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Transnational Asia/Pacific Section

Since the establishment of AFS in 1888, articles and notes in the JAF and presentations and panels at the AFS annual meetings have been a component of the vitality of AFS. In the last three decades, as the societies in the eastern sphere of the Asian landmass have increasingly gained global prominence, interest in Asian and Asian-American folklore has increased tremendously not only among AFS members, but also in American society at large. Unfortunately, among the current 30 or so sections within AFS, there is presently no section that deals specifically with the region.

Acknowledging the great diversity of the folklore in the cultures of this part of Asia, we propose the establishment of the Transnational Asia/Pacific Section devoted to the study of folklore in East Asia, Southeast Asia, and related folklores in diaspora communities in the United States and other global communities. The areas of East Asia and South Asia are linked in many ways by history, culture, and economy to cultures within the designated region, as well as to cultures outside our area of focus, including India, and in more recent times, cultures in the West. It is expected that this initiative will create more specific interest groups or sections on other aspects of Asian folklore studies in order to meet the needs of the AFS and its members in a globalizing world.

The goals of the Transnational Asia/Pacific Section are to: 1) convene folklorists of Eastern Asia and relevant scholars in Asian-diaspora folklore for better communication and research; 2) hold regular panels or other events at the AFS annual meeting; 3) provide a support for increasing the public's knowledge of Eastern Asia and Asian-diaspora folklore through educational channels, and to promote mutual cultural understanding between and among peoples of the world; and 4) support AFS and facilitate its initiatives on the folklores of Eastern Asia and Asian-diaspora folklore studies.

The Section intends to: 1) Hold an annual meeting during the AFS annual conference; 2) hold panels or events at the AFS annual meeting; 3) maintain a listserv among the section members; 4) maintain a website as a platform for scholars and the public; 5) establish dialogues between the interested folklorists from Eastern Asia, the U.S., and other countries; 6) establish prizes for outstanding works in the field; 7) promote the publication of scholarly works.

Initially the Section will not have dues, but may collect small fees in the future to offset the material costs as deemed necessary by the Section committee. To become a member of the Section, interested parties are asked to send a request to Membership includes the right to vote on Section business and receive related information and access to the listserv.

The section is overseen by a pair of co-conveners who will serve two-year terms. The Section's committee will be composed of several members to assist the co-conveners. The co-conveners and the committee are voted into office by section members. 

Jonathan T. Yeh Award for Student Scholarship


Deadline Extended to June 15, 2015


The Transnational Asia/Pacific Section of the American Folklore Society is proud to present the Jonathan T. Yeh Award for Student Scholarship in Asian and Asian American Folklore.  The award aims to foster and promote graduate and undergraduate students in the early stages of their careers, encourage advanced scholarly research and publication on Asian and/or Asian American folklore subjects, and support AFS members who want to participate more actively in the Society.  The $500 prize winner will be announced at the 2015 annual meeting for the best student paper that contributes to Asian and/or Asian American folklore studies through research and analysis.  It is expected that the award recipient will present his/her paper at the AFS annual conference.


The co-conveners of the Transnational Asia/Pacific Section will form the committee, together with three additional members, including Dr. Nora Yeh who sponsors this award, to select the paper.  At the time of submission, the applicant must be a registered full-time graduate or undergraduate student.  He or she may be enrolled in any discipline in any U.S. academic institution.  The work must show compelling prospects for the publication of his or her scholarly work and demonstrate a dedication to research and/or teaching folklore studies.  All applications must include a one-page cover letter describing the applicant's background and current activities, indicating why the applicant deserves consideration for this award; a one-page CV; a 10-12 page research paper, double-spaced (approximately 2500 words); and one letter of recommendation from an academic institution or equivalent, sent under separate cover (e-mail attachments are acceptable).


Please send all materials via e-mail and in hard copy to:

Dr. Fariha Khan

Asian American Studies Program, University of Pennsylvania

166 McNeil Bldg., 3718 Locust Walk

Philadelphia, PA 19104 USA.


All completed applications must be received by June 15, 2015 and the winner will be announced on June 30, 2015.  The prize will be awarded at the AFS 2015 annual meeting.


To join this American Folklore Society interest-group section, please visit the AFS membership page of the web site, where you will find both a secure online and a printable, mail-in membership form.  You need not be a member of the American Folklore Society to join its sections.




Click here to join this American Folklore Society interest-group section.

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American Folklore Society
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