Alex Sayf Cummings is a historian of law, media, and political culture. His Democracy of Sound: Music Piracy and the Remaking of American Copyright in the Twentieth Century is forthcoming from Oxford University Press, and he has published essays in Salon, Journal of American History, and American Baptist Quarterly, among other publications. He is also a co-editor of the academic blog "Tropics of Meta."
William R. Ferris is the Joel R. Williamson Eminent Professor of History, Senior Associate Director of the Center for the Study of the American South, and Adjunct Professor of Folklore at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A former chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities, he has made numerous documentary films and has authored over 100 publications in the fields of folklore, history, literature, and photography. He has published most recently a book of interviews with Delta blues greats, Give My Poor Heart Ease (UNC Press, 2009), and his book of interviews with southern artists, The Storied South: Conversations with Writers and Artists, is forthcoming from UNC Press in 2013.
Thomas Hackett is a writer, filmmaker, and PhD candidate at the University of Texas. He has written for the New Yorker, New York Times Magazine, and Rolling Stone, and is the author of Slaphappy (Ecco/HarperCollins 2006). He wrote and directed the award-winning independent feature film Big Boy and is presently completing his second film, Chloe & Claire at Sixes & Sevens.
Michael McFee teaches poetry writing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has published ten collections of poetry (most recently That Was Oasis), a collection of essays (The Napkin Manuscripts), and three anthologies, including The Language They Speak Is Things to Eat: Poems by Fifteen Contemporary North Carolina Poets.
Ali Colleen Neff, a PhD candidate in Communication Studies at UNC, is committed to documenting, amplifying, and celebrating the musical creativity of young people throughout the Black Atlantic. Her work in Mississippi and Senegal is manifest in her book, Let the World Listen Right: The Mississippi Delta Hip-Hop Story, and her website, www.ethnolyrical.org.
Christian O'Connell earned a PhD in History at the University of Gloucestershire, where he is now lecturer in American History. His dissertation, The British 'Bluesman': Paul Oliver and the Nature of Transatlantic Blues Scholarship, examines the contribution of the most prolific and influential blues scholar to romanticized representations of the music in the postwar era.
Aaron Smithers is a folklorist living in Carrboro, NC. A long time organizer of the International Accordion Festival in San Antonio, TX, he currently works as assistant to the curator at UNC's Southern Folklife Collection and as an instructor of audio documentary at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University.
John Troutman received his PhD from the University of Texas at Austin. He writes about music, teaches history at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and plays steel guitar in a Swamp Pop outfit called "Lil' Band O' Gold."
Gretchen Wood is finishing her MA in Southern Studies at the University of Mississippi. During her twenty-year hiatus from higher education, she worked in the music business in various capacities involving sales, as well as broadcast and print journalism. Currently, she is editing her thesis film, Chinese Whispers: Southern Roots in Australia's Swampy Sound, which depicts country and blues influences on early Australian punk. [End Page 118]