Maggie Kruesi, Folklorist, Librarian (Cataloger), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress, 2004-present
Education and Accomplishments: PhD and MA, Folklore and Folklife (1995), University of Pennsylvania; BA, English, Montana State University. Service to AFS: Editor, American Folklore Society Ethnographic Thesaurus (openfolklore.org/et/); Advisor, National Folklore Archives Initiative; co-convenor, AFS Folk Belief and Religious Folklife Section. Teaching experience: lecturer in Folklore, University of Pennsylvania (1986-2004) courses on urban folklore, ritual, migration and ethnicity, narrative, folk drama, folklore of Britain and Ireland, and fairytales. Professional service: Board member Philadelphia Folksong Society (1987-1988); Leatherback Trust (sea turtle conservation NGO) (2003-date) and other boards.
Statement: I am honored to be a candidate for the Executive Board of the American Folklore Society -- my core professional organization since I presented my first paper at AFS as a graduate student in 1982. Among the biggest challenges and opportunities facing the Society is taking advantage of changes in the information environment and discovering and sustaining new public and private support for arts and culture to develop the next generation of folklore activists and scholars. At the American Folklife Center I make collections of folklore and ethnomusicological research available through information systems that are undergoing rapid change, but that offer great promise for making many more people aware of the work of folklorists, as is evidenced by the development of AFS’s online resource: folklorecollections.org. Grant funding is crucial to these initiatives and has been a critical factor in my own career path as an archivist, librarian, and folklorist. As a member of the Executive Board, I will use my experience at the American Folklife Center to build on the giant steps AFS has already taken in supporting cultural diversity, fostering international communication, and providing a forum for outspoken commitment to ethics in the field -- in archiving, in archival preservation, and in fulfilling our obligations to source communities.