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2018 AFS Annual Meeting in Buffalo, NY
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Panel Idea: Envisioning the Digital Folklore Archive as Process and Collab. 0 R. Rini Larson By Sheila Bock — Hello AFS, Cassie Patterson and I are interested in putting together a panel for the 2018 Annual Meeting of the American Folklore Society (tentatively titled “Envisioning the Digital Folklore Archive as Process & Collaboration”) that explores the logistical, ideological, and ethical considerations and practices involved in creating digital folklore archival collections. In terms of format, we could see it as either a traditional panel or a discussion forum (depending on the responses we get). We are particularly interested in hearing from folklorists about the various opportunities and challenges that have shaped their collections, such as institutional affiliation(s), time and money, available platforms or metadata management systems, tagging structures, etc. In addition, we would like to include presentations that explore various collaborative structures that students, scholars, and community partners engage when producing digital folklore archives. Below, please find a brief description of what we would be talking about during our individual presentation.   If you are interested in joining our panel, please email SheilaBock at or CassiePatterson at   "A Collaboration in Process: #GradCapTraditions as Case Study" Dr. Sheila Bock and Dr. Cassie Patterson   #GradCapTraditions is a collaborative public archival collection that was collaboratively designed between Dr. Sheila Bock the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and Dr. Cassie Patterson at The Ohio State University, and is housed online at OSU’s Folklore Archives. This presentation describes the ways in which the #GradCapTraditions Collection has been envisioned and modified since its inception in 2015, paying particular attention to the ways that opportunities and challenges related to participants and collectors, collection strategies, display platforms, IRB and ethical considerations have shaped (and continue to shape) the collection over time.
by R. Rini Larson
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
A Message from AFS President Dorothy Noyes 0 R. Rini Larson By Dorothy Noyes — Dear friends, We’ve now been able to confirm the President’s Invited Speaker for the Buffalo meeting—Palagummi Sainath, a journalist specializing in rural India who has won both the Ramon Magsaysay Award (known as the “Asian Nobel”) and the first Global Human Rights Journalism Prize granted by Amnesty International. Best known for reporting on India’s drought-driven agrarian crisis, he broke the story of the skyrocketing rate of farmer suicides. His 1996 book  Everybody Loves a Good Drought: Stories from India's Poorest Districts became one of Penguin India’s all-time best-sellers and is still in print more than thirty editions later. His photo exhibition Visible Work, Invisible Women: Women and Work in Rural India has been exhibited at factory gates and in train stations all over India and also at the Asia Society, New York, and other international galleries. His current book project reports on the dalit population. Observing that Indian daily newspapers barely covered the rural regions in which 70% of the population lives—833 million people—, Sainath left his job at The Hindu in 2014 to work full time on the crowdfunded and volunteer-sustained People’s Archive of Rural India, which he created and launched in 2013. Now inspiring emulation in other parts of the world, the People’s Archive documents “the everyday lives of everyday people”: resource conflicts, disappearing languages, women’s songs about sexual abuse, occupational traditions such as “toddy-tapping” for palm sap, rural sports, and a host of other practices, struggles, and pleasures. Sainath is eager to engage with AFS and it is a great honor for us to host him. His work resonates in multiple and obvious ways with our own. In addition, his central observation, that rural areas only get news coverage when there is a disaster or a visiting politician, applies to the US just as much as it does to India. Accordingly, to enhance his visit, I would like to assemble a small cluster of sessions on Rural News. This will, in a sense, complement last year’s Fake News panels by having us look at real news that does not circulate widely. No illusions, no exclusions. I suspect—indeed, I know—that many of you are already proposing sessions or papers that might fit this label. I’m hoping we can put them into dialogue, as happened last year with the several independently proposed fake news sessions. Please reply to me privately——if you are doing something that might fit. For the purpose, we won’t be too restrictive about what we are calling news—"stuff happening” will do for the moment—but instead can, I hope, reflect in the sessions themselves on what counts or might count as news and how else we might address the democratic responsibility of mutual attention-paying. All the best, Dorry Dorothy Noyes President, The American Folklore Society Professor, Departments of English and Comparative Studies; Affiliated Faculty, The Center for Folklore Studies,  The Mershon Center for International Security Studies The Ohio State University
by R. Rini Larson
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Seeking Participants for the 3rd Annual AFS Pop Up Exhibition 0 R. Rini Larson By Betty Belanus — Hello, all, Hanna Griff Sleven and I are once again proposing a Pop Up Exhibition during the 2018 AFS meetings. If you have not participated or visited one of our previous Pop Ups, the idea is simple: bring an object (or a few) which follows a theme (see below for this year's), be prepared to tell the story of that object to visitors, and start a conversation around the story. This idea has created many interesting and meaningful interactions during the past two Pop Ups. Read more about Pop Ups here: Please read on for this year's theme and the ways you can become involved as a formal or informal participant. The theme is "Opening Doors, Opening Dialogues: Sharing Cultural Knowledge and Memories from Homelands." What happens when one must leave a "homeland" and establish a new one? Whether moving to a new town or a new country, or making a life move (such as changing career paths), how do the artifacts that we take with us, whether tangible or intangible, help us hold on to important cultural knowledge and memories, in order to share them with new friends and neighbors while creating a new identity in a new (literal or figurative) place? This Pop Up Exhibit invites participants and visitors to open doors (inviting visitors into the shared space of the small exhibit displays of objects, images and text) and *open dialogues* (using the displays as a means to explore together how cultural knowledge and memories can define and recreate homelands). If you are interested in becoming a formal participant of this Pop Up, please send us a title for your presentation and a two-sentence explanation of what you plan to include in your display and how it will address the theme. You may also choose to join the exhibit as an informal participant if you are already committed to another panel or session at AFS. Respond to Betty Belanus at and Hanna Griff Sleven at if you are interested in joining us. Thanks!
by R. Rini Larson
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
A Message from the LGBTQA Section Conveners 0 R. Rini Larson Greetings! The LGBTQA section is eager to sponsor sessions at the 2018 AFS annual meeting in Buffalo, New York in October. We believe the theme of "No Illusions, No Exclusions"—particularly the "no exclusions" aspect—should provide many possibilities for our section to contribute to the conversation. If you are not yet a member of our section but would like to participate in our activities, we urge you to join. Information about the section can be found here. If you already have a queer/LGBTQA+ folklore/folkloristics session planned and would like sponsorship from our section, please email the conveners (contact information below). Or, if you have an idea for a paper or other format of presentation that is relevant to our section and you would like to connect with others to form a session, please respond here, send out a message through our AFS section webpage (note you'll need to be a member to send a message to the group) or join the discussion in our Facebook group. At our section meeting in Minneapolis last year, we also discussed having the section present an informative forum on queer folklore and folkloristics; i.e. something that will help connect AFS members with resources for queer folkloristic research (either research with a queer community, research that engages queer theory, or research done by a queer person; we have not yet narrowed down the precise topic). If you have ideas for topics the forum should cover, or for people whom you'd like to hear from on this kind of a panel, please also let us know. If you would like to be part of such a forum, please email the conveners with a brief description of your expertise, as well as your name, affiliation, and contact information. We look forward to hearing from you and seeing you in Buffalo! Please also keep an eye out for additional section activities which will be announced soon, including a call for submissions for this year's LGBTQA Section paper prizes. Sincerely, Meredith and Samuel, LGBTQA Section Conveners (,
by R. Rini Larson
Wednesday, February 14, 2018

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