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Public Programs Section

The Public Programs Section of the American Folklore Society provides a support and information network for individuals and organizations working in public folklore. It is the largest AFS section, and supports an active network of public agencies, independent non-profit organizations, and public folklorists working in many different ways to support traditional artists and communities and educate the public about folk culture. The section is also interested in education in public folklore and in maintaining an open dialogue with academic folklore programs on issues of mutual interest and concern.

The section holds an annual meeting during the AFS conference to conduct section business, to discuss issues of importance to public folklore, and to hear reports from national folklore programs. It also sponsors a lively fundraising auction to raise money for section award programs and advocacy efforts for the field.

Section-sponsored prizes and awards include the Benjamin A. Botkin Prize for excellence in public folklore, which is awarded by the Society and the section; the Archie Green Public Folklore Advocacy Award; and the Archie Green Student Travel Award.

The section publishes the annual Public Programs Bulletin, with reports from public folklore organizations and independent folklorists on their activities and programs, discussions of current issues, and a directory of section members.

Looking for a public folklorist? Please see The Folklore Commons for a directory of state and local public folklore organizations.

The section is overseen by two co-conveners who are chosen for three-year terms. In addition, several standing committees see to the work of the section during the year. These include a Program Committee for organizing section-sponsored sessions at the annual meeting; a Botkin Prize Committee for reviewing nominations and recommending an award recipient to the AFS Board; an Archie Green Student Travel Award Committee to select award recipients; and an Auction Committee, responsible for organizing the annual fundraising auction. In addition, temporary committees are occasionally appointed to act on short-term projects for the section.

Public Programs Section dues are $20 per year for individuals and $5 for students. Membership includes the right to vote on section business and to receive the Bulletin. AFS membership is not required for section membership.

For any information on the section, or questions about section activities or business, please contact the co-conveners Guha Shankar and Cliff Murphy.

The Public Programs Bulletin

Back issues of this Public Programs Section publication from 2001 through 2008 are now available online. We will add earlier issues in the coming months.

The Publore Listserv

Although not directly or officially connected with AFS, Publore is a valuable tool and communication link for the public folklore community. The Publore listserv was begun in November of 1996 by Claude Stephenson of New Mexico Arts, who still hosts the group. Issues of concern to public folklore, requests for information or assistance, job postings, announcements of events, exhibits and publications--all are available through Publore. The Publore Archive, which contains past Publore postings grouped by week, also includes instructions for joining the listserv.


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

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American Folklore Society
Mershon Center, The Ohio State University, 1501 Neil Avenue, Columbus OH 43201-2602 USA
614/292-4715; fax: 614/292-2199;

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