Photo by Marcie Cohen Ferris

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William R. 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 its Center for the Study of the American South. The former chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Ferris has written or edited 12 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.

Ten Things I Can’t Do Without

  1. My wife Marcie and my daughter Virginia
  2. My daily phone call with  my mother Shelby Ferris
  3. Breakfast and the New York Times
  4. Our dog Roper
  5. Listening to the blues
  6. Photographing the world around me
  7. Watching birds feed
  8. Swimming and working out at the Wellness Center
  9. Visits with friends old and new
  10. Trips to the farm where I grew up in Mississippi