This is an interdisciplinary course that introduces students to the study of the Ozarks through the arts, humanities, media, and social sciences. The course will explore such issues as regional heritage, cultural adaptation, and the survival of regional and cultural identity and folkways through comparison of Ozarks people and places with other cultural groups and regions.
Course activities will engage participants in a variety of ways with the following objectives:
- Gain an understanding of the various ways of defining the Ozarks and acquire a basic understanding of the historical development of the Ozarks.
- Examine concepts such as cultural identity, cultural assumptions, and subcultural persistence.
- Become familiar with a variety of cultural expressions of the people of the Ozarks, including regional literature, art, music, and architecture.
- Develop an understanding of the values common to residents of the Ozarks, past and present, through the study of religious, political, and economic characteristics of the region.
- Acquire an understanding of the interplay of tradition and modernization in the Ozarks and the impact of market capitalism, industrialization, and modern technological developments.
- Gain an appreciation for the geographical, socioeconomic, and racial diversity of the Ozarks, past and present.
- Develop an ability to compare the Ozarks with other regional cultures, nationally and internationally, and with mainstream American culture.