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Noted Ozarks historian and author to visit campus Oct. 14

October 6, 2014
By cnp
Posted in Community Events

Author and historian Dr. Brooks Blevins, considered one of the country's leading authorities on the Ozark Mountains region, will speak at University of the Ozarks on Tuesday, Oct. 14, as part of the University's 2014-15 Walton Arts & Ideas Series.

The event will be held at 7 p.m. in the Rogers Conference Center on the U of O campus. The public is invited to attend and there is no cost for admission.

The title of Blevins’ talk will be "Arkansas/Arkansaw: A State and Its Reputation." He will discuss the evolution of the state’s image, both the good and the bad.

Blevins is the Noel Boyd Associate Professor of History at Missouri State University.  A native of the Arkansas Ozarks, Blevins is the author of five books, including "Hill Folks: A History of Arkansas Ozarkers and Their Image" and "Arkansas/Arkansaw: How Bear Hunters, Hillbillies, and Good Ol’ Boys Defined a State."

His newest book, the 2012 "Ghost of the Ozarks," is the true story of the 1929 murder of Connie Franklin, the ensuing investigation, and the man claiming to be the murder victim who appeared to testify.  The case received incredible media attention at a time when the depression settled across the country.  The coverage branded the region with cultural stereotypes that continue today in our collective memory despite social and economic changes. The prologue to the strange case reads like the beginning of a horror movie.  However, as Blevins examines the facts around the case, the reader begins to doubt whether a murder actually occurred, and, if so, who was murdered.

Blevins earned his undergraduate degree from Lyon College in Batesville, Ark., before receiving both his master’s degree and Ph.D. from Auburn University.