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American Folklore Society Staff


Jessica A. Turner, Executive Director, February 2018–present

A native of Chilhowie, Virginia, Turner was director of the Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Bristol, Tennessee/Virginia, from 2013 to 2018. During the two years before her time as Director, she helped secure the decisive funding for the museum, and led the curatorial team during its design and development phase. She received her PhD from Indiana University’s Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology in 2010 and her MA from the same department in 2002. Her MA thesis examined the community at the Carter Family Fold music center in southwest Virginia, and her PhD dissertation focused on ethnic minority performances and heritage tourism in Guangxi Province in southwestern China.

During her time with the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, Dr. Turner’s creativity and vision were instrumental in providing that institution with a firm foundation. She cultivated the Museum’s initiatives in collections and interpretation, directed the development of innovative educational programming, helped to create strong and fruitful partnerships with other institutions, and was a key advocate for the Museum’s work within its local community. During Dr. Turner's tenure, the Museum received awards for excellence in museum practice and programming from the Tennessee Association of Museums, the Southeastern Museums Conference, and the American Association for State and Local History.

Alongside her museum work, Dr. Turner developed, coordinated, and taught in the Cultural Heritage Studies and Public Arts program at Virginia Intermont College. She has lectured at universities in the US and China. She served AFS as the convener of its Transnational Asia Pacific Section from 2009 to 2012, and has participated in US-China collaborations sponsored by AFS, the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe, and the Smithsonian Folklife Festival.

Turner raises funds for and coordinates all of the Society's initiatives to benefit the field, and manages the work of the Society's Executive Board. She represents the AFS within the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Humanities Alliance, UNESCO, and the World Intellectual Property Organization.

Lorraine Walsh Cashman, Associate Director, April 2009–present

Cashman received her BA in English and anthropology magna cum laude from Brown University (1988). She received her MA in English with a minor in folklore from Indiana University (1996), concentrating on narrative and genre theory and the relationships between folklore and literature. She also earned an MIS in Information Science (2000) from Indiana University, focusing on computer-mediated communication and instructional technology. Cashman taught introductory writing and literature classes at Indiana University, and was a lecturer for The Ohio State University Department of English.

Before AFS, she served as multimedia editor of web-based curricular material for the Agency for Instructional Technology in Bloomington, Indiana, and managing editor of The Information Society, a quarterly journal publishing research in social informatics. Earlier, she was the editorial associate at the Center for Foreign Policy Development of the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University.


Cashman manages the Society's annual meeting, edits the website, and coordinates AFS sections.


Meredith McGriff, Membership Director, September 2016–present


McGriff received her BA in Japanese and BFA in ceramics magna cum laude from Ball State University (2007). She received her MA in folklore with a concentration in public practice (2014) and her PhD in folklore with a minor in art history (2016) from Indiana University. Her dissertation was based on ethnographic fieldwork with potters in northern Indiana and southern Michigan, and was focused on collaboration and community development in the arts. Her research interests include folk arts, occupational folklore, and embodied knowledge.

Before joining AFS, McGriff worked for a variety of academic, cultural, and arts organizations in and around the Bloomington area. As a graduate student in the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology, she taught introductory undergraduate folklore courses, and worked with the Indiana University Art Museum, the Mathers Museum of World Cultures, and Traditional Arts Indiana. She also has experience as a freelance graphic designer.

McGriff manages AFS financial and member-database information, serves as designer and production editor for the annual meeting program book and annual report, and assists in the planning and production of the annual meeting.


Timothy Lloyd, Senior Advisor for Partnerships, February 2018–present

Dr. Lloyd, who was the Society’s Executive Director from 2001 to 2018, also now serves as a Visiting Research Scholar at The Ohio State University’s Center for Folklore Studies and at Indiana University’s Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology. Before his time at the Society, Lloyd spent his career in folklore, intangible cultural heritage, and cultural heritage policy work for agencies of the US national government, including the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian Institution, and in similar posts in the state governments of Maryland and Ohio; he also directed Cityfolk, a nationally recognized folk arts nonprofit organization, in Dayton, Ohio.

Dr. Lloyd received his BA in literature and anthropology and his MA in design, both from The Ohio State University, and his PhD in American studies from The George Washington University. His research interests include cultural heritage policy, foodways, occupational culture, and the history of public practice in the field of folklore studies. He has published articles and reviews in the major American and Chinese folklore journals. He has also worked a professional percussionist for more than 40 years.

Dr. Lloyd has served as a board and committee member or consultant for many organizations and governmental agencies in the US and abroad. He lectures frequently in the US and has been a visiting professor at several Chinese universities. In 1998 he participated in a study tour for US museum leaders, sponsored by the French government, of local and regional ecomuseums throughout France, and in 2012 he served in a residency for the Fulbright Specialist Program at the Universities of Jyväskylä and Helsinki in Finland.

As Senior Advisor for Partnerships, he advises the Executive Director on the Society’s international and scholarly communications activities.


Alexandra Sanchez, Graduate Assistant, August 2019–present

Alexandra Sanchez is a first-year student in the Department of Folklore & Ethnomusicology at Indiana University. She graduated from Berry College, a small liberal arts college in Northwest Georgia, in May 2019 with a degree in anthropology with minors in French and art. She is the first of her family to graduate from college.

She also participated in the Leadership Alliance Mellon Initiative in Digital Humanities at the University of Virginia in the summer of 2018. Through this experience, she conducted her own case study examining how curators in two museums understood and dealt with fetishism in their work. She also worked as a research assistant at her undergraduate institution in which she examined how prevalent the usage of monster-concepts in encouraging good behavior among children is cross-culturally. She also worked as an intern in a small museum on Cherokee history in Rome, Georgia in which she worked on field-trip curriculum teaching Cherokee folktales to elementary-aged students among other tasks.

Her research interests include folk-narratives with supernatural elements, belief, Latin American folklore concerning the creation of folk beliefs due to the syncretism with special interest in Mexico and Brazil. She is also interested in public folklore, especially within the context of museums and the representation of cultures. Lastly, she is interested in ethnomedicine, how illness is understood and experienced, gender, and personhood.

Sanchez keeps the Society’s calendar, news, and career centers current, and assists senior staff on a variety of projects.


Rosalind V. Rini LarsonHourly Administrative Assistant, August 2018–present

Rini Larson received her dual BA in Folklore and Gender Studies from Indiana University in 2013. Her undergraduate training featured a five-month study abroad experience in Aix-en-Provence, France, as well as a summer researching in the renowned Kinsey Institute in Bloomington. She completed an MA in folklore at IU in 2013 and is currently a doctoral candidate in folklore specializing in narrative, community festival, and foodways. Her doctoral minor is in French Linguistics and her dissertation examines the role of communal cooking traditions in expressing and validating group identity among small-town Midwesterners. As a graduate student in the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology, she has taught a variety of undergraduate folklore courses as well as the folklore-themed section of the required public speaking course for IU’s College of Arts and Sciences. Rini Larson served as the AFS Graduate Assistant 2017–18 before being asked to stay on as an administrative assistant.

Rini Larson assists senior staff on a variety of projects, including financial record maintenance and some membership communications.



Recent AFS Staff

Executive Director

Timothy Lloyd, 2001–18

Executive Secretary-Treasurer

Richard Bauman, 1973–76
David Hufford, 1976–81
Charles Camp, 1981–86
Timothy Lloyd, 1986–91
Shalom Staub, 1991–2000

Associate Director

Brent Björkman, 2005–07
Maria Teresa Agozzino, 2007–09

Membership Director

Paulina Guerrero, 2015–16

Administrative and Editorial Associate

Rob Vanscoyoc, 2011–15

Graduate Assistant

Shannon K. Larson, 2015–16
Jesse Fivecoate, 2016–17
Rosalind V. Rini Larson, 2017–18
Evangeline Mee, 2018–19

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American Folklore SocietySister Society: SIEF
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