The American Folklore Society invites all inquiries from members of the media interested in the compelling and timely news and research emerging from the folklore community.
Folklorists study the traditional art, stories, knowledge, and practices of a people. We are active in all areas of our society, studying expressive culture in education, healthcare, poverty, and immigration. And folklorists are experts in a wide range of topics, including issues recently covered in the news such as fake news, cryptozoology, legends, holidays, internet memes, traditional and world music, the supernatural, and COVID-19.
Folklorists’ Insight on Hot News Topics
History: How Ghost Stories Became a Christmas Tradition in Victorian England
The Guardian: Why People Believe Covid Conspiracy Theories: Could Folklore Hold the Answer?
Smithsonian Magazine: A Q&A with the Smithsonian’s First Curator from the Lumbee Tribe
House Committee on Appropriations: The Effects of COVID-19 on Arts and Humanities Organizations
Atlanta Journal Constitution: Women potters of North Georgia step out of the long shadow cast by men
Slate: How the Stories We Tell About COVID Can Help—or Hinder—Vaccination Efforts
The Nation: Who Gets to Tell the Story of a Lost Music Culture?
Texas Public Radio: Hispanic? Chicano? Latinx? What’s In A Name?
Western Kentucky University Public Radio: What’s Fake News Got to Do With Folklore? WKU Professor Explores Connections in New Article
The Meiji at 150 Podcast: Episode 71 – Dr. Michael Dylan Foster (UC Davis) discusses yōkai, the supernatural spirits and monsters of Japan
Seven Days: Folklorist Stephen Wehmeyer Lectures on the Lives of Spirit Artists
The AFS Find an Expert database will connect you directly to experts according to subject area, geographic area, or subfield. If you need additional help finding a source for a story, email us with your query.
For general questions about folklore, you may also contact:
- Tom Mould, Chair Media and Public Outreach Committee: [email protected], (317) 940-8231
- Deb Shutika, Member Media and Public Outreach Committee: [email protected], (703) 216-9010
Resources for the Press
What is Folklore? The Answer at a Glance
About the American Folklore Society
Press Registration for the Annual Meeting: contact [email protected]
Folklorists in the News
- National Endowment for the Arts Announces 2023 NEA National Heritage FellowsNational Endowment for the Arts has announced their 2023 NEA National Heritage Fellows, recognizing their dedication and artistry contributions to the field.
- Folk Belief and Religious Folklife Section Awards William A. Wilson Prize to Joelle E. JacksonJoelle E. Jackson (Indiana University Bloomington) receives the 2022 William A. Wilson prize.
- CFP: The African American FolkloristThe African American Folklorist is accepting article submissions on an ongoing basis.
- Ebony L. Bailey’s Article for Special Issue of JAF Highlighted by University of Illinois Press for Black History MonthEbony L Bailey’s article, “(Re)Making the Folk: Black Representation and the Folk in Early American Folklore Studies” is featured by University of Illinois Press’ celebration of Black History Month by sharing their favorite Black history publications.
- Professor Jonathan H. X. Lee Provides Cultural Perspective on the Year of the Rabbit for NBC NewsAs many celebrate the Lunar New Year this weekend, Jonathan H. X. Lee, professor of Asian American studies at San Francisco State University, spoke with NBC News to explain traditional beliefs about the Lunar New Year and the Chinese zodiac. Lee, whose research focuses on folklore and religions, provided perspective as we head into the Year of the Rabbit, saying “There is a lot of possibility for prosperity and flourishing, and for peace, really. The rabbit is a very strong symbol for peace.”