West Virginia History, N.S. 4, No. 2, Fall 2010 Folklife, Vol. 14 of The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture. Edited by Glenn Hinson and William Ferris. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2009. Pp. 424.) Folklife, the fourteenth volume in the University of North Carolina Press's massive New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture project, is a remarkably comprehensive and detailed reference work, given the enormous range of subjects it has to cover. Those looking for a romanticized or nostalgic view of southern culture will have to look elsewhere, however: editors Glenn Hinson and William Ferris, both professors at UNC Chapel Hill, plainly state in their introduction that "Southernness . . . is a claim to imagined connectedness" that "invokes the past," although "this invocation itself is an act that unfolds in the present" (9). The work is as much if not more concerned about the economic, political, and commercial factors that have shaped and that continue to shape southern folklife as it is about the time-honored stability of those traditions. Essays such as the ones on Bluegrass, Country, and Gospel Music, in particular, could well rankle aficionados with their emphasis on the inventedness of such musical genres, and
West Virginia History: A Journal of Regional Studies – West Virginia University Press
Published: Oct 20, 2010
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