The University of North Carolina Press has formed the Marcie Cohen Ferris and William R. Ferris imprint, which will focus on high-profile, general-interest books about the American South.
Ferris & Ferris Books will be supported by a multi-million-dollar endowment, and the press's inaugural title, Grace Elizabeth Hale's Cool Town: How Athens, Georgia, Launched Alternative Music and Changed American Culture, will be released in March 2020. The imprint plans to publish two to three books annually.
"The American South is the ideal canvas on which to create a better understanding of our nation and the world," said John Sherer, Sprangler Family Director at UNC Press. "These funds allow us to commission, acquire, and market books by the nation's leading authors who share that vision but who require the type of financial support normally out of reach for a university press."
Three additional books are also under contract: a reference history of the South edited by Pulitzer Prize finalist W. Fitzhugh Brundage; an exploration of barbecue in African-American history and culture written by Adrian Miller; and Karen L. Cox's look at the history of Confederate monuments in the South as well as the battles to remove them.
Bill Ferris and Marcie Cohen Ferris, the namesakes of the new imprint, both have longstanding connections with UNC. Marcie Cohen Ferris is professor emerita of American studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, while Bill Ferris is professor emeritus of history.