Courses Offered by William R. Ferris
Folklore 560: Southern Literature and the Oral Tradition (Syllabus)
This course focuses on Southern writers and explores how they use oral traditions in their work. We will discuss the nature of oral tradition and how its study can provide a methodology for understanding Southern literature. We will consider how specific folklore genres such as folktales, sermons, and music are used by Southern writers, and we will discuss how such genres provide structure for literary forms such as the novel and the short story.
History 571/Folklore 571: Southern Music (Syllabus)
This course explores the music of the American South and considers how this music serves as a window on the region’s history and culture. We will first consider the South and how the region’s distinctive sense of place defines music in each generation. From the Mississippi Delta to Harlan County, Kentucky, from small farms to urban neighborhoods, from the region itself to more distant worlds of the Southern diaspora, Southern music chronicles places and the people who live within them.