Each year, the AFS Committee on Cultural Diversity, Chicana/Chicano Section, and Folklore Latino, Latinoamericano, y Caribeño Section join with the AFS Executive Board to give this prize of $500, which recognizes excellence in integrating scholarship and engagement with the people and communities one studies, or in teaching and encouraging scholars and practitioners to work in their own cultures or communities.
Américo Paredes (1915–1999), a leading scholar in folklore and Greater Mexico studies, worked relentlessly throughout his life, in the words of Olga Najera-Ramirez, “to better understand, represent, and respect the rights, lives, and culture of US Latinas and Latinos.”
Paredes contributed significantly to the formation of various intellectual trends and in particular to the scholarship on “native” folklorists and anthropologists; indeed, he trained several generations of “natives.” Don Américo taught at the University of Texas from 1957 until his retirement in 1984.
The Paredes Prize recognizes his contributions to the field and to the Society, gives respect to his memory, and recognizes exemplary achievements that build upon his cross-disciplinary, socially engaged legacy.
The prize may be awarded for many forms of accomplishment, including products such as a book, article, software package, or exhibit; or on the basis of the overall impact of engaged teaching and scholarship; or fostering work in one’s own community or culture.
The annual deadline for nominations is August 15. Please submit your nomination via the AFS prize application form.
Nominees not selected in the year of their original nomination are kept in consideration for two more reviews.
Past Américo Paredes Prize Recipients:
William A. Wilson, Brigham Young University, emeritus (2002)
Norma Cantú, University of Texas, San Antonio (2003)
C. Kurt Dewhurst and Marsha MacDowell, Michigan State University Museum (2004)
Enrique Lamadrid, University of New Mexico (2005)
The El Rio Project (2006)
Barre Toelken, Utah State University, emeritus (2007)
Barry Jean Ancelet, University of Louisiana, Lafayette (2008)
Debora Kodish, Philadelphia Folklore Project (2009)
Dan Sheehy, Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, Smithsonian Institution (2010)
Olga Nájera-Ramírez, University of California, Santa Cruz (2011)
Olivia Cadaval, Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, Smithsonian Institution (2012)
Jim Griffith, University of Arizona, emeritus (2013)
Maria Herrera-Sobek, University of California, Santa Barbara (2014)
Charles Briggs, University of California, Berkeley (2015)
Susan Kalčik, Johnstown, Pennsylvania (2016)
José Limon, University of Notre Dame, emeritus (2017)
Maribel Alvarez, University of Arizona (2018)
Claire Schmidt, Missouri Valley College (2019)
Mario Montaño, Colorado College (2020)
Diana N’Diaye, Smithsonian Institution (2021)