Ozarks Studies Symposium September 19-20, 2014

full name / name of organization: 
Dr. Phillip Howerton / Missouri State University-West Plains

The Ozarks Studies Committee of Missouri State University-West Plains seeks proposals for its eighth annual symposium. The symposium will take place September 19 and 20, 2014, on the MSU campus in West Plains, Missouri.

The theme of this symposium is "Modernity and Regional Identity." Although the committee is especially interested in receiving proposals that focus specifically upon the Ozarks, it also welcomes presentations exploring any theme related to the impact of modernity upon any regional identity. This broad theme is intended to accommodate consideration of a wide variety of topics, such as the adoption of or resistance to aspects of modernity, the positive or negative impact of modernity upon the region, the preservation or loss of folkways, shifting political attitudes within rural regions, the depiction of modernity in regional literature or in other regional-based media, the impact of modernity upon religion, the impact of major wars or military actions upon rural regions, the impact of improved technology and communication upon regional dialect, economics, education, gender identities, farming practices and farm economies, and social policies.

For purposes of this symposium, the Ozarks is defined broadly to encompass much of Missouri and Arkansas and adjacent portions of Oklahoma, Kansas, and Illinois. The general definition of modernity as "the state of being modern" applies with special significance in the context of this symposium because the Ozarks and other relatively rural regions have often been viewed as alien and unprogressive in relation to mainstream American society.

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 250 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. Proposals should be sent to Dr. Phillip Howerton, Associate Professor of English, 128 Garfield Avenue, West Plains, MO 65775 or PhillipHowerton@MissouriState.edu.

Proposals must be received by July 12, 2014, to be given full consideration.