David Dunaway, professor of English, was recently named the first recipient of the 2010 Stetson Kennedy Vox Populi Voice of the People biennial award, presented for outstanding achievement in collecting and use of oral histories of people and organizations. The award is presented by the Stetson Kennedy Foundation and the Oral History Association.

The review committee was impressed by Dunaway's comprehensive and broad research, in particular a sustained history of contributions to the field. The committee called out his ability to document the life and work of Pete Seeger – oral history as biography – in How Can I Keep From Singing? Dunaway's connecting of oral histories in Singing Out: An Oral History of America's Folk Music Revivals to a wider historical inquiry about the importance of protest/political songs of America's folk music revivals. Finally, the committee also called out his ability as a curator to preserve and place oral histories at the Library of Congress Folklife Center, which will prove useful and valuable to oral historians and scholars.

Stetson Kennedy, the only living subject of a Woody Guthrie song, was impressed by Dunaway's credentials and knew many of his subjects including Guthrie, Alan Lomax and Seeger. Stetson turned 94 earlier this month. Therefore, the committee noted in its letter to Dunaway, "it is fitting that he will be presenting the award to in Atlanta on October 30, 2010."

Media contact: Carolyn Gonzales, 277-5920; e-mail: cgonzal@unm.edu