Ozarks Culture

arch of hysteria

Ozarks Culture/HNRS4013H-001 (11301) 
T/TH, 12:30 - 1:45 p.m., SPRING 2024, in GEAR 243


Application Deadline: 11:59 p.m. Sunday, October 29. 

The Ozarks is a place often described by outsiders as full of hillbillies, moonshiners, regressive, insular, etc. But how have Ozarkers thought about themselves over the years? What are these assumptive descriptions really saying? And how is this region being redefined in the age of Walmart and Netflix? By examining the history, literature, and cultures of the Ozarks through diverse perspectives, students will explore how Ozarkers have been engaged in meaning-making in this place and the nation during the American Century, impacting everything from country music to global commerce.

In particular, this course will push students to think beyond the traditional narrative of hillbillies to see how the Ozarks have evolved in the past fifty years to include a far more cosmopolitan community than generally understood. Highlighting the stories of immigrants, queer communities, and the region's longstanding communities of color will help to show students that the Ozarks are far more than Silver Dollar City would have us think.

Course Credit

  • All students: Three hours of honors credit
  • Bumpers College:
    • Three hours of upper-level honors credit 
  • Fulbright College:
    • History: Three hours of upper-level honors history credit 
    • Social Science Colloquium
    • South Studies: SOST399V special topics credit 
  • COEHP:
    • Three hours of upper-level honors credit

About the Faculty 

Headshot of Virginia SiegelVirginia Siegel, professor of practice, is the State Folklorist of Arkansas. Siegel directs Arkansas Folk and Traditional Arts, Arkansas’ state folk arts program housed in the University of Arkansas Libraries.


Headshot Joshua YoungbloodJoshua Youngblood is the Instruction and Outreach Unit Head for the Special Collections Division in the University of Arkansas Libraries, where he also serves as the history and rare books librarian and the curator of the Arkansas Collection.


Jared Phillips headshotJared Phillips, and his wife Lindi, run a farm on the western edge of the Arkansas Ozarks using draft horses. Jared teaches on Ozarks history, rural development, and food systems in the U of A's history department.