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Steve Zeitlin
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Steve Zeitlin is founder and director of City Lore in New York City.

Education and Accomplishments: Steve Zeitlin received his PhD in folklore from the University of Pennsylvania, and an MA in literature from Bucknell University. He is the founding director of City Lore, an organization dedicated to the preservation of cultural heritage. In 2007, he received the Benjamin Botkin Award from the American Folklore Society for lifetime achievement in public folklore. He has written a number of books on topics ranging from family folklore to Jewish stories and children at play. He has coproduced and/or codirected ten documentaries on American folk culture. His latest book, The Poetry of Everyday Life, is forthcoming from Cornell University Press in 2015.

Question: What is the greatest challenge or opportunity facing the field of folklore studies and how, as a Nominating Committee member, would you respond to it?

Response: I agreed to run for the AFS Nominating Committee because it offers me the opportunity to identify candidates who I believe can move the Society forward. As a previous member of the AFS board, I have – and will continue to – advocate for a more progressive Society. Although I care too much about the Society and the discipline to boycott the meetings over the unionization issue, I believe that the Society should take more progressive, public stands on this and other issues of the day. I will seek to identify candidates who would like to see the Society take public positions on contemporary issues about which our discipline can offer a distinct perspective. These include the wars in the Middle East, racism, and immigration. I will also seek to identify candidates who will ensure diversity on the board. I believe that the two issues are related, and that by taking more progressive stances the Society can attract more people of color and diversify the Society and the board. 




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