Guha Shankar (Ph.D., UT-Austin) is Folklife Specialist in the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress. He serves as project coordinator of Ancestral Voices, a collaborative curatorial initiative with indigenous communities and co-directs the national Civil Rights History Project. He has decades of practical experience in media production, cultural heritage management, and event programming. Shankar also teaches documentary field methods in university and community settings, writes for a range of publications, and provides research and reference assistance to a variety of patrons. His research interests include diasporic community formations in the Caribbean, ethnographic media, visual representation, and performance studies. 

What is the future you wish for AFS and how as a member of the Nominating Committee would you work toward this future?

Thank you for the opportunity to be considered for service to the field as a candidate for the Nominating Committee of AFS. My response to the question, “What is the future you wish for AFS and how as a member of the Nominating Committee would you work toward this future?,” is as follows: I look forward to collaborating with other committee members and colleagues in the field to identify candidates for governance whose diverse perspectives, experiences and background will strengthen the Society’s stated commitment to “cultural equity, democratic process, and the defense of human rights.” The work is all the more urgent given the emergent challenges by citizen-activists to once-seemingly impenetrable, repressive social, political and economic structures, and the virulent reactions that aim to defeat those challenges and maintain the status quo, locally, nationally and globally. In this regard, the future is already at our doorstep. My view is that it is important and consequential for Society members, collectively and individually, to strategically and determinedly advocate for just and equitable policies and act in concert with and for the well-being of the communities with whom we are allied. Accordingly, I hope to continue the work of previous Nominating Committee members whose diligent and thoughtful efforts have yielded a wide and deep pool of talented, creative individuals who have served and continue to serve on a number of elected committees and help advance the aims and mission of AFS.