The American Folklore Society would like to congratulate all the honorees and prize recipients named at the 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting on October 12–17. For more information on prizes and honors awarded by AFS and its sections, please click here.

American Folklore Society Honors:

The following individuals received AFS lifetime achievement prizes for 2020:

Jeff Todd Titon (Brown University, emeritus) received the American Folklore Society Lifetime Scholarly Achievement Award.

Marsha MacDowell (Michigan State University Museum) received the Benjamin A. Botkin Prize for lifetime achievement in public folklore.

Simon J. Bronner (University of Wisconsin) and Andrea Kitta (East Carolina University) each received the Chicago Folklore Prize, honoring the best book of folklore scholarship of the year. Bronner received it for The Practice of Folklore: Essays toward a Theory of Tradition and Kitta received it for The Kiss of Death: Contagion, Contamination, and Folklore.

Mario Montaño (Colorado College) received the Américo Paredes Prize for excellence in integrating scholarship and engagement with the people and communities one studies.

The following individuals were named to the Fellows of the American Folklore SocietyPauline Greenhill (University of Winnipeg), Valdimar Hafstein (University of Iceland), Pravina Shukla (Indiana University), and Juwen Zhang (Willamette University).

The following individuals were named Honorary International Fellows: An Deming (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences), Ursula BaumgardtSadhana Naithani (Jawaharlal Nehru University)

AFS Section Prizes and Awards:

The Children’s Folklore Section awarded the Peter and Iona Opie Prize to Brandon Barker (Indiana University) and Claiborne Rice (University of Louisiana) for their book, Folk Illusions: Children, Folklore, and Sciences of Perception. The section also awarded the W.W. Newell Prize to Fionnán Mac Gabhann (Indiana University) for the best student paper on children’s folklore.

The Folk Belief and Religious Folklife Section awarded the Don Yoder Graduate Student Paper Prize in Religious Folklore, Folk Belief, and Religious Folklife to Alevtina Solovyona (University of Tartu) for a paper titled, “A Miracle Walking Tree’: the Supernatural in the Landscape Mythology and Social Space of Contemporary Mongolia.” The section also awarded the William A. Wilson Undergraduate Student Paper Prize in Religious Folklore, Folk Belief, and Religious Folklife to Magdalyn Knopp (Memorial University of Newfoundland) for a paper titled, “‘It was the Ghost!’: Living with the Supernatural on St. John’s Most Haunted Street.”

The Folklore and Science Section awarded their annual Section prize to Tim Frandy (Western Kentucky University) for his paper, “‘Mas amas diehtá maid oarri borrá?’: Contesting Sustainability in Sápmi.”

The Foodways Section awarded its 2020 Sue Samuelson Travel Award for Foodways Scholarship to Ema Kibirkstis (Memorial University of Newfoundland) for her paper, “‘This is our wine, we’re going to drink it’: Exploring Newfoundland terroir through berry wines.”

The History and Folklore Section awarded its Wayland Hand Prize to Guy Beiner (Ben-Gurion University) for his book, Forgetful Remembrance: Social Forgetting and Vernacular Historiography of a Rebellion in Ulster. Honorable mention for the prize goes to Daniel Swan (University of Oklahoma) and Jim Cooley for their book, Wedding Clothes and the Osage Community: A Giving Heritage.

The Independent Folklorists’ Section has joined with the Public Programs Section to give a travel award to folklorists Nicole Macotsis (Tradition in Motion) and TJ Smith (Independent).

The Nordic-Baltic Section’s Barbro Klein Prize in Nordic and Baltic Folklore recognizes outstanding article-length student essays on a folklore topic having to do with Northern Europe and/or the diasporas. The 2020 Barbro Klein Prize goes to Amber Rose Cederström (University of Wisconsin, Madison) for her paper “Men and Milk-Witches on Gotland: A Folkloristic Perspective on an Art Historical Motif.”

The  Transnational Asia-Pacific Section awards the Saboohi I. Khan Award to Wei Liu (The Ohio State University) for a paper titled “Network Building and Community Formation Through Private Letters.”

The Women’s Section awarded the Polly Stewart travel stipend to Elena Emma Sottilotta (University of Cambridge).

The Women’s Section named the 2020 Elli Köngäs-Maranda Prizes:  

  • Zahra Abedinezhadmehrabadi won the Student Prize for “’I Choose the Styles Which Are Both Traditional and Artistic’: Iranian Women’s Ways of Dress,” a chapter of her MA thesis at Western Kentucky University.
  • The co-recipients of the Professional Prize were Emilia Nielson, Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Science at York University, Toronto, Ontario, for her book Disrupting Breast Cancer Narratives: Stories of Rage and Repair, and Rachel González-Martin, Associate Professor in the Department of Mexican American and Latino/a Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, for her book Quinceañera Style: Social Belonging and Latinx Consumer Identities. 

For details, see the full announcement.