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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

Lloyd served as the Society’s Executive Director from 2001 to 2018. 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 (the US’s national library and national museum), in the state governments of Maryland and Ohio, and in the NGO sector. Lloyd received his PhD in American studies from The George Washington University. He has served as a board and committee member or consultant for many US and international organizations.

Lloyd advises the executive director on, and helps to manage, AFS's international and scholarly communications initiatives.


Rosalind V. Rini LarsonGraduate Assistant, August 2017–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 student in folklore specializing in narrative studies, conversational genres, and foodways. 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 keeps the Society’s calendar, news, and career centers current, and assists senior staff on a variety of projects.



Recent AFS Staff

Executive Director

Timothy Lloyd, 2001-2018

Executive Secretary-Treasurer

Richard Bauman, 1973-1976
David Hufford, 1976-1981
Charles Camp, 1981–1986
Timothy Lloyd, 1986–1991

Shalom Staub, 1991–2000

Associate Director

Brent Björkman, 2005–2007
Maria Teresa Agozzino, 2007–2009

Membership Director

Paulina Guerrero, 2015-2016

Administrative and Editorial Associate

Rob Vanscoyoc, 2011-2015

Graduate Assistant

Shannon K. Larson, 2015-2016
Jesse Fivecoate, 2016-2017

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American Folklore SocietySister Society: SIEF
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