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New Directions in Folklore

In 1997, a small band of folklorists formed NewFolk@AFS, the online community dedicated to pushing the envelope of folklore scholarship, particularly in the exploration of contemporary culture. Over the years since it began, NewFolk@AFS grew, both in its membership and in its impact on the scholarly community. In 2000—the folk millennium—our members petitioned to create a formal section within the American Folklore Society, and in 2001 that petition was approved. Then in 2013, the section changed its name to the New Directions in Folklore Section.

So here we are coming to you from the AFS website to invite you to become a member of the section and read and contribute to New Directions in Folklore, one of the pioneers of online folklore scholarship.

New Directions in Folklore scholars are dedicated to innovative work around issues of emergent folklore in the modern world. Emergent folklore arises out of the need for new kinds of community or new strategies for maintaining and dealing with communities faced with change. Emergent folklore may make use of traditional genres—jokes, song, narrative, material culture or may create new genres. The materials, sources, or means of transmission such as electronic media are influenced by the issues and problem of “modernization,” which both includes and transcends popular culture. New Directions in Folklore questions the concept and role of tradition as a cultural and intellectual construction working with, as well as against, forces of modernity.

Here are some links where you can find out more about the New Directions in Folklore Section and our activities:

New Directions in Folklore, the section’s journal

The Bill Ellis Prize is awarded annually for the best graduate student essay that combines research and analysis on folklore, broadly construed, and digital culture, popular culture, or new media.

New Directions in Folklore leadership:

Journal Editor: Jared L. Schmidt

Review Editor: TBD

Convener: Annamarie O’Brien

Co-convener: Kaitlyn Kinney

Get Involved

Sign in to the AFS Member Portal to join the section and ensure you’re receiving section communications. All of your section involvement can be managed under My Info.

Click here to pay section dues ($5).


AFS Email: [email protected]

Email: newdirectionsinfolklore at gmail dot com

Twitter: @AFSNewFolklore

Slack: ndif.slack.com

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