American Folklore Society

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The American Folklore Society (AFS) is the 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[when?] is Kay Turner, independent scholar and public folklorist.[3]

At present[when?] almost half of its 2,200 members practice their work outside of higher education. In addition to professors, members include arts administrators, freelance researchers, librarians, museum curators, and others involved in the study and promotion of folklore and traditional culture.[citation needed]

History[edit]

AFS was founded in 1888 by William Wells Newell,[4] 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.[5] AFS is also an active member of the National Humanities Alliance (NHS).[6]

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

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 public folklorists and recognizes outstanding achievement 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.[7]
  • The Children's Folklore Section awards the annual W. W. Newell Prize, for the best student essay.[8]

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.[9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Bylaws". American Folklore Society. Retrieved May 25, 2013. 
  2. ^ "AFS to Move to Indiana University - American Folklore Society". www.afsnet.org. Retrieved 2016-07-26. 
  3. ^ "Executive Board - American Folklore Society". www.afsnet.org. Retrieved 2016-07-26. 
  4. ^ Bell, Michael J (Jun–Aug 1973). "William Wells Newell and the Foundation of American Folklore Scholarship". Journal of the Folklore Institute. 10 (1/2). JSTOR 3813877. 
  5. ^ "American Folklore Society". ACLS.org. Retrieved May 25, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Members List". National Humanities Alliance. May 25, 2013. 
  7. ^ "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. 
  8. ^ "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. 
  9. ^ "AFS Prizes", Retrieved 25 May 2013.

External links[edit]