Debunking the Ozarks: A Series of Studies
Elder Mountain proposes to publish a series of research-based essays on the topic of debunking the Ozarks. This series will explore, challenge, complicate, and perhaps correct some of the numerous misconceptions, exaggerations, oversimplifications, and “big windies” that have played a role in the depiction and social construction of the Ozarks.
These essays will be posted on the Elder Mountain website, and, if enough essays are submitted, they will be collected and published in book form by Elder Mountain or Cornerpost Press.
Deadline for submissions is January 31, 2022. These essays should be 2,500-6,000 words. Black and white images may be included if the author owns or has acquired rights to reproduce the images. Previously published essays will be considered if the author provides evidence of holding reprint rights. All submissions will undergo a rigorous peer-review process.
Below is a short list of possible topics or positions that deserve “debunking” and serious study, ranging from the socially pertinent to the whimsical. Authors are encouraged to contact me at email@example.com to select a topic or to suggest others.
- The Ozarks as an indestructible wilderness.
- The preservation of Elizabethan English in the Ozarks.
- The absence of slavery in the Ozarks.
- Mythology of the Baldknobbers.
- Peculiar animals in folklore.
- The absence of African-American communities in the Ozarks.
- The lack of cultural diversity throughout the history of the Ozarks.
- The mythology and false history surrounding The Shepherd of the Hills.
- Indian thong trees.
- Silver mines.
- Cultural stasis.
- Cultural isolation.
- Ghosts and other hauntings.
- The Ozarks as a unique place.
- The Albino Farm, etc.
- Magic waters.
- The overstatement or understatement of poverty.
- Any aspect of the “good old days” in the Ozarks.
- The efficiency or inefficiency of small, consolidated schools in the Ozarks.