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Linda Pershing
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LINDA PERSHING, Professor of Women’s Studies, California State University, San Marcos

My research and teaching focus on the politics of culture and the ways in which marginalized groups have used folklore to resist repressive or oppressive social conditions. I earned my PhD from the Center for Folklore and Ethnomusicology/
Department of Anthropology, at the University of Texas, Austin (1990). My publications include Feminist Theory and the Study of Folklore, The Ribbon around the Pentagon: Peace by Piecemakers (an official publication of the AFS; both books recipients of the Köngäs-Miranda Prize), essays about Pinkster festivals, the yellow ribbon craze during the first Gulf War, a "scandalous” Sunbonnet Sue quilt, Lorena Bobbit jokes and narratives, deconstructing the Disney fairy tale movie Enchanted, and a 2010 essay in the Journal of American Folklore, "From Sorrow to Activism: A Father’s Memorial to His Son Alexander Arredondo, Killed in the US Occupation of Iraq.” I am an active member of the society and, particularly, of the Women’s Section. I have served as a faculty member in women’s studies departments (SUNY Albany and Calif. State University San Marcos) for the past twenty years, and much of my work centers on issues of gender, race, class, and sexual identity.

I look forward to the possibility of serving on the AFS Nominating Committee. As a member of the Committee, I would be especially interested in encouraging participation on the Board by a wider range of folklorists, including an increase in the number of Black/African American, Latina/o, Asian American, Native American, members who identify with other underrepresented groups, LGBTQ members, folklorists whose work focuses on social justice issues, and young folklorists. In order to be relevant to contemporary scholarship and praxis, it is essential that the interests and perspectives of those who have been underrepresented in the past have a central role in shaping the future of the society. I would work hard to identify folklorists who can add new points of view and a wider array of expertise to the AFS Board. I am also dedicated to the inclusion of young folklorists in the society. For the past decade, I have invited my undergraduate students to attend AFS annual meetings and co-present research projects that we were working on together. As a member of the AFS Nominating Committee, I would make a special effort to seek out nominations of young and upcoming folklorists.

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