|Independent Folklorists Section|
Independent folklorists provide professional consulting services ranging fromfieldwork to strategic planning and are increasingly important to arts, cultural, educational, academic, and tourism organizations.
To see some of the varied work our members do, visit the Roster of Independent Folklorists who Maintain Private Consulting Practices.
Left: Georgia Wier has documented the Dutch Hop polka tradition practiced by Germans from Russia in CO, WY, and NE. Members of a church in Torrington, WY, prepare cabbage burgers before their annual Dutch Hop dance. Photo courtesy Wyoming Folklife Collection and Wyoming Arts Council.
Right: Mark Apsassin and Tommy Attachie document oral histories in northern BC, Canada, for their 2007 "Dane Wajich" virtual exhibition. The collaborative multimedia project was co-curated and facilitated by independent folklorist Amber Ridington and media anthropologist Kate Hennessy. Photo courtesy of the Doig River First Nation, Catalog #DZVMCKHDP-7-06-05-E008.
HistorySince 1985, independent folklorists have been presenting panels and forums on contract folklore work at AFS meetings. In 1998 independent folklorists began to meet annually as an interest group of the AFS Public Programs Section. It soon became clear that the field of independent consulting folklorists was growing, and that independent folklorists' issues and concerns are particular to self-employed contractors and small businesses.For this reason, at the 2000 AFS meeting in Columbus, Ohio, the interest group sought section status. The first official meeting of the Independent Folklorists’ Section was held at the 2001 AFS meeting in Anchorage, Alaska.
Since its official launch in 2001, the Section has sponsored organized panels and paper sessions on aspects of independent folklore at the annual AFS meetings as well as at state and regional folklore meetings. In addition to this, the Section sponsors professional development workshops on special interest topics and the business aspects of contract folklore for current and prospective independent folklorists.
You must already be a member of AFS, or be registered (for free) as a "Web Only" or "Section Only" member, in order to join the section. If you have already registered, click here to join the Independent Folklorists' Section.
For more information visit the AFS FAQ page.
The AFS Independent Folklorists’ Section provides a professional cohort to independent folklorists. Access to these support services is reserved for section members.
Members must "sign in" to the AFS website using their AFS username and password, then go to the Independent Folklorists' group home page, which is the central hub for accessing all our member services.
Need help signing in and accessing our member benefits?
Find a navigation guide and watch video tutorials on our open access Help Page.
Indi-Folk Discussion Forum
We host a members-only discussion group, the Indi-Folk Discussion Forum, for networking, discussing issues and concerns of mutual interest, and posting information about upcoming jobs and contracts.
The Section also maintains a growing resource archive which includes a series of web pages devoted to topics such as funding sources, grant writing tips, and dialogue facilitation.
Position Statement on Compensation for Self-Employed Folklorists
Expertise as well as expectations and remuneration for independent folklorists vary greatly. As such, independent folklorists have a vested interest in discipline-wide discussions about standards and practices in work, pay and fieldwork ethics. The Independent Folklorists’ Section takes an active role in these discussions within AFS as well as with state and federal agencies. See the AFS position statement on Compensation for Self-Employed Folklorists.
Travel Stipend for Independent Folklorists
The AFS Public Programs Section has generously established a stipend of $500.00 to facilitate travel to the annual AFS meeting for a member of the AFS Independent Folklorists' Section. The call for applications is announced annually in January. Members can click here for application details.
2011-2013 Senior Co-Convener: Sue Eleuterio
2012-2014 Junior Co-Convener: Andrea Graham
Amber Ridington 2010-2012
Dyann Arthur 2009-2011
Georgia Weir 2008-2010
Karen Miller 2007-2009
Sue Eleuterio 2006-2008
Click here to join this American Folklore Society interest-group section. Click here to pay section dues.
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