A Guide to the 2013 Meeting for Students and First-Timers
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Posted by: Lorraine Cashman
Gabbert (Utah State University)
Welcome to the annual
meeting of the American Folklore Society!
Hopefully this piece will serve as a useful guide, as you begin to learn
your own way of navigating the meeting.
Must sees and dos
- publishers’ book exhibit: Otherwise known as "the book room,” this is
where the very latest folklore books are for sale at a discount, as well as
hard-to-find back issues of journals and occasional copies of out of print
books. Sometimes it’s even possible to
pre-order not-yet-released books. The
book room also is filled with publishers that you can talk to about your own
project and is a great place to socialize more generally.
- plenary sessions and section-sponsored
course, any first-time attendee wouldn’t want to miss the annual presidential
address, but attend the other plenary and lecture sessions as well. These sessions feature major scholars and are
on topics of immediate relevance to the field; consider them the "really should
be theres” of all the conference sessions.
- section meetings: section meetings are often
overlooked by newcomers. Sections are
interest-based organizations within the society. As a newcomer, you may not belong to a section
yet but consider attending a section business meeting anyway. The section will be happy to have you and
sections are an easy way to meet people with similar interests.
Suggestions for Panels
tons of great panels and great ideas, so really the best strategy is to attend what
interests you. Below is one suggested
panel for each day, which were chosen from the pre-organized sessions:
- Wed., Oct. 16, panel 01-14 and 02-14, "Discourses
of Belief and Genre": a panel series by colleagues from Finland and Estonia. It’s always a good idea to attend an
international panel in order avoid becoming too narrow in focus and outlook.
- Thurs. Oct. 17, panel 03-00, Poster exhibition: Posters are an
important component of presenting information at AFS. They are attractive to look at and it’s a
great opportunity to talk to the researcher personally.
- Fri. Oct. 18, panel 06-03, "Connecting
Public Folklore to Critical Heritage Studies: Issues, Challenges, and Opportunities for Dialogue": It's important to attend both academic sessions and sessions that engage with work done in the public sector. As heritage is something most folklorists touch on, this would be a good choice.
- Sat. Oct. 19, panel 11-12, "Advances
in Folklore Scholarship: Diaspora and Belonging": Listen to young scholars discuss
their latest and award-winning books.
Excerpts available on-line at https://cfs.osu.edu/working_papers
(scroll down to "Conferences and Discussions" for "Panel: Advances in Folklore
Scholarship: Diaspora and Belonging.")
For the devoted ones
the candidates’ forum and AFS business meeting
on Saturday. The candidates are the
future leaders of the Society; it’s good to know what they are thinking and to
learn about important issues related to AFS and the discipline of folklore.
If you can swing it (next time)….
on a conference tour. Conference tours
require preregistration and advance planning, but they are fun, educational,
and, as they are arranged by the local committee, are a great way to experience
some local culture by people who know it well.