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2014 AFS Honor, Prize, and Award Recipients

The following individuals received AFS lifetime achievement prizes for 2014:

David A. McDonald, Indiana University, received the Chicago Folklore Prize, given to the best folklore book of the year, for MyVoice Is My Weapon: Music, Nationalism, and the Poetics of Palestinian Resistance (Duke University Press).

Julia Cox, University of Pennsylvania, received the Zora Neale Hurston Prize for the best student work in any medium on African American folklore for her paper “Sho Can’t Read My Mind: Hurston’s Literary Science and Code-Switching in Mules and Men.”

The Fellows of the American Folklore Society named five new members: John Lindow (University of California, Berkeley), Elizabeth Peterson (American Folklife Center), Leonard Norman Primiano (Cabrini College), Carol Silverman (University of Oregon), and Margaret Yocom (George Mason University).

Section Prizes

The Children’s Folklore Section awards the Aesop Prize and Aesop Accolades each year to English-language fiction and nonfiction books for children and young adults. The 2014 Aesop Prize went to Shiho S. Nunes for Chinese Fables: “The Dragon Slayer” and Other Timeless Tales of Wisdom.

The 2014 Aesop Accolades went to:

  • Jacqueline JulesNever Say a Mean Word Again: A Tale from Medieval Spain
  • Debbie LevyWe Shall Overcome: The Story of a Song
  • Donald MontileauxTasunka: A Lakota Horse Legend
  • Gita WolfGobble You Up!

The Folk Arts Section awards the Warren E. Roberts Prize for the best undergraduate or graduate student paper on any aspect of folk art or material culture. The 2014 prize was awarded to Meredith McGriff (Indiana University), “Aesthetics and Philosophy in the Development of the Michiana Pottery Tradition.”

The Folk Belief and Religious Folklife Section presented its 2014 William A. Wilson Undergraduate Student Paper Prize to Aniket De (Tufts University), “Siva and His Disguises.” The section also presented its 2014 Don Yoder Graduate Student Prize to Irina Stahl (Institute of Sociology Romanian Academy), “The Romanian Saints: Between Popular Devotion and Politics.”

The Folklore and Education Section awards the Dorothy Howard Prize to individuals and organizations whose work effectively encourages K–12 educators or students to use or study folklore and folkloristic approaches in all educational environments. The prize went to the Nebraska Folklife Network for the educational trunk and curriculum entitled “Home in the Heartland: Nebraska’s Sudanese Cultures.”

The Foodways Section awarded the 2014 Sue Samuelson Award for Foodways Scholarship to the best student paper on food and foodways. First place was awarded to Adrienne Rose Johnson (Stanford University), “Poisoning the Gingerbread Paradise: A Folkloric Interpretation of an American Domestic.” Second place went to Laura Sanchini (Memorial University),”‘I’ve been to Italy and they don’t do this’: Invented Tradition, Gendered Space and Immigrant Identity in Montreal Italian Foodways.”

The History and Folklore Section awarded the Wayland D. Hand Prize for Outstanding Book that Combines Historical and Folkloristic Perspectives to Burley: Kentucky Tobacco in a New Century by Ann K. Ferrell (University Press of Kentucky, 2013).

The New Directions in Folklore Section awards the Bill Ellis Prize to the best graduate student essay that combines research and analysis on folklore, broadly construed, and digital culture, popular culture, or new media. This year’s prize was presented to Afsane Rezaei (The Ohio State University), “When Superman Comes in a Turban: The ‘Thanks Rouhani’ Post-Election Joke Cycle in Iranian Social Media.” The essay will be published in New Directions in Folklore.

The Storytelling Section awarded the Dan Crowley Memorial Research Award for an outstanding student paper exploring the process of storytelling to Chelise Fox (East Tennessee State University), “Narrative Frame and Boundary: Language and Transport in Clare Murphy’s Love and Madness.”

The Transnational Asia/Pacific Section awards the Jonathan T.Y. Yeh Memorial Student Prize to the best undergraduate or graduate student paper that contributes to Asian or Asian American folklore studies through research and analysis. This year’s prize was awarded to Semontee Mitra (Pennsylvania State University), “Worship of the Goddess Durga: An Ethnographic Study of Hindu Religious Festivals in the United States.”

The Women’s Section has awarded its Elli Köngäs-Maranda Professional Prize for outstanding work on women’s traditional, vernacular, and local culture and/or work on feminist theory and folklore to Anika Wilson (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee), Folklore, Gender, and AIDS in Malawi: No Secret Under the Sun. Honorable mention went to Pauline Greenhill (University of Winnipeg) and Diane Tye (Memorial University), editors, Unsettling Assumptions: Tradition, Gender, Drag. The Elli Köngäs-Maranda Student Prize went to Christina E. Blythe, “Women in Protest: Performing Traditional Culture in Untraditional Ways in Quidi Vidi Village, Newfoundland.”