Department of Folk Studies and Anthropology News
Folk Studies MA Student Wins Award at National Conference
- Author: Tuesday, November 5th, 2019
WKU Folk Studies graduate students (pictured left), faculty, and staff traveled to Baltimore, Maryland, to attend the American Folklore Society (AFS) annual meeting from October 16 through 20th. Folk Studies graduate student Zahra AbedinezhadMehrabadi presented her paper, “Resistance and Reconciliation in the Shrine: The Role of Imamzadeh in the Reformulation of Iranian Vernacular Shiite Communities,” which discussed pilgrimage to Imamzadeh (vernacular shrines) as observed during her fieldwork in Iran. For her work, Zahra was awarded with the Elaine J. Lawless Graduate Student Travel Award. The award, sponsored by the Folk Belief and Religious Folklife Section of AFS, distributes a travel stipend in honor of distinguished folklorist, religious folklife scholar, and professor, Elaine J. Lawless, of up to $500 to be awarded to a graduate student to participate in the Society’s annual meeting.
Faculty members Dr. Ann Ferrell, Dr. Kate Horigan, Dr. Tim Frandy, Dr. Tim Evans, and Mr. Brent Bjorkman also presented various panels and papers throughout the week-long event. Graduate students had the opportunity to immerse themselves in the field by meeting folklorists from around the world, giving them insight into different career paths. Students were able to build meaningful relationships with WKU Folk Studies alumni, strengthen relationships with members of their cohort, network with established folklorists, and participate in various sessions, panels, and workshops.
AFS holds their annual meeting in a different city each October, bringing together more than 700 folklorists from around the world. The meeting is the occasion for lectures by special guests, as well as the presentation of work by folklorists in 12-15 concurrent sessions for three days. AFS special interest groups convene, and publishers and other vendors exhibit books, media, art, and other items of interest to the field.