AFS members enjoy a break from an Annual Meeting reception to say hello to the camera.

Four individuals pose for the camera in front of some banners at a professional conference.

The American Folklore Society is a membership organization dedicated to supporting the individuals and organizations engaged in the study and advancement of folklore and expressive cultural traditions throughout the world. AFS serves its members and the general public by providing programming, publications, policies, and resources examining and affirming the diversity of human creativity across time, heritages, and places.

Our mission and vision

Meet Our Leadership

The work of the American Folklore Society depends on the energy and vision of our members, with special appreciation for a dedicated band of volunteers who take on extra responsibilities. Our President and Executive Board are elected to provide oversight and direction, and to make critical governing decisions. Additionally, the Board is advised by committees and working groups whose members tackle a range of issues and provide informed perspectives for the Board to consider.

President and Executive Board

Committees and Working Groups


portraits of each board member


The American Folklore Society, founded in 1888 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and incorporated in Washington, DC, in 1978, is a non-profit organization. A 13-member Executive Board, headed by a President and (depending upon the year) either a President-Elect or a Past President, provides leadership for the organization and governs the Society on behalf of its community of members.


This year, we are electing members of the AFS Executive Board and Nominating Committee. Voting runs from mid-November through Dec 15, 2021.
Learn about the candidates


Be part of the premier professional society in the world devoted to folklore. As a member of the society, you’ll get connected to our community and receive numerous member benefits. Our members say they belong to AFS to express their professional identity, to build professional and personal relationships, and to keep abreast of new research in folklore studies.

Press Room

We invite all inquiries from members of the media seeking unique insights into compelling and timely news and folklore research. Search “Find an Expert” to locate knowledgeable folklorists around the country. Folklorists have recently commented on a wide range of topics, including fake news, conspiracy theories, legends, holidays, internet memes, traditional and world music, and the supernatural, as well as education, healthcare, poverty, and immigration.

If you have any questions about this site, about the American Folklore Society, or about the field of folklore studies, Contact Us