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AFS Review: News

AFS Is 130!!

Thursday, January 4, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Tim Lloyd
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Today, January 4, is the 130th birthday of the American Folklore Society. Happy birthday, AFS!!

As folklore historian Michael J. Bell details:

“[William Wells] Newell's most notable achievement was the foundation of the American Folklore Society. At his instigation, a proposal to establish a folklore society in America had been made in May of 1887. This invitation was repeated in a second letter issued in October of that same year. As a result of this second letter, the American Folklore Society was organized on January 4, 1888, at Cambridge, Massachusetts.”1

For more information on the history of our field in the US and of the AFS, please download our two main Centennial publications, 100 Years of American Folklore Studies: A Conceptual History (William Clements, ed., 1988) and Time and Temperature (Charles Camp, ed., 1989) at

January 4, as it happens, is also the 233rd birthday of Jakob Grimm, born in 1785. (His brother Wilhelm was born the following year.)


1 Bell, Michael J. William Wells Newell and the Foundation of American Folklore Scholarship. Journal of the Folklore Institute 10:1-2, (June-August, 1973), 10

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