When students are interested and willing to work independently, the opportunity to delve more deeply into ethnographic practices is available. From the example of UNC's Bill Ferris and his colleagues at Center for the Study of the American South (CSAS), students have been introduced to oral histories, folklife archives, folklore professors and a wide variety of art and material culture that inform students' cultural understandings underlying the vernacular music of the American South. So far, the SOOTS class of 2016 followed their love of food to research, photograph and film four distinct stories of our local Southern Foodways. In 2017, students chose to respond artistically to Bill Ferris' photography from "The South in Color," as well as the Nasher Museum's exhibit "Southern Accent", which featured the work of Raleigh Charter's own Bill Thelen. Ultimately, the chance to explore is ready and waiting. Through these folklore projects we all have the ability to record conversations, to capture images and share our insights if we make a our phones act a bit "smarter." SOOTS simply encourages our students to see the extraordinary in the otherwise ordinary world if we are only a bit more aware of wonders surrounding us.
2017 Folklore Projects:
In 2017 SOOTS leaders researched art in the south following an exhibit of photography by Bill Ferris from his book The South in Color. They prepared presentations for Phoenix Feast at Raleigh Charter High School, which can be seen below.