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West Plains Civic Center to host Ozarks Studies Symposium, September 18-20

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The Keynote Speaker for the 8th annual Ozarks Studies Symposium will be Dr. Gary R. Kremer, Executive Director of the State Historical Society of Missouri. His presentation is entitled: "Slavery and Freedom in the Rural Missouri Ozarks: A Look at Wright County." This presentation will be at 4 p.m., Friday, September 19, 2014, at the West Plains Civic Center. The theme of the 8th annual Ozarks Studies Symposium is "Modernity and Regional Identity." All symposium presentations are free and open to all.

This annual event, sponsored by the Missouri State University-West Plains academic affairs office, West Plains Council on the Arts, and the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, celebrates various aspects of Ozarks culture through presentations and performances by representatives of the academic world and the public sector.

An opening reception will begin the Symposium from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, September 18, in the Magnolia Room at the West Plains Civic Center. The reception will feature Barbara Williams, artist and adjunct professor of art at Missouri State-West Plains, as guest speaker. Her photographic exhibit "Ozark Snapshots," will be on display on the Mezzanine of the Civic Center's Gallery from September 13 through October 5. Admission is free.

Titles of other presentations during the two-day symposium include:

  • "Hard Toward Home" by Dr. Craig Albin
  • "Childbirth in the Ozarks - Where the Old becomes New" by Charles Baclawski
  • "Mountain Modernity and Archeology in the Arkansas Ozarks: A Case Study form Van Winkle's Mill" by Dr. Jamie C. Brandon
  • "Another Good Story Shot Down by an Eyewitness: Textile Production in the Ozarks" by Laura Bowles
  • "The Front Porch Regulars" by Larry Dablemont
  • "Faces Like Devils: The Bald Knobber Vigilantes in the Ozarks" by Dr. Matthew J. Hernando

For more information about the symposium, visit