Claiborne Rice Receives 2022 Folklore and Science Senior Prize

AFS News, Annual Meeting News, Prizes
headshot of Claiborne rice

Claiborne Rice (Associate Professor of English at University of Louisiana – Lafayette) received the 2022 Folklore and Science Senior Prize.

Folklore and Science Prizes, awarded by the Folklore and Science section, are awarded for presentation-length papers focusing on the boundaries, intersections, and interdisciplinary exchanges between folklore and science.

The Folklore & Science Section announced that Clai Rice (University of Louisiana) won the 2022 Senior Folklore & Science Prize for his study, “Fly away, Jack: Identifying a Folk Illusion in The Dictionary of American Regional English.” Rice’s paper highlights a perceptual illusion that scientists refer to as a change-blindness illusion emergent in performances of the children’s nursery rhyme/finger play form known in English as “Fly Away Jack, Fly Away Jim.” Clai presented his paper at the Folklore & Science Section Prize Winning Panel on Thursday (10/13, 01-03).

The F&S Prize committee notes that “Fly Away, Jack” describes an instance in which scientists are actually working like folklorists, in that scientists use analytical categories that can catch cultural phenomena that leaks through other classificatory systems, including the ones best known to folklorists. The paper shows how both realms of knowledge production can help shed light on the functions and meanings of specific traditional behaviors.

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