Western Kentucky University Scholar Earns Lifetime Achievement Award From the American Folklore Society

Michael Ann Williams, University Distinguished Professor of Folk Studies, Emerita at Western Kentucky University, recently received the Kenneth Goldstein Award for Lifetime Academic Leadership at the 2019 American Folklore Society Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland.

This award, bestowed biennially by the American Folklore Society, recognizes outstanding abilities and achievement by a living scholar in academic leadership relating to folklore. “Leadership” includes folklore program development, organizational and center development, teaching, and advising.

In her 32-year tenure at Western Kentucky, Dr. Williams mentored generations of folklorists as she ushered the folk studies program through decades of change and growth. In 2004, she led the charge to create the new department of folk studies and anthropology, and she served as head of the department until her partial retirement in 2017. Professor Williams also served as president of the American Folklore Society. She is the author of several books including Homeplace: The Social Use and Meaning of the Folk Dwelling in Southwestern North Carolina (University of Virginia Press, 2004).

Dr. Williams joined the faculty at Western Kentucky University in 1986. She is a graduate of Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in folklore and folklife from the University of Pennsylvania.

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