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2013 Annual Meeting Theme Statement: Cultural Sustainability

"Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” is the concise definition of sustainable development put forward by the World Commission on Environment and Development for the United Nations General Assembly in 1987. While most often discussed in relation to development, planning, economics, and the environment, this perspective on sustainability is readily applicable to the goals, strategies, and outcomes achieved through folklore research as an academic and applied practice.

Cultural sustainability is a critical consideration in all arenas where folklorists work.  Here we interpret "culture” in its broadest sense, whether social, performative, artistic, economic, institutional, political, regional, etc. In preparing for next year’s meeting, we invite our colleagues to consider cultural sustainability as it relates to:

  • The contexts in which we work
  • The goals we set and the actual outcomes of our work
  • Our methods and strategies
  • The measures we use to determine our efficacy
  • Our collaborations and partnerships, both with community partners and colleagues
  • Our best practices

We encourage you to apply the theme of cultural sustainability across the field, in the hopes of generating a wide array of perspectives.



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American Folklore Society
Mershon Center, The Ohio State University, 1501 Neil Avenue, Columbus OH 43201-2602 USA
614/292-4715; fax: 614/292-2199; www.afsnet.org


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