Judith McCulloh Fellowship


This fellowship honors the achievements of Judith McCulloh as a scholar, folklorist, editor, and folk arts advocate.  She created and championed the “Music in American Life” series renowned for its wide embrace of popular, folk, and concert musics and the “Folklore in Society” series during her prolific tenure at the University of Illinois Press. She received, among numerous honors, the Bess Lomax Hawes National Heritage Fellowship and the Society for American Music Distinguished Service Award. This fellowship is given annually to support research on a folk-based music culture of the Americas. Awarded competitively to scholars at any phase of their careers, the fellowship is designed to support expenses (such as travel, lodging, and duplication) associated with residency at a research center or archive, or with fieldwork. Potential research center sites include the Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, where McCulloh worked extensively, and other repositories that reflect her broad interests in folk music.

The award is offered annually. The maximum award is $1,000.

A one-page budget and final report are to be submitted by the recipient to the Executive Director of the Society no more than one year after the award is presented.



Applicants must be members in good standing of the Society for American Music. 

The Society for American Music seeks to award fellowships to support a broad spectrum of research conducted by society members. Projects that have already received SAM fellowship support (Block, Cone, Graziano, McLucas, Thomson, Tick) are not eligible to receive the McCulloh Fellowship.


Application Requirements

In addition to the application form, applicants must provide the following materials:

  • A one-page letter of application with contact information (including mailing address, phone number, and email address)
  • A current full CV
  • A narrative of no more than five pages (double-spaced) that describes the scope of the project (and includes a persuasive and detailed rationale for a short-term residence on folk-based musical culture of the Americas at any research center or archive)
  • A one-page budget for the project 



November 1


Past Fellows

Year Fellow
2019 Sheryl Kaskowitz, “Government Song Women: Sidney Robertson, Margaret Valiant, and the New Deal’s Romance with American Folk Music.” 
2018 Aldona Dye, "The Feminine Folklorist: Music, Southern White Womanhood, and Folk Song Collection in the Early 20th Century"
2017 Sarah Tomlinson, “Songs for Schoolrooms: American Classical Music in Alan Lomax’s Folk Music of America Radio Broadcasts,1939-1940"