Call for Applications: 2021 Stipend and Travel Award for Public Programs and Independents’ Sections

AFS News, Annual Meeting News, Calls for Submissions

The Independent Folklorists’ Section and the Public Programs Section of the American Folklore Society announce the availability of awards to present at the 2021 AFS meeting in Harrisburg, PA.

The award will support two applicants’ virtual presentations at $250.00 per award (membership costs and meeting registration) plus there is a supplementary award of $250.00 towards travel costs (transportation and/or lodging and/or per diem expenses) for a member of the AFS Independent Folklorists’ Section and the Public Programs Section to attend the annual meeting and present. Support for the award is provided by the Women’s Section and the Independent Folklorists’ Section.

The stipend will be awarded to a member of the Independent Folklorists’ Section and the Public Programs Section who is working on public programs issues and who plans to submit a proposal to the upcoming annual AFS meeting program committee.

The deadline for submission is via e-mail by midnight, June 1, 2021.

The awardee will be notified a month after the AFS presentation proposal deadline (July 1st ).The award is contingent on the applicant’s proposal being accepted for participation in the AFS meeting. The recipient will be announced to the Public Programs Section and Independents’ Section members after AFS proposal reviews are complete, usually by mid July.


Applicant criteria for the presentation (virtual or in-person) award:

  • Paid membership in the AFS Independent Folklorists’ Section and the Public Programs Section, but not necessarily an AFS member.
  • Be a member who earns a significant portion of income from independent consulting work or as an independent scholar.
  • Not have received either of the two Independent Travel Awards in the past two years.
  • Be willing to serve on the selection committee the year following receipt of the award.
  • If you are eligible, you may apply for both this award and the Independent Folklorists’ Travel Award, but you can receive only one award.

For those applicants applying for presentation and supplemental travel award:

  • Live at least 100 miles from the meeting location.
  • Plan to attend the annual AFS meeting for at least two full days as well as the business meetings of the Public Programs and the Independent Folklorists’ Sections (where recipient will be acknowledged and may be asked to briefly describe their participation).
  • Not have made the same presentation at a previous AFS meeting.

How To Apply

Please submit the following materials in an email attachment by midnight, June 1, 2021, to this year’s Selection Committee Chair, Christine Zinni at [email protected] and TJ Smith at [email protected]For all applicants applying for the $250.00 presentation award (virtual and/or in person presentations):

  • A letter of application (not to exceed three pages) with a narrative describing:
    • How you will participate in the annual American Folklore Society meeting (paper session, panel, forum, workshop, or other event);
    • Your work as an independent folklorist and your experience and interest in public folklore;
    • The approximate proportion of your income that is derived from independent consulting or academic work;
    • How you hope to benefit from participating in the conference and what contribution your presentation will make to the field.
  • Additionally, for applicants planning to attend the conference and applying for supplementary travel funds of $250.00 along with the $250.00 presentation award:
    • A Rough Budget Estimate: Please estimate the travel expenses you expect to incur (Include airfare or other transportation costs, lodging and meal expenses, and meeting registration fees). It is understood that the $250.00 award and supplementary $250 travel stipend may not cover all expenses for in person attendance.
    • The impact receiving the supplementary Independent Folklorists’ Travel Stipend will have on your ability to present at AFS 2021;
  • A current resume or CV.

Review Criteria

Applications are reviewed by the stipend selection committee, which is composed of a representative from the Independent Section, Public Programs Section and recent recipients of the award, according to the following criteria:

  • The quality and significance of the applicant’s work, as based on the narrative, abstract proposal and résumé.
  • The extent to which the applicant’s attendance at the conference will benefit both the applicant and the field, especially in the area of public folklore.
  • For attendance and in-person presentation applicants: The feasibility of the budget and the applicant’s demonstrated need of the stipend in order to attend the meeting.

The award recipient will be notified by July 1st of the committee’s decision. If you have questions about the Independent Folklorists’ Travel Stipend contact the Selection Committee Chair, Christine Zinni at [email protected].

The Independent Folklorists’ Section gratefully acknowledges support from the AFS Public Programs Section to facilitate participation in the annual meeting by an independent folklorist.

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