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2018 Annual Meeting
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The Society's 130th Annual Meeting will take place October 17-20, 2018, at the Buffalo Niagara County Convention Center, in Buffalo, New York, with guest rooms at the Hyatt Buffalo. The theme for the meeting, on which presentations are encouraged but not required, is “No Illusions, No Exclusions.”



We will accept presentation proposals from February 1 to March 31.

To submit a proposal:

  • Sign in if you’re a member. Members save significantly on registration rates.
  • Register for the annual meeting; your registration confirmation will include a link to the proposal submission portal. We recommend that you register and start your submission early, in order to avoid last-minute registration or submission system difficulties.
  • Submit your complete proposal by March 31. We’re using a new submission system this year, which will allow you to edit your proposal at any time before the deadline; for instructions or help, see Using the Proposal Submission Portal.
  • See Submitting a Proposal Online for detailed information about the submission process. The page will help you prepare your material; it includes notes about important policies, checklists of required components for each proposal type, and tips for submitting keywords.

If you have questions or would like to propose an alternative format for a two-hour session, contact Lorraine Walsh Cashman at well before the March 31 deadline.

Special Event Requests

Please use this form to request space and time for anything that takes place outside of general sessions, such as Section business meetings, pre-conference professional development workshops, or other lunch-time or evening events. To reserve a place in the program, you must submit your request no later than March 31.


The meeting begins with an Opening Ceremony on Wednesday evening, and general sessions run from Thursday morning through Saturday evening.

Explore Buffalo

Wonder why the New York Times called Buffalo one of its “52 Places to Go in 2018”? There will be plenty of opportunities to find out, experiencing Buffalo and Western New York in the midst of its resurgence, in all of its brassiness and diversity. The 2018 Meeting Planning Committee is at work on an array of ways to help meeting attendees engage with the place and its people. These plans may evolve in the coming months, but are likely to include:

  • Preconference tours that will take you through Buffalo and beyond. The city tour will feature the West Side Bazaar, a business incubator for refugee communities; the 130-year-old Broadway Market at the hub of the historic Polonia District; architectural jewels designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Sullivan; grain elevators repurposed as guerilla art spaces; and the revitalized Canalside District where the western terminus of the Erie Canal meets Lake Erie and the Niagara River. A second tour will explore the largely rural Niagara Frontier Region during the October harvest season. A drive through orchards and vineyards along the Niagara Escarpment will lead to the Tuscarora Nation, where Native experts will talk about the history and cultural meanings of their White Corn. Participants will meet traditional Tuscarora artists at a reception at the Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University before heading for a tour of Niagara Falls as seen through Native American eyes.
  • Musicians, dancers and traditional craftspeople will perform and demonstrate throughout the conference and participate in sessions.
  • A dinner dance, featuring area bands, with free admission to the dance and a nominal charge for dinner.
  • A local guide that will lead you to points of interest around the city that you can reach during your stay, and ideas for farther-flung self-guided tours. Stay a few days longer and visit the Finger Lakes with its winemakers and cider mills. Bring your passport for a self-guided journey across the Canadian border after the meeting ends, over the Niagara River for more spectacular vistas of Niagara Falls, and abundant day-trip opportunities throughout the nearby Niagara Peninsula, Lake Ontario coastline, the Golden Horseshoe Region, and the city of Toronto.

Presentation Limits

Meeting participants may present only once during the conference; see our Annual Meeting policies for more information about this and other meeting policies.


Once a proposal is submitted, it is expected that the author(s) will present at the conference if the proposal is accepted. Participation in the conference is competitive, and a cancelled presentation creates a hole in the program and eliminates a spot that could have accommodated another presenter. As a courtesy to AFS members, conference presenters, and attendees, AFS strongly discourages presenters from canceling their participation in the conference after the proposal deadline has passed. Those who find that they can't attend the meeting are encouraged not to cancel, but to find someone else to read their papers.

The refund policy is as follows:

  • Program participants (chairs, presenters, discussants, etc.) who withdraw a presentation may request a refund of meeting registration fees until August 31, but a $75 cancellation fee will be retained ($35 for students and low-income participants); after that, no refunds will be issued.
  • Registrants who are not named on the program may receive a full refund until August 31; after that, no refunds will be issued.
  • Presenters who withdraw a presentation after October 1 may not present at the next year’s annual meeting.

Full refunds will be issued to those who withdraw because their proposals are rejected. The cancellation fee will not be charged for those who can't attend because of visa difficulties; other exceptions will be considered on a case by case basis.

Letters of Invitation

Contact us at as soon as possible to request a letter of invitation if it is needed for your organization or visa application.


Contact Lorraine Walsh Cashman at with any annual meeting questions or concerns.


Follow these links to find important annual meeting information:

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