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2021 AFS Honor, Prize, and Award Recipients

The American Folklore Society congratulates all the honorees and prize recipients named in 2021. 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 awards for 2021:

  • Diana N’Diaye (Smithsonian Institution, Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage) received the Américo Paredes Prize for excellence in integrating scholarship and engagement with the people and communities one studies.
  • Varick A. Chittenden (Traditional Arts in Upstate New York) and Teresa Hollingsworth (South Arts) received the Benjamin A. Botkin Prize for lifetime achievement in public folklore.
  • Marilyn White (Kean University, retired) received the Judith McCulloh Award for Lifetime Service to the Field for extraordinary contributions in service that advance the visibility and success of the American Folklore Society or the field of folklore studies, making it possible for other folklorists to do their best work.

Other AFS honors went to:

  • Tom Mould received the Chicago Folklore Prize, honoring the best book of folklore scholarship of the year, for Overthrowing the Queen: Telling Stories of Welfare in America (2020).
  • Kyle Decoste (Columbia University) received the Zora Neale Hurston Prize given to a graduate or undergraduate student for the best work in any medium on African American folklore for his role as co-author in the collaborative book Can’t Be Faded: Twenty Years in the New Orleans Brass Band Game (2021).

Fellows of the American Folklore Society

The following individuals were named to the Fellows of the American Folklore Society

  • Michael Dylan Foster, University of California, Davis
  • Maggie Holtzberg, Massachusetts Cultural Council
  • Moira Marsh, Indiana University
  • Tom Mould, Butler University
  • Solimar Otero, Indiana University
  • Amy Skillman, Goucher College
  • Marilyn White, Kean University, emerita

The following individuals were named Honorary International Fellows: 

  • Marion Bowman, Open University, United Kingdom
  • Song Junhua, Sun Yat -sen (Zhongshan) University, China

AFS Section Prizes and Awards

The Archives and Libraries Section awarded the 2021 Polly Grimshaw Prize to Emily Bianchi, a PhD candidate in folklore at Indiana University.

The Children’s Folklore Section awarded the 2021 Aesop Prize to the writer and illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh for his book Feathered Serpent and the Five Suns

The Folk Belief and Religious Folklife Section awarded the 2021 Don Yoder Prize for the Best Graduate Student Paper in Folk Belief and Religious Folklife to the University of Maine PhD student Minglei “Hart” Zhang

The Folk Belief and Religious Folklife Section awarded Cade Williams, an A.B. candidate in Anthropology and Folklore and Mythology at Harvard College, the 2021 William A. Wilson Prize for the best undergraduate student paper in religious folklife and folk belief, for his paper “Christ of the Confederacy: A Case Study of Romantic Nationalism and Contradiction in Folk Religious Discourse.”

The Women’s Section named Naomie Barnes, Ojaswini Hooda, Noriko Tsunoda Reider, and Rachelle H. Saltzman as winners of the Elli Köngäs-Maranda Prizes for 2021. For details, see the full announcement.

The Women’s Section and Independent Folklorists’ Section gave their 2021 joint travel award to the independent folk arts consultant and researcher Cecelia Ottenweller.

The Transnational Asia/Pacific Section gave their 2021 Saboohi I. Khan Award to Isabel Bush for her paper “Viral Monsters for a Viral Era: Japan’s folkloric response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”