When the Center for the Study of Southern Culture joined with the University of North Carolina Press to publish the Encyclopedia of Southern Culture in 1989, a pioneering reference work was born. The first reference book to deal exclusively with an American regional culture, the encyclopedia has served as a model for many similar projects at the state and regional levels. In the years since the encyclopedia was published, globalization, economic transformations and other cultural shifts have profoundly changed the South.
The center and the press have collaborated again to publish the New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, a thoroughly revised and updated edition of the original reference that reflects these changes and the newest scholarship about the region. Jimmy Thomas, the center’s associate director for publications, is managing editor of the series, and Ann Abadie, associate director emerita of the center, is the associate editor.
This edition has been published in a series of 24 individual volumes, beginning with “Religion” in 2006 and concluding with the final two volumes, “Folk Art” and “Race,” published on May 21.
Each of the 24 volumes had one or two Volume Editors, scholars chosen because of his or her field of expertise. The series is composed of approximately 3,000 individual entries and had over 1,500 scholars contribute to the series.