- From the Editors
the folklore faculty of western kentucky university is honored to assume editorship of the Journal of American Folklore for the next five volume years. Western Kentucky University has supported folklore courses and research since 1917 and has had a graduate program for over 40 years. Our current experience and expertise cover a lot of territory—music, museums, belief, festivals, narrative, grants administration, medicine, folklore and gender, historic preservation, agriculture, disaster relief, vernacular architecture, folklore and literature, and so much more. We feel certain that our team approach will ensure the continued strength of the journal. We are pleased to have secured an esteemed group of colleagues to serve on the Editorial Board and as review editors, bringing with them diverse areas of experience, expertise, and geography.
We gratefully express our appreciation to the previous editors, Tom DuBois, Jim Leary, and associate editors, under whose leadership the journal flourished. Jim and Tom worked closely with us to ensure a smooth transition, doing so much more than simply handing over the files. They met with us on conference calls and e-mailed with us; their excellent editorial assistant, Rebecca Keyel, trained our editorial assistant, Eleanor Hasken; and they remain available to us with questions. We truly thank them all for their time and efforts—but that’s not all. The bulk of the work on the issue that you hold in your hands, on a cutting-edge topic of interest to many in our field, was completed by the Wisconsin crew; we merely shepherded it to home base. In addition to this special issue on computational folklore, you can look forward to more excellent articles as well as another special issue accepted under the previous editorial team.
In the time since we began the transition, we have been honored to receive high-quality manuscripts and to work with members of our field who have been eager to demonstrate their support of the journal and the discipline by serving as blind reviewers of these submissions. We have already made one major procedural change: with the assistance of the University of Illinois Press, we have introduced an online journal management system. This system makes it easier for authors to submit potential articles and for our staff to communicate with authors and reviewers about the status of manuscripts.
We want to assure AFS members that we have no plans to dramatically alter the journal you know and love. We owe much to all of the editors who have come before [End Page 3] us. We do, however, plan to fine-tune what we feel are its greatest strengths. Our first such priority is to ensure that articles published in JAF are firmly grounded in the disciplinary and professional perspectives of folklore studies and in past and current folklore scholarship, and are based on recognized folklore methods and practices. As the editors of the flagship journal of the American Folklore Society, we will strive to publish cutting-edge articles written by and of interest to scholars of folklore and related disciplines with a wide range of expertise in academic, applied, and public contexts. For this, we will need your help. We need you to send us your best work and encourage your colleagues to do so too.
We also hope to see the Notes and the Commentary sections of the journal become more active, as they have the potential to be spaces for periodic “time/temperature” pieces that provide a snapshot of where we are as a discipline. We need your help here as well: please think in terms of these sections, as well as articles, as you write. The Commentary section is a place for further engagement with issues raised in recent articles in JAF. The Notes section offers an ideal place for discussion of issues facing the field; descriptions of “best practice” projects, programs, and exhibits; and other topics that do not lend themselves to full-length articles. If these sections become busier places, the field will be strengthened through increased dialogue among our members.