Oregon Folklife director wins American Folklore Society book award

Rachelle "Riki" Saltzman, who became executive director of the UO-administered Oregon Folklife Network in July, has been awarded the Wayland D. Hand Prize from the American Folklore Society for the best book combining historical and folkloristic methods and materials.

The prize, which is given every-other year, honors the late folklorist Wayland D. Hand (1907-1986). Its winner receives $100, and is recognized at the annual meeting of the American Folklore Society and in an announcement published in the journal "Folklore Historian."

Saltzman, who was recognized for her book "A Lark for the Sake of Their Country: The 1926 General Strike Volunteers in Folklore and Memory," shares this year's Hand Award with Jack Zipes, author of"The Irresistible Fairy Tale: The Cultural and Social History of a Genre."

The American Folklore Society is a 2,200-member association dedicated to the study and communication of knowledge about folklore. A group of humanities scholars, museum anthropologists and private citizens – including author Mark Twain and U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes – founded the society in 1888.

The Oregon Folklife Network is a coalition of folklife stakeholders that is administered by the UO and was formed in 2010 at the conclusion of the Oregon Folklife Program. Its mission is to provide wide access to folk arts by investing in traditional artists and cultures, and advancing learning opportunities for Oregonians. The network also receives funding from the Oregon Cultural Trust and the Oregon Arts Commission.

Before coming to the Oregon Folklife Network, Saltzman served as folklife coordinator, grants administrator and accessibility coordinator for the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, for 17 years. She has also worked broadly in public folklore at private non-profit and state agencies in Tennessee, Mississippi, New York, Florida, Pennsylvania and elsewhere.

Her book, “A Lark for the Sake of Their Country,” examines the role of upper and middle class strike breakers in defining Englishness during the 1926 General Strike.

Article originally published in Around the O.