AFS awards the Zora Neale Hurston Prize to a graduate or undergraduate student for the best work in any medium—including but not limited to papers, films, sound recordings, or exhibitions—on African American folklore. This prize of $250 is named for the pioneering folklorist, ethnographer, and creative writer (1891-1960) who worked in and wrote extensively about African American communities throughout the southern U.S. She is internationally known for her folklore collection Mules and Men (1935) and her novel Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937), as well as other notable works.
Works submitted for prize consideration do not have to be about Hurston herself. One of the past prize-winning works was a graduate research paper that resulted in a thesis, another was a course paper written by a graduate student and later published as an article in the journal Southern Folklore, and the most recent was an ethnography project conducted by an undergraduate student for a senior seminar course.
Hurston’s life and work are profiled in Notable Folklorists of Color.
The next deadline for nominations is August 15. Submit your application using the AFS prize application form.
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