The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture

Volume 14: Folklife

Edited by Glenn Hinson, William Ferris

Charles Reagan Wilson, General Editor

424 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 40 illus., bibl., index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-5989-6
    Published: January 2010
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-0-8078-9855-0
    Published: January 2010
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-8103-8
    Published: January 2010

New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture

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Southern folklife is the heart of southern culture. Looking at traditional practices still carried on today as well as at aspects of folklife that are dynamic and emergent, contributors to this volume of The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture examine a broad range of folk traditions.

Moving beyond the traditional view of folklore that situates it in historical practice and narrowly defined genres, entries in this volume demonstrate how folklife remains a vital part of communities’ self-definitions. Fifty thematic entries address subjects such as car culture, funerals, hip-hop, and powwows. In 56 topical entries, contributors focus on more specific elements of folklife, such as roadside memorials, collegiate stepping, quinceañera celebrations, New Orleans marching bands, and hunting dogs. Together, the entries demonstrate that southern folklife is dynamically alive and everywhere around us, giving meaning to the everyday unfolding of community life.

Sponsored by the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi

About the Authors

Glenn Hinson is associate professor of folklore and anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has directed a variety of public folklore projects. He is author of Fire in My Bones: Transcendence and the Holy Spirit in African American Gospel.
For more information about Glenn Hinson, visit the Author Page.

William Ferris is Joel R. Williamson Eminent Professor of History and senior associate director of the Center for the Study of the American South at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is author of Give My Poor Heart Ease: Voices of the Mississippi Blues (UNC Press). Charles Reagan Wilson is Kelly Gene Cook Sr. Chair in History and Professor of Southern Studies at the University of Mississippi. Ferris and Wilson coedited the original Encyclopedia of Southern Culture.
For more information about William Ferris, visit the Author Page.


"A remarkably comprehensive and detailed reference work, given the enormous range of subjects it has to cover. . . . The index of authors reads like a who's who of the most influential folklorists working today."--West Virginia History

"Familiar icons of southern culture benefit from insightful entries that Wikipedia cannot match. . . . The excellent introduction should be read as a stand-alone essay on tradition and regional identity. . . . This volume is essential to the series and valuable by itself to students of southern studies, folk life studies, American studies, and cultural studies."--American Reference Books Annual

"It remains exceptionally important for researchers and folklorists in particular. . . . Folklife is a long awaited addition to The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture"--The Alabama Review

"Hip-hop, stepping, face jugs, Mardi Gras Indians, and shot-gun houses--you can discover the cultural meaning and history of them all here. This new volume brings us southern folklife for the twenty-first century. It’s an invaluable research tool for scholars as well as a wonderful read for anyone interested in the American South."--Peggy A. Bulger, director, American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress