many citizens, but his persistent tenacity would array his detractors within the Ozarks: the railroads & newspaper editors. Nevertheless, during his tenure the White River flowed under the sway of Taber’s leadership and insight. After Taber’s early death, age 44 in 1894, his successors in the Corps esteemed Taber’s maps, plans, and surveys in high regard for future river development, and it is still evident for historians to explore.
10:05 - 10:10 a.m.
Audience Questions:
10:10 a.m.
10:30 a.m.
Dr. James S. Baumlin, Department of English, Missouri State University
and William B. Stacy, Department of Music, Missouri State University
Presentation: Composing School Spirit: A Special Session on the Composer, Composition, and Musical Culture of Martin C. Schricker’s “State Normal March” (1908) and “Hurrah, Hurrah, of the Normal Sing”: Musical and Cultural Contexts for “State Normal March”
  • Composing School Spirit: A Special Session on the Composer, Composition, and Musical Culture of Martin C. Schricker’s “State Normal March” (1908)
    • In compiling an inventory of early Ozarks-themed sheet music, I came upon Martin C. Schricker’s “State Normal March,” published in 1908 by A.W. Perry & Sons, Sedalia’s preeminent musical publishing house. "Dedicated to the Springfield State Normal," this piano sheet music is now the earliest known composition associated with 4th Normal, precursor to MSU. It’s a musical discovery worth exploring, beginning with its composer. German born, M. C. Schricker studied at the prestigious conservatory in Leipzig, where his father worked with the great Richard Wagner. Schricker was skilled in several instruments—piano, violin, trumpet—as well as in composition, which he taught at 4th Normal. Having joined the music faculty in 1907, he was also the school’s first band director—a position that put him in the position of “boosting school spirit.” In this paper, I will give his brief biography, a description of the early music program at 4th Normal, and a newspaper account of a faculty party held at Schricker’s South Pickwick residence—where he debuted his piece, to much applause.
  • “Hurrah, Hurrah, of the Normal Sing”: Musical and Cultural Contexts for “State Normal March”
    • Witty and sophisticated in its musical references, Schricker’s piano march reflects the cultured tastes of the period. Working from my own digital transcription of the piece, I shall analyze its musicological structure and its mingling of styles, reflective of the popular tradition of “school songs.” I argue that the trio section was singable in its melody and, following the school song tradition, was likely meant to be sung. Which begs the question: Were there any lyrics available that could have been set to Schricker’s music? The 1909 school yearbook (which offers the first sustained view of life at 4th Normal) includes a “School Song” and a “Class Poem.” These, along with Schricker’s music, aim to create a shared identity—a “school spirit”—for students and faculty at 4th Normal, a mere four years old at the time.
11:30 - 11:35 a.m.
Audience Questions:
11:40 a.m.
Crystal and Leland Payton, Founders of Lens and Pen Press
Video Presentation: Lover’s Leap Legends: A New Book from Lens & Pen Press
Description:Lovers leap worldwide. In America the leaping was usually done by a love-shattered Indian woman. There are hundreds of dramatic cliffs where a “dusky maiden” is said to have plunged to her death after her father, the chief, demanded she wed an unloved brave. Thousands of poems, stories, and newspaper accounts chronicle these dolorous events. Millions of postcards and souvenirs have been manufactured picturing the often-spectacular bluffs where those princesses leaped. Folklorists have largely ignored these legends. Understandably so—they are “fakelore” and do not resemble Indian traditions. Mark Twain found Lover’s Leaps perversely amusing, and so do the Paytons.
12:00 p.m.
Lunch on your own

Garnett Library, Missouri State-West Plains

1:30 p.m.
Tour of the Ozarks Heritage Resource Center, Garnett Library, Missouri State University-West Plains Campus
Presentation: Join us at the Garnett Library (304 W. Trish Knight) for a brief tour of the space delegated for the Ozarks Heritage Resource Center, an Ozarks archive slated to open in 2022.

Gohn and Redbud Rooms, West Plains Civic Center

2:15 p.m.
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
Description: Since the publication of the first volume, Little House in the Big Woods, in 1932, the Little House on the Prairie series of children’s books has won the hearts of generations of Americans. The books are often passed down from generation to generation and the television series based on the book was equally beloved during its nine-season run from 1974-1983 (and it is still featured in re-runs on several nostalgia-based channels). The books and television show are generally viewed by mainstream America as positive, wholesome examples of American exceptionalism and the independent, boot-strap raising spirit that led to the colonization of North America. I am no exception to having a fond place in my heart for this series; I have read and reread the series as both child and as adult many, many times. Yet, problems creep in when the books are considered in the new millennium. Images of Indigenous Americans are almost always stereotypical and dehumanizing (Pa/Charles Ingalls was well ahead of his era in much of his thinking about native peoples), Dr. George Tann, a Black doctor who saves the entire family when they are all infected with malaria (while illegally settling in Osage Territory) is presented as both comforting and terrifying, and Laura’s own proto-libertarianism both as evinced in the novels and in her later writings can all cause modern-day readers to question the wholesomeness of the series. For this proposed presentation, I will investigate representations of disability in the book. The most obvious example is of Laura’s older sister, Mary, who loses her vision after a bout with what is called scarlet fever in the books, but was likely due to spinal meningitis. I have no wish to revise history and expect a writer of Ingalls’ era to have a modern sensibility. Still, examining the disability in the book can help us appreciate, critique, and, ultimately, decide if the series warrants inclusion in the libraries of our children, grandchildren, and of our schools.
2:40 - 2:45 p.m.
Audience Questions:
2:50 p.m.
Jaxson Priest, Stream Ecology Laboratory, Missouri State University in Springfield
Presentation: The Creation of Biodiversity Post-Drying in Intermittent Ozark Streams
Description: Ozark streams are home to many diverse and unique aquatic macroinvertebrates, such as insects, crayfish, and mollusks. These organisms are highly adapted to specific aquatic habitats and require water to complete their life cycles. However, many streams in the Ozarks are intermittent and experience seasonal drying during the summer months. A dry streambed is an inhospitable habitat to these aquatic macroinvertebrates, yet intermittent streams maintain a diverse community of specialists year-to-year. Many species are adapted to over-summering within small aquatic refuges available in-stream, such as large pools which do not dry completely, while others can survive the drought as eggs within the substrate. Many organisms, however, instead leave the stream as adults and spend the summer as terrestrial insects. Which of these survival strategies is most important and their relative contribution to the annual recreation of biodiversity is poorly understood, especially in intermittent Ozark streams. No studies have examined community-wide responses to drying, or community recolonization when flow returns. My ongoing research will help answer these questions by thoroughly examining the entire aquatic community throughout the year. Understanding the unique and interesting communities present in these streams allows for accurate and effective conservation efforts. I will share some of the most interesting findings of my study to date and hope to inspire a greater appreciation for these often neglected yet fascinating streams.
3:15-3:20 p.m.
Audience Questions:
3:25 p.m.
Dr. Steve Wiegenstein, author of Slant of Light; This Old World; and The Language of Trees
Presentation: Fiction Reading: Scattered Lights
Description: Steve Wiegenstein's short story collection, Scattered Lights, was published in November 2020 by Cornerpost Press of West Plains, and has been accumulating critical attention ever since. A finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award in Fiction for 2021, Scattered Lights depicts the lives of a wide variety of Ozarkers as they navigate the shoals of contemporary existence. Steve will read a story from this collection.
3:50 - 3:55 p.m.
Audience Questions:
4:00 p.m.
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
Description: Patent medicines advertised to cure almost every ailment were promoted heavily in the United States during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Ozarkians were not immune to the attraction to shysters and cure-alls. From medicine companies in Mountain Home and Batesville to a “cancer hospital” in Eureka Springs, these cures were outlandish and sometimes deadly. This presentation will highlight some of the quack medicine companies and fake doctors that operated in the Ozarks.
4:25 - 4:30 p.m.
Audience Questions:
4:35 p.m.
Dave Malone, Poet and Fiction Writer
Presentation: Poetry Reading: Tornado Drills and Hitchhiking Skills
Description: In keeping with the conference’s theme, I will read poems from my book Tornado Drill (Aldrich Press, 2022) that speak to the forces of both creation and destruction—from creation’s boon through gardening and friendships to destruction’s potent forms in tornados and miscommunication. The poems relate the innocent and creative forces of youth, including the drama of middle school swimming lessons and the adventurous call to hitchhike to the lake with no thought of how to return home. As well, the poems relate tales of experience, destruction, and renewal that come with adulthood through tough jobs, lost loved ones, and triumphant returns.
5:00 - 5:05 p.m.
Audience Questions:
5:00 - 5:05 p.m.
Audience Questions:

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