Marcie Cohen Ferris is an associate professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of American Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Since 2008, Ferris has served as the department’s coordinator of Southern Studies. Ferris received her Ph.D. in American Studies from George Washington University (2003). Marcie Ferris’s research and teaching interests include the history of the Jewish South, food in American culture, American Jewish women’s history, and the foodways and material culture of the American South. In 2007, Ferris received the University of North Carolina’s Tanner Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Education. From 2006-2008, Ferris served as President of the Southern Foodways Alliance at the University of Mississippi Center for the Study of Southern Culture.
Marcie Ferris’s publications include Matzoh Ball Gumbo: Culinary Tales of the Jewish South (UNC Press, 2005), a study of Jewish history, foodways, and culture in the American South. Matzoh Ball Gumbo was nominated for the 2006 James Beard Foundation Award in the category of “Writings on Food,” and was also recognized by the International Association of Culinary Professionals with their 2006 Jane Grigson Award for distinguished scholarship in research and presentation. Ferris is co-editor of Jewish Roots in Southern Soil: A New History (University Press of New England, 2006), an anthology of contemporary scholarship on the Jewish South.
Marcie Ferris’s current work, The Edible South: Food and History in an American Region, is a social history of southern foodways -- the cultural, social and economic practices that relate to food in the American South. The Edible South documents both the mythic and the daily meaning of food in the lives of generations of southerners using rich archival collections on southern history and important publications on southern foodways. Ferris is also co-editing a related work on the foodways of North Carolina, a collection of essays by scholars, food writers, and journalists who examine the state’s history and culture through its distinctive regional foodways.
Marcie Ferris has published articles and chapters in numerous journals and anthologies, including Southern Crossroads: Perspectives on Religion and Culture, ed. Walter H. Conser Jr. and Rodger M. Payne (2008), Cornbread Nation 1, 2, 4, and 5: The Best of Southern Food Writing (2002, 2004, 2008, 2010), American Jewish Women: An Historical Reader from Colonial Times to the Present, ed. Pamela Nadell (2002), Shalom Y’all: Images of Southern Jewish Life in America, photographs by Bill Aron, edited by Vicki Reikes Fox with Bill Aron and Marcie Cohen Ferris (2002), Southern Jewish History (1998), and Southern Cultures (Fall 2004 and Fall 2009).