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.
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.
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
EKM Professional/Non-Student Prize
Submit materials for both prizes to:
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:
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
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:
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"
Rachel Gonzalez for the paper "Quinceaneras as Ephemeral Autobiography: Narrating Latina Lived-Experiences in America's Heartland"
EKM Prize recipients for 2012:
Yvonne R. Lockwood for her book Finnish American Rag Rugs: Art, Tradition, and Ethnic Continuity
Elizabeth Zaleski, The Ohio State University, for her paper "Other Writer's Mothers: Reflections on Representing Family"
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”
Fredericka Schmadel, "Magalena Hagelena: The Worldview of a Camp Song"
EKM Prize recipients for 2010:
Diana Tye, for her book Baking as Biography: A Life Story in Recipes
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:
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
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:
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
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 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.
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