|AFS Folklore and Public Policy Working Groups|
In 2008, the American Folklore Society’s Executive Board, in order to engage the field of folklore more fully in public policy arenas where the perspectives and work of folklorists can make significant contributions, began supporting small (ca. 6-member) working groups to carry out a project at the intersection of folklore studies with an appropriate area of public policy. Three such groups have been supported so far--the first worked on folklore and health policy issues, and the second on folklore's contribution to historic preservation policy; the third, just beginning its work, will focus on folklore and museum policy and practice.
Every two years, the Executive Board invites Society members to submit proposals to form the next in this series of working groups, which over 12-24 months will produce a series of related products designed to: 1) articulate the contributions that folklorists have made to the development, implementation, and evaluation of public policy in another area; and 2) highlight specific future applications of folklorists’ perspectives and work to that area of public policy.
When we say "public policy,” we mean decision-making initiatives engaged in by government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and community-based coalitions that result in regulations, laws, actions, and other efforts to address contemporary public issues. Folklorists have contributed to public policy in many ways—through problem identification, policy critique, research, consultation with local communities, needs analysis, strategy development, direction setting, advice, policy development and writing, evaluation, and information dissemination—in a variety of areas, including but not limited to intangible cultural heritage, cultural conservation, intellectual property, health, education, labor and employment, arts administration, the environment, rural and urban development, immigration, poverty, violence, language rights, and land rights.
Potential policy areas for this initiative might include ones of larger scale, such as immigration/refugee policy, food safety, sustainable agriculture, poverty, and climate change, or of smaller scope, such as diabetes, school violence, or obesity. AFS is happy to entertain proposals for work in all policy areas, but among our review considerations will be the appropriateness or "fit” of the proposed work and products to the scope of the public policy issues involved, the feasibility of the proposed work plan, and the ability of the group members (as evidenced by past accomplishments) to complete their work in a timely and effective manner.
We expect such working groups to produce the following four products:
To apply for this support, please submit an application of no more than five pages to AFS Executive Director Timothy Lloyd (firstname.lastname@example.org) by December 15, 2014.
Please submit your application in PDF format. It must:
The Executive Board will announce its funding decision in February 2015. The project we support can begin immediately after acceptance, and must be completed within 12-24 months.