American Folklore Society

The American Folklore Society (AFS) is the United States (US)-based professional association for folklorists, with members from the US, Canada, and around the world, which aims to encourage research, aid in disseminating that research, promote the responsible application of that research, publish various forms of publications, advocate for the continued study and teaching of folklore, etc.[1] The Society is based at Indiana University and has an annual meeting every October.[2] The Society's quarterly publication is the Journal of American Folklore. The current president is Marilyn White.[3]

American Folklore Society
TypeProfessional association
HeadquartersBloomington, Indiana
  • United States
Marilyn White
Key people
Jessica A. Turner
(Executive Director)

As of 2016, almost half of its 2,200 members practice their work outside higher education. In addition to professors, members include public folklorists, arts administrators, freelance researchers, librarians, museum curators, and others involved in the study and promotion of folklore and traditional culture.[4]

History edit

AFS was founded in 1888 by William Wells Newell,[5] who stood at the center of a diverse group of university-based scholars, museum anthropologists, and men and women of letters and affairs. In 1945, the society became a member of the American Council of Learned Societies.[6] AFS is also an active member of the National Humanities Alliance (NHS).[7]

Over the years, prominent members of the American Folklore Society known outside academic circles have included Marius Barbeau, Franz Boas, Ben Botkin, Jan Harold Brunvand, Linda Dégh, Ella Deloria, William Ferris, John Miles Foley, Joel Chandler Harris, Zora Neale Hurston, James P. Leary, Alan Lomax, John A. Lomax, Kay Turner, and Mark Twain. Past presidents have included Samuel Preston Bayard, Henry Glassie, Diane Goldstein, Dorothy Noyes, and Dell Hymes.

Past Presidents edit

Awards edit

AFS awards various prizes to honor outstanding work in the field of folklore, at the opening ceremony of the annual AFS meeting. These include the following:

  • The Zora Neale Hurston Prize is awarded annually and honors the best student work in the field of African American folklore.
  • The Américo Paredes Prize is awarded annually and honors excellence in integrating scholarship and engagement with local communities.
  • The Benjamin A. Botkin Prize is awarded annually to honor outstanding achievements by folklorists working in the field of public folklore.
  • The Chicago Folklore Prize is awarded annually and honors author(s) for the best scholarly monograph in folklore.

Other prizes are awarded annually, by different sections of the American Folklore Society.

  • The Women's Section, inaugurated in 1983, awards two prizes in the memory of anthropologist Elli Köngäs-Maranda.[8]
  • The Children's Folklore Section awards the annual W. W. Newell Prize, for the best student essay.[9] It also awards the Iona and Peter Opie Prize approximately every two years to the author of the best recently published scholarly book on children's folklore and annually awards the Aesop Prize and Aesop Accolades.[10]
  • The History and Folklore Section awards the biennial Wayland D. Hand Prize for an outstanding book that combines historical and folkloristic perspectives and the Richard Reuss Prize for students of folklore and history.[11]

Every other year (in alternating years), AFS awards the following prizes:

  • The American Folklore Society Lifetime Scholarly Achievement Award (even-numbered years) honors folklorists for outstanding accomplishments over a career of scholarship.
  • The Kenneth Goldstein Award for Lifetime Academic Leadership (odd-numbered years) honors those who have made contributions to supporting academic programs in folklore for outstanding achievement.[12]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Bylaws". American Folklore Society. Retrieved May 25, 2013.
  2. ^ "AFS to Move to Indiana University - American Folklore Society". Retrieved July 26, 2016.
  3. ^ "Executive Board - American Folklore Society". Retrieved February 6, 2022.
  4. ^ "American Folklore Society". Retrieved August 18, 2021.
  5. ^ Bell, Michael J (June–August 1973). "William Wells Newell and the Foundation of American Folklore Scholarship". Journal of the Folklore Institute. 10 (1/2): 7–21. doi:10.2307/3813877. JSTOR 3813877.
  6. ^ "American Folklore Society". Retrieved May 25, 2013.
  7. ^ "Members List". National Humanities Alliance. May 25, 2013. Archived from the original on July 4, 2013.
  8. ^ "Women's Section". American Folklore Society. Retrieved December 28, 2011. Each year, the Women's Section of the American Folklore Society awards two prizes in honor of pioneering scholar Elli Köngäs-Maranda.
  9. ^ "W.W. Newell Prize". American Folklore Society. Retrieved December 28, 2011. The Children's Folklore Section annually offers the W. W. Newell Prize, which includes a cash award, for the best student essay on a topic in children's folklore.
  10. ^ "Aesop Prize and Aesop Accolades". American Folklore Society. Retrieved February 17, 2017.
  11. ^ "History and Folklore Section: Wayland D. Hand Prize". American Folklore Society.
  12. ^ "AFS Prizes", Retrieved May 25, 2013.

External links edit