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The American South: Its Stories, Music, and Art

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill via Coursera


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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.


  • 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.
  • Oral Tradition
    • Considering the content and form of the stories, toasts, dozens, auctions and religious sermons and what they reveal about Southern Culture.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Roots Music
    • Exploring Southern music and its roots in work chants, fife and drum, and one-strand on the wall music.
  • The Blues
    • Focusing on this distinctive form of music, so intimately defined by sense of place, class, race, and tradition.

Taught by

William Ferris


4.0 rating, based on 7 Class Central reviews

4.5 rating at Coursera based on 401 ratings

Start your review of The American South: Its Stories, Music, and Art

  • Les Dangerfield
    I have so far found this course very weak. I learn little from it and the delivery is slow, ponerous and monotonous, being given by the same person (so far) throughout in a talking head format. This is a subject which interests me a lot but I am afraid I am struggling to maintain my interest in doing the course.
  • E Marie
    This course provided some background on the culture of the south, which was very interesting. In taking this course, I now want to learn more and listen to southern music with new ears!! Also, the instructor was pretty good!!
  • Anonymous
    I love this course. I want to thank Professor Ferris and Coursera ao muxh.. It's a delightful compilation of Southern folk art. Charming.
    Thank you!!!
  • Aana
  • Mark Quakenbush
  • Annamaria Marinelli

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