The American South: Its Stories, Music, and Art

This course is offered through Coursera — you can add it to your Accredible profile to organize your learning, find others learning the same thing and to showcase evidence of your learning on your CV with Accredible's export features.


Course Date: 15 September 2014 to 27 October 2014 (6 weeks)

Price: free

Course Summary

From small farms to urban neighborhoods, from the region itself to the more distant worlds of the southern diaspora, we discover the stories, music, and art of the American South.


Estimated Workload: 2-4 hours/week

Course Instructors

William Ferris

William R. Ferris, a widely recognized leader in Southern studies, African American music, and folklore, is the Joel R. Williamson Eminent Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the senior associate director of UNC’s Center for the Study of the American South. He is also adjunct professor in the curriculum on folklore. A native of Vicksburg, Miss., Ferris was the founding director of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi, where he taught for 18 years. He also taught at Yale University and Jackson State University. A graduate of Davidson College, he received a Ph.D. in folklore from the University of Pennsylvania (1969).

The former chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Ferris has conducted thousands of interviews with musicians ranging from the famous (B.B. King) to the unrecognized (Parchman Penitentiary inmates working in the fields). He has written or edited 10 books and created 15 documentary films. He co-edited the massive “Encyclopedia of Southern Culture” (UNC Press, 1989), which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. His most recent book “The Storied South: Voices of Writers and Artists” (2013), was published by the University of North Carolina Press.

Bill Ferris’ films include “Mississippi Blues” (1983), which was featured at the Cannes Film Festival. He has produced numerous sound recordings and hosted “Highway 61,” a weekly blues program on Mississippi Public Radio for nearly a decade. He also has published his own poetry and short stories.

Course Description

This course explores the stories, music, and art of the American South and considers how they serve as a window on the region’s history and culture.  We will see how the region’s distinctive sense of place defines music and literature in each generation.  From small farms to urban neighborhoods, from the region itself to more distant worlds of the southern diaspora, stories, music, and art chronicle places and the people who live within them.


Our course explores the nature of oral tradition and how its study can provide a methodology for understanding Southern literature. We will discuss Southern artists and photographers and will show how the history and traditions of the South influences their work. We will consider the work of Southern Writers and discuss how they utilize specific stories, music, and art as a structure for literary forms such as the novel and the short story. Lastly, we look into the rich history of southern music and its roots in work chants, fife and drum, and one-strand on the wall musics.

FAQ

  • What background is expected for learners in this class?
Some understanding of the history and geography of the American South will be helpful in appreciating the race, class and gender issues that influence the cultural markers we'll be studying. Students may wish to lightly research the Antebellum period, the Civil War, Jim Crow era, and Civil Rights movement to gain more historical context.

  • What resources will I need for this class?
The course is designed to be self-contained. There are additional readings and film clips that will offer a broader view of the topic, but none of these are required to complete the assignments.

  • What can I earn from completing this course?
You can earn a Verified Certificate by verifying your work with a risk-free, no obligation Signature Track trial. Payment for Signature Track can be made anytime until the week before the course ends — so you’ll be more certain that you’ll earn your Verified Certificate.

If you choose not to verify your work, you can still participate in the complete course.  While your final score will be noted on your course records page, this course will not offer a Statement of Accomplishment. 


Syllabus

Week One:  Introduction to the American South - Reflecting on geography, the diaspora, the mythic and the global South as ways to approach the contested memory of the region

Week Two: Oral Traditions - Considering the content and form of the stories, toasts, dozens, auctions and religious sermons and what they reveal about Southern Culture

Week Three: Southern Artists - Understanding the distinction between folk art traditions and the high art of the academy with examples of basket-weaving, quilt-making, sculpture, painting, and photography

Week Four: Southern Writers - Examining the lives and works of great Southern writers and looking at how specific stories, music, and art are referenced and provide structure for literary forms such as the novel and the short story

Week Five: Roots Music - Exploring southern music and its roots in work chants, fife and drum, and one-strand on the wall musics

Week Six: The Blues - Focusing on this distinctive form of music, so intimately defined by sense of place, class, race, and tradition

Format

The class will consist of lecture and example videos, which are between 3 and 8 minutes in length. At the conclusion of each week, there will be a multiple choice quiz. Optional additional readings for each week will be available.

Suggested Reading

Although the lectures are designed to be self-contained, we recommend (but do not require) that students refer to the books:
Students may also access several of the original films from which course clips are taken on the FolkStreams website.

Course Workload

2-4 hours/week

Review course:

Please sign in to review this course.

Similar Courses


{{ course.name }} {{ course.name }}

{{ course.name}}

{{course.start_date | date:'MMM d'}} — {{ course.end_date | date:'MMM d'}}   ({{ course.time_until_course_starts }} ,   length: {{ course.length_in_weeks }} weeks) Self-paced — no deadlines    
${{ course.price }} p/mfree
TO-LEARN
TO-LEARN
ADDED!

REMOVE
FROM
LIST
ON PROFILE

Course Activity & Community

Be the first Accredible user to join this course!





uploaded {{ feed_item.model.caption || feed_item.model.url || feed_item.model.file_file_name }} for the course {{ feed_item.course.name }} — {{ feed_item.time_ago }}

{{ comment.user.name }} {{ comment.text | truncate: (comment.length || comment_display_length) }}   read more hide

{{ comment.time_ago }}

started the course {{ feed_item.course.name }} — {{ feed_item.time_ago }}
followed {{ feed_item.model.name }} — {{ feed_item.time_ago }}
followed thier friend {{ feed_item.model.name }} — {{ feed_item.time_ago }}
{{ feed_item.model.text }} (on the course {{ feed_item.course.name }}) — {{ feed_item.time_ago }}

{{ comment.user.name }} {{ comment.text | truncate: (comment.length || comment_display_length) }}   read more hide

{{ comment.time_ago }}