Carrie Hertz (Curator of Textiles and Dress, Museum of International Folk Art) received the 2022 Elli Köngäs-Maranda Professional/Non-Student prize.
Each year, the Women’s Section of the American Folklore Society awards prizes in honor of pioneering scholar Elli Köngäs-Maranda. The prizes recognize superior work on women’s traditional, vernacular, or local culture and/or feminist theory and folklore. The content of the nominations must focus on some aspect of women’s folklore.
Dressing with Purpose: Belonging and Resistance in Scandinavia, edited by Carrie Hertz, is a collection of perceptive and wide-ranging essays on three interrelated dress traditions: Swedish folkdräkt, Norwegian bunad, and Sámi gákti over 200 years. In this lavishly illustrated survey of makers, collectors, wearers and occasions the authors confront a set of paradoxes regarding national costume: offering a powerful sense of identity on the one hand, costume provides the means for various kinds of exclusions on the other; constantly changing as all fashion must, it simultaneously generates structures of control and the policing of people’s sartorial choices. Indeed, as the editor and contributing author points out, contemporary costume in Scandinavia ultimately derives from sumptuary laws of the pre-nationalist era. Dedicated to Barbro Klein, the book features women as not only creators, curators, and wearers of national costume, but also foregrounds female scholars and women’s scholarship.
The Women’s Section was also pleased to announce the 2022 Elli Köngäs-Maranda Professional Prize honorable mention, Mary Magoulick (Professor, Georgia College). Her book The Goddess Myth in Contemporary Literature and Popular Culture: A Feminist Critique is a thorough survey of the ways traditional motifs related to goddesses have been portrayed in popular literature, film, and television. The book begins with a critical look at the roots of goddess culture and its inextricable connections with appropriation and misrepresentation before moving on to contemporary iterations. The literary works that are discussed are diverse both in terms of author ethnicity and in terms of literary genre and style; the book also looks at a varied selection of film and television shows. Firmly grounded in feminist theory, the book clearly demonstrates how goddess figures have been used to create both positive and negative images of women and present different understandings of gender roles.
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