Selina Morales, Associate Director, Philadelphia Folklore Project, Philadelphia, PA (2010-present).
Education and Accomplishments: ABD, Folklore (concentration in Public Folklore), Indiana University, Bloomington; MA, Folklore, IU (2009); BA, Anthropology, Oberlin College (2003). Work experience: Traditional Arts Indiana (2006-2010); Teaching Folklore (Intro to Folklore, Folklore in the United States, and guest lectures at IU and UPenn on Foodways, Traditional Healing, Philadelphia-based Folk Arts and Latino Folklore, 2010-present). Service to AFS: Member (since 2003); Committee on Cultural Diversity (2012-present); PACT member (2010-present). Selected Honors: Archie Green Student Travel Award, AFS Public Programs Section (2010); Gerald Davis Award, AFS (2009); Mellon-Mays Fellow (2002-present); Thomas J. Watson Fellow (2004); and various grants to support fieldwork projects.
Statement: Major challenges facing the Society today include increasing the ethnic diversity of our membership and supporting leadership succession in the field. I have dedicated my services to the AFS in these areas and as a member of the Nominating Committee, I will concentrate on finding opportunities within these challenges.
As I prepare to become the next director of the Philadelphia Folklore Project, I have spoken with a wide range of folklorists about pressing succession issues. I am actively involved in the Preserving America’s Cultural Treasures group and have taken a leadership role in activities to support leadership growth and succession planning in public folklore. Since 2011, I have developed panels and workshops about leadership and succession, each attended by over 50 AFS members. Working alongside academic, public, covert, retiring and student folklorists, I see we have much to gain from one another. Partnerships are essential for nurturing the transitions that are ahead.
People of diverse ethnic backgrounds bring dynamism to our work in all sectors. As an appointed member of the Committee on Cultural Diversity my primary task is to research and strategize ways to increase ethnic diversity in the Society. I sit on the Gerald L. Davis Fund Travel Grant committee, which allows me to learn more about persons of color who want to attend our annual meeting. As a member of the Nominating Committee, I will be dedicated to bringing a slate of candidates with diverse experiences who are committed to supporting the continued growth of our field.