The AFS Executive Board recognizes extraordinary contributions in service that advance the visibility and success of the American Folklore Society or the field of folklore studies. The Board intends the award to foreground the critical importance to the health and sustenance of our field of those folklorists who, in addition to their personal accomplishments, make it possible for other folklorists to do their best work.The awardee is honored at the American Folklore Society annual meeting, and is given a certificate and a $500 honorarium.
The Board named this award for Judith McCulloh (1935-2014), a driving force for excellence and leadership in book and journal publishing in folklore, ethnomusicology, and music history, and the creator of and prime mover behind the “Folklore in Society” and “Music in American Life” book series for the University of Illinois Press. Additionally, she was AFS President in 1987 and an AFS Executive Board member twice; she was a key member of the board of the American Folklife Center for 18 years, and for five of those years was its president; and, along with her peers Archie Green and Joe Wilson, she was one of the foremost advocates for the field in the larger world.
To nominate a candidate for the award, please submit your nomination via the AFS prize application form by May 1.
The entire nomination package, including the cover letter, should be no longer than 25 pages. Supporting materials should include a summary of achievements, possibly including: positions held; publications and other productions; professional service; degrees; awards, grants, and honors; letters from colleagues; and other evidence that speaks to outstanding contributions to furthering the Society or the field of folklore studies.
Nominees not selected in the year of their original nomination are kept in consideration for two more years.
Past Judith McCulloh Award Recipients:
Marilyn White, Kean University, retired (2021)
Moira Marsh, Indiana University (2019)
Tom Davenport, Folkstreams (2018)
Timothy Lloyd, American Folklore Society, retired (2014)