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AFS Review: Notes

Caitlin Rimmer Receives 2018 Joseph Goodwin Student Paper Prize

Friday, December 14, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Evangeline Mee
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The members of the 2018 Joseph Goodwin Queer Folkloristics Student Paper Prize committee were very pleased to receive seven fascinating submissions from members of AFS, for the first annual prize to be awarded by the LGBTQIA+ section of the Society in honor of the founding convener and folk hero, Joe Goodwin. The papers were diverse in their subject matter and equally varied in their theoretical approaches. Each of the papers demonstrated its author’s commitment to pursuing important scholarship on genders and sexualities viewed through a folkloric lens, and it was the committee's privilege to read them all.

It was not easy for the committee to select the winning paper: “There's Nowt So Queer as Folk(lore)” by Caitlin Rimmer. This paper was chosen because it has identified key parallels between queer theory and folkloristics and highlighted the potential for the great work that can come from interdisciplinary projects between these two fields. The author provides examples of areas where folklorists can weigh in on topics currently addressed in queer theory discourse such as identity politics, gendered performance, and the transmission of culture in interstitial spaces as well as what folklorists can learn from queer theory in an effort to better engage with queer topics in folklore research. The section commends the author on their valuable contribution to the ongoing conversation of queer folkloristics.

Committee members want to thank all of those who gave us the opportunity to read their intriguing and thought-provoking work. The Goodwin Prize was created to encourage more and better student engagement with queer topics and theory in folklore studies, and we are reminded that there remain few if any formal courses in the topic at the university level and not enough professors prepared to mentor younger scholars and practitioners. The section hopes that this prize – today, and in future years – can help to bring attention to the work of folklorists early in their careers, and can inspire others to join them in exploring the intersection of queer theory and folkloristics. Congratulations, once again, to the winner, Caitlin Rimmer.



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