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Maribel Alvarez Receives 2018 AFS Américo Paredes Prize

Monday, November 12, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Rosalind V. Rini Larson
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The American Folklore Society (AFS) Executive Board, in conjunction with the Cultural Diversity Committee, the AFS Chicana/Chicano Section, and the AFS Folklore Latino, Latinoamericano, y Caribeño Section, awarded the 2018 Américo Paredes Prize to Dr. Maribel Alvarez, who is currently the Executive Director of the Southwest Folklife Alliance at the University of Arizona, during its recent Annual Meeting in Buffalo, NY. Dr. Alvarez is a folklore scholar with numerous publications, a committed and involved public intellectual, as well as a promoter of Chicana/o, Latino/a and other ethnic groups’ cultural expressions. She is highly engaged in promoting vernacular culture through numerous venues such as organizing festivals like Tucson Meet Yourself, organizing exhibitions, curating cultural artifacts, and writing prolifically. Dr. Alvarez is the recipient of numerous honors including the Endowed Jim Griffith Chair in Public Folklore. Her critical interventions on Latinx folkloristics are essential to our field. As the nominating letter writer wrote: “Dr. Alvarez is a visionary leader who bridges academic and community based interventions.”

Américo Paredes (1915–99), a leading scholar in folklore and Greater Mexico studies, worked relentlessly throughout his life, in the words of Olga Najera-Ramirez, "to better understand, represent, and respect the rights, lives, and culture of US Latinas and Latinos." Paredes contributed significantly to the formation of various intellectual trends and in particular to the scholarship on "native" folklorists and anthropologists; indeed, he trained several generations of "natives." Don Américo taught at the University of Texas from 1957 until his retirement in 1984. The Paredes Prize recognizes his contributions to the field and to the Society, gives respect to his memory, and recognizes exemplary achievements that build upon his cross-disciplinary, socially engaged legacy.

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