AFS is Accepting Submissions for the Chicago Folklore Prize

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AFS is now accepting submissions for the Chicago Folklore Prize, which is awarded to the author(s) of the best book-length work of folklore scholarship for the year. The prize is the oldest international award recognizing excellence in folklore scholarship. The prize is offered jointly by the American Folklore Society and the University of Chicago.

Important Submission Information

Each year, we welcome nominations for the prize between January 1 and April 1. Submissions must be monographs (i.e., not edited volumes, and not reprints) published in the fifteen months prior to the April 1 deadline. All submissions are judged by a committee of folklore scholars representing different aspects of the field and who have a variety of specialties and interests, judge all submissions. The committee is asked to interpret “folklore” broadly; as a result, past winners have come from a range of disciplines, including folklore, anthropology, cultural studies, ethnomusicology, literary studies, cultural geography, sociology, and performance studies.

AFS accepts submissions of books in both hard-copy and electronic formats. Typically, submissions for the Chicago Folklore Prize come from publishers; authors who want their work to be considered for the prize should contact their publisher’s marketing department with the following details:

  • Publishers of books available in hard copy only should mail three copies (clothbound or paperback) to the AFS office (Chicago Folklore Prize, American Folklore Society, Classroom-Office Building, 800 E 3rd St, Bloomington IN 47405 USA).
  • Publishers of books available in electronic formats should email a PDF of the book, or download instructions, to [email protected].

In all cases, submissions must arrive at the AFS office or inbox no later than the annualApril 1 deadline. The publisher of a book available in hard copy that is selected as the Prize recipient must send AFS one additional hard copy upon request for our collection of Chicago Folklore Prize-receiving books.

The winner of the Prize receives a modest cash prize and a certificate, and is announced each year at the opening of the AFS annual meeting.

Please contact AFS Executive Director Jessica Turner at [email protected] with any questions.

History of the Prize

The Prize originated in 1904, not long after the International Folklore Association (IFA), which began life as the Chicago Folklore Society and was headquartered in that city, became defunct. Bill McNeil and Simon Bronner, who have researched the early institutional history of folklore studies in America, have found evidence indicating that at least a portion of the IFA’s remaining funds were used to endow the Chicago Folklore Prize. Until 2006, when co-administration duties were granted to AFS, the prize continued to be administered entirely by various units of the University of Chicago.  Unfortunately, we have not yet located comprehensive records of the prize’s recipients, and can find only a few citations for the period between 1904 and 1998. AFS would welcome any information its members might have that could help us fill in this information gap.

A list of previous winners (since 1998) of this significant award is available by clicking here

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