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Women's Section

The Women's Section was convened more than 25 years ago as folklorists (primarily women) felt the need to meet other feminists, and to address the lack of serious study of women's issues in the field of folklore. Thanks to the work of these first section members, and those that have followed, feminist contributions to the study of folklore are no longer rare nor overlooked. With more than 200 section members, the Women's Section is a substantial force in the American Folklore Society.

See Bibiography: Essential Texts for Women's Folklore Studies, a wiki page built by members of this section.

Croning Rituals

In addition to providing a forum for the discussion of women’s issues, the Women’s Section also has sponsored periodic cronings of women members of the Society when they reach the age of 50, holding croning ceremonies every few years at Section meetings. The structure of these ceremonies has varied from time to time and involved elaborate costuming, ritual, joking, and singing. Thus, in addition to its other functions, the Section has provided a playful way of celebrating how women age and of celebrating senior women in the Society, while also making the point that folklorists recognize the great importance of coming-of-age rituals. The next croning is scheduled for 2016.

Elli Köngäs-Maranda Prize

Each year, the Women’s Section of the American Folklore Society awards two prizes in honor of pioneering scholar Elli Köngäs-Maranda. The prizes recognize superior work on women’s traditional, vernacular, or local culture and/or feminist theory and folklore. The content of the nominations must focus on some aspect of women's folklore.

EKM Student Prize

  • for an undergraduate or graduate student paper (up to 30 pages in length)
  • entrants must either be currently enrolled in a degree program as of the submission deadline or have been enrolled within the previous academic year
  • carries an award of $100
  • submission deadline October 1, 2015
  • may be submitted as either hard copy or (preferably) e-mail attachment

EKM Professional/Non-Student Prize

  • eligible work includes: publications, films, videos, exhibitions or exhibition catalogues, or sound recordings
  • materials should have been published/produced no more than two years prior to the submission deadline
  • carries an award of $250
  • submission deadline (postmarked) October 1, 2015
  • please submit three copies of books, videos, etc.

Submit materials for both prizes to:

Paulina Guerrero
Membership Director
American Folklore Society
Eigenmann Hall-Indiana University
1900 East 10th Street
Bloomington IN 47401
p. 812-856-2379 f. 812-856-2483

Awards will be announced at the annual meeting of the American Folklore Society. Prize recipients need not be members of the Society.

EKM PRIZE recipients for 2014:

Professional Prize:

Anika Wilson for her book Folklore, Gender, and AIDS in Malawi: No Secret Under the Sun

Honorable Mention: Pauline Greenhill and Diane Tye for their book Unsettling Assumptions: Tradition, Gender, Drag

Student Prize:

Christine E. Blythe for her paper "Women in Protest: Performing Traditional Culture in Untraditional Ways in Quidi Vidi Village, Newfoundland"

EKM Prize recipients for 2013:

 Professional Prize:

Laura J. Olson and Svetlana Adonyeva for their book The Worlds of Russian Village Women: Tradition, Transgression, Compromise

Honorable Mention: Suzanne Seriff for the exhibition "Empowering Women: Artisan Cooperatives that Transform Communities"

Student Prize:

Rachel Gonzalez for the paper "Quinceaneras as Ephemeral Autobiography: Narrating Latina Lived-Experiences in America's Heartland"

EKM Prize recipients for 2012:

Professional Prize:

Yvonne R. Lockwood for her book Finnish American Rag Rugs: Art, Tradition, and Ethnic Continuity

Student Prize:

Elizabeth Zaleski, The Ohio State University, for her paper "Other Writer's Mothers: Reflections on Representing Family"

EKM Prize recipients for 2011:

Professional Prize:

Kimberly Lau for her book Body Language: Sisters in Shape, Women’s Fitness, and Feminist Identity Politics

Deborah Kodish for her film "Eatala: A Life in Klezmer”

Student Prize:

Fredericka Schmadel, "Magalena Hagelena: The Worldview of a Camp Song"

EKM Prize recipients for 2010:

Professional Prize:

Diana Tye, for her book Baking as Biography: A Life Story in Recipes

Student Prize:

Brittany Warman, "Awake With New Dreams: Reconstructing Ideas of Sleeping and Waking in Feminist Retellings of the Fairy Tale 'Sleeping Beauty'"

Honorable Mention: Jennifer Orme, "Happily Ever After... According to our Tastes: Jeanette Winterson's Twelve Dancing Princesses and Queer Possibility"

EKM Prize recipients for 2009:

Professional Prize

Liz Locke, Theresa A. Vaughan, and Pauline Greenhill, for their book Encyclopedia of Women’s Folklore and Folklife

Ilana Rosen, for her book Sister in Sorrow: Life Histories of Female Holocaust Survivors from Hungary

Student Prize

Christy Williams, for "The Shoe Still Fits: Ever After and the Pursuit of a Feminist Cinderella"

Honorable mention: Puja Sahney, for "The Indian Married Women’s Festival of Karvachauth: Transgression and Empowerment"

EKM Prize recipients for 2008:

Professional Prize

Jacqueline Fulmer, for her book Folk Women and Indirection in Morrison, Ni Dhuibhne, Hurston, and Lavin

Honorable Mention: Pravina Shukla, for her book The Grace of Four Moons: Dress, Adornment, and the Art of the Body in Modern India

Honorable Mention: Kristin M. McAndrews, for her book Wrangling Women: Humor and Gender in the American West

Student Prize

Elo-Hanna Seljamaa, The Ohio State University, for her paper "He ‘Put Pennies in Her Palm’: Crossing Boundaries in an Estonian Infanticide Ballad”

Honorable Mention: Joanna B. Spanos, The Ohio State University, for her paper "’The Ballad of Susanna Cox’ and the Transformation of Community”

Honorable Mention: Sheetal Gandhi, UCLA, for her paper "Freedom versus Stability: Fantasies of Intimacy in North Indian Women’s Songs”

Women's Section QuiltWomen’s Section Quilt

This quilt was made to benefit the Elli Kongas-Maranda Prize, 1993 – 1995.

Members of the Women's Section made the blocks.

The quilt was designed and pieced by Laurel Horton and Jane Przybysz, and quilted by the Fairview United Methodist Church Quilters of Camden, Arkansas.

Women’s Section Contact Information:

Senior Convener: Kerry Kaleba

Junior Convener: Ruth Olson

Email Distribution List Administrator: Elizabeth Adams

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American Folklore SocietySister Society: SIEF
Eigenmann Hall, Indiana University, 1900 East Tenth Street, Bloomington IN 47406 USA
812/856-2379; fax: 812/856-2483;

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