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Leonard Norman Primiano Graduate Student Travel Award

Sponsored by the Folk Belief and Religious Folklife Section of the American Folklore Society.

The Folk Belief and Religious Folklife Section of the American Folklore Society (AFS) awards travel stipends in honor of the late distinguished professor, folklorist, and religious studies scholar Leonard Norman Primiano (1957-2021). The award is given to a graduate student to deliver an AFS annual meeting conference presentation on vernacular Catholicism and to participate in the Society’s annual meeting in person. This prize is supported by a generous bequest of Leonard Norman Primiano and is restricted to the topic of vernacular Catholicism, broadly construed, as stipulated in his bequest.  Primiano defined vernacular religion as “religion as it is lived: as human beings encounter, understand, interpret, and practice it” (Primiano, 2022, Vernacular Religion, Collected Essays, p.6). He challenged scholars to take seriously the minutiae of how people live their religion in particular contexts, their interaction with material culture, their often-flexible attitude to and use of tradition, their frequently complex relationships and negotiations with institutional forms of religiosity, and above all their agency. 

The purpose of the prize is to stimulate new work in vernacular Catholicism. Applicants are encouraged to join AFS and must be members of the Folk Belief and Religious Folklife Section of AFS; annual Section dues are $10. Application is open to international and domestic graduate students, both MA/MS and PhD level. The award ranges from $500 up to $1500 for meeting registration, travel and hotel expenses, and will be released to the recipient after the annual meeting to assure participation. Two such graduate student travel awards may be given each year.

Application deadline: June 1, midnight.

The award is contingent on the applicant’s proposal being accepted for participation in the AFS meeting. The awardee will be notified after the AFS program committee completes the preliminary program, usually by the end of June.

A graduate student recipient may receive this award one time only.

To be considered for the award, applicants must submit the following:

  • A copy of the long and short abstracts that you will be submitting for AFS meeting evaluation/selection. 
  • A brief curriculum vitae, resume, or biography of your professional life.
  • A letter detailing your specific reasons for wanting to present on vernacular Catholicism at the AFS annual meeting AND the impact you expect the meeting will have on your work.
  • A letter/email from a faculty member of your academic department in support of your application.
  • Your budget for travel expenses and the amount requested.

Application materials should be submitted as Microsoft Word documents or pdf to the AFS prize application submission form. For any technical questions related to the submission, please send an email to AFS Executive Director Jessica Turner.

Confirmation of receipt for electronic submissions will be sent. One submission per person, please.

Please address any other questions to prize committee chair Margaret Kruesi, PhD, and include the Subject Line: “LNP Graduate Student Travel Award.”

Learn more about the Leonard Norman Primiano Fund

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