SABINA MAGLIOCCO, Professor of Anthropology, California State University, Northridge
PhD in Folklore, Indiana University, 1988. Honors and Awards: Fulbright Fellowships, 1986 and 1989; Hewlett Award, 1990; Chicago Folklore Prize, 1994; Guggenheim Fellowship, 1996; NEH, 2001; California Council for the Humanities Grant, 2001; Fellow, American Folklore Society, 2004. Publications: Witching Culture: Folklore and Neopaganism in America (2004); Neo-Pagan Sacred Art & Altars: Making Things Whole (2001); The Two Madonnas: the Politics of Festival in a Sardinian Community (1993; 2nd ed. 2005); Le due Marie di Bessude: festa e comunità in Sardegna (1995); editor, Ethnologies special issue on Wicca, 1998; "Oss Tales” film series (with John Bishop), 2007; over 40 articles and reviews. Editor, Western Folklore, 2005-2009; Book Reviews Editor, Journal of American Folklore, 1995-2000. Before coming to CSUN, I taught at a number of Folklore programs, including UC Berkeley, UCLA, and the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where I helped design and build the existing interdisciplinary Folklore Program. A member of AFS since 1981, my AFS service includes serving as Co-Convener of the Mediterranean Folklore Studies Section from 2009 to the present and from 1996-99; Treasurer and Newsletter Editor of the AFSMS from 1993-96; Co-Chair, AFS Program Committee, 1994; and organizing and chairing numerous panels. I frequently appear as a commentator on folklore on television, radio and the extra material in DVDs of popular films.
We folklorists are unique. We have a distinctive approach to human culture unmatched by any other discipline or arm of the public sector. In focusing on expressive and symbolic forms, we bring to the table an intuitive understanding of human groups and what makes them tick, and perhaps more importantly, a deep insight into the symbolic architecture of the human heart. As a member of the AFS Board, I would do my best to represent your interests in the plain-speaking, forthright and spirited style for which you have long known me. My first priority would be to ensure that our unique approach continues to have a place at the forefront of public dialogue. Folklorists have vital contributions to make in the areas of digital humanities, the legal protection of intangible cultural heritage and its relationship to copyright, the development of IRB protocols that protect the communities with which we work while still allowing us to study culture, and the place of folklore in the discourse of sustainability. I would also work towards greater outreach –to colleagues in other fields to make them aware of our work, to our international colleagues, and to the media. Public appetite for things folkloric seems insatiable: vampires, witches, festivals, rituals, foodways – all are depicted nightly on TV screens around the world. Folklorists need to be more involved in the production of these programs to raise their quality and educational value, and increase the public profile of our discipline.