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Conference 2023

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Host: Ozarks Studies Institute, Missouri State University

Sponsors: Ozarks Studies Institute, Missouri State University;

Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Missouri State University;

English Department, Missouri State University;

African American Studies Program, Missouri State University

Room 101, Meyer Library, Missouri State University – Springfield


8:00-8:15          Coffee, snacks, registration


8:15-8:30          Introduction and Welcome

                        Mara W. Cohen Ioannides, OSA President

                        Tom Peters, Director, Ozarks Studies Institute


8:45-10:00        Panel 1:

Facing Economic Challenges: Telling Stories and Learning Lessons in the COVID-Era Ozarks

Chair: Mara W. Cohen Ioannides, Missouri State University


“Man, put in a good word for me:” Reflections of Eden Village Residents on the Persistence of Barriers to Employment

Mackenzie Whitaker and Marnie K. Watson, Missouri State University.


Least of These, Inc’s Food Pantry Food Insecurity Survey 2022

*Christina Ryder and Sadie Hutchinson, Missouri State University


Term Life Insurance and Other Folk Tales: The View from a Financial Literacy Class in the Missouri Ozarks

Elizabeth Tackett-Turner and Erin Kenny, Missouri State University


10:15-11:45      Panel 2:

Stewarding Community Stories in the 20th and 21st Century

*Chair: Tom Dicke, Missouri State University


Community Minded: A Holistic Approach to Outreach and Programming

*Lauren Willette, Arkansas Folk and Traditional Arts

Exhuming Randolph: Identifying Relevance in Vance Randolph’s Ozarks in the 21st Century

*Curtis Copeland, Society of Ozarkian Hillcrofters

Love and Dynamite Along the Buffalo River

*Rex Robbins, Independent Scholar


Raising Cane (native bamboo): The Lore and Legend of Giant River Cane will Restore its Associated Culture and Ecology to the Ozarks

**Robert Kipfer and D. Alexander Wait, Missouri State University


12-12:45           Lunch             



1:00-2:45          Panel 3:

Expanding Narratives of Community in the Hill Country

Chair: Marlin Barber, Missouri State University


“The Legacy of Untold Stories: The Birth of the Springfield-Greene County African-American Heritage Trail”

*Lyle Q. Foster, Missouri State University

How a White Rapist Became Black in Historic Memory: The Case of Andrew Springer’s Lynching in Lawrence County, Arkansas

*Fatme Myuhtar-May, Arkansas State University

“The African American Community of Leslie Arkansas: Expanding on the little known and its impact on the Ozarks”

*Darren Bell, Arkansas State Archives


The Elusive Etz Chiam: The synagogue that grew and died in one generation in the Ozarks

Mara W. Cohen Ioannides, Missouri State University


3:00-4:00          Plenary (Free and open to the public)

                        “The African American Heritage in the Ozarks Project: An Overview”

Sean Rost, State Historical Society of Missouri

Gary R. Kremer, State Historical Society of Missouri

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