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2011 Annual Meeting Invitation for Participation
"Peace, War, Folklore” is the theme for the American Folklore Society's 123rd annual meeting, to be held at Biddle Hotel and Conference Center of the Indiana Memorial Union on the Indiana University campus in Bloomington, Indiana, on October 12-15, 2011. Read more about the location.

Planning for the meeting has been carried out thus far by a coordinating group from Bloomington—Michael Evans, Michael Dylan Foster, Diane Goldstein, Jason Jackson, Jon Kay, John McDowell, Debra Raver, Chris Roush, and Pravina Shukla—who will be joined by many others as the year progresses.

Proposal Deadline

The deadline for submission of all proposals, which must be submitted with meeting registration and payment, is March 31, 2011. We will reject submissions not received online or postmarked by the deadline, as well as those that do not contain all necessary materials at the time of the deadline.

If you plan to attend the annual meeting but will not make a presentation, you can pre-register at any time until August 31, or you can register at the meeting at higher fees.

Financial support is available for persons of color, international participants, and students. Applications are due as early as March 31.

Proposal Types

You can propose one of four kinds of organized sessions: paper sessions, Diamond sessions, forums, and media sessions.

Alternatively, you can submit individual proposals for papers, Diamond presentations, or poster presentations; accepted submissions will be assembled into sessions by the the program committee. Please note that for 2011, poster proposals will only be considered for inclusion in one of four poster exhibitions: Peace, War, Folklore; Folklore and Folklorists Making a Difference; Folklore Studies and the Digital Humanities; and Musical Cultures.

AFS sections, university folklore programs, and other organizations may request a time and space for any of several kinds of special events, including professional development workshops, section business meetings, section-sponsored lectures, receptions, performances, jam sessions, and the like.


Meeting Registration, Payment, and Proposal Process

Submitting an online proposal for the annual meeting program involves two steps that you will take at the same time, in this order:

1. You register for the meeting and pay your registration fee.

2. You submit your proposal online.

The way you take these two steps depends upon what you are proposing to do at the meeting.

1. If you are proposing an organized session—and you must be the chair of the session to do so—you first need to get proposal information (names, affiliations, email addresses, and presentation titles and 100-word abstracts for each individual presentation) from all the participants in your session; you will also prepare both a 100-word and 500-word abstract for the session as a whole, which will be pasted into the online proposal form. At that point, you will register yourself and pay your own registration fee, and then complete the online proposal form for the session and all of its presentations. At the end of the form, you will be asked to attach two Word .doc files containing 1) the short abstract for the session as a whole, and 2) all those for the individual presentations. Short abstracts should be prepared using AFS style. You will find the path to begin the proposal process at the bottom of the 2011 Annual Meeting page.

2. If you are proposing to participate in an organized session, you need to give your chair your proposal information (name, contact information, presentation title, short abstract) well before the deadline, since she will have to submit that information as part of her organized session proposal. You also need to register and pay your registration fee yourself by March 31. You will not submit any proposal information using the AFS website.

3. If you are proposing an individual presentation, you must register, pay your registration fee, and submit your proposal all in one sitting. You will be asked to attach your short abstract in a Word .doc, using AFS style. You will find the path to begin the proposal process at the bottom of the 2011 Annual Meeting page.

The most critical things you need to know before beginning this process are:

1. If you are an AFS member, be sure to Sign In to the site before you start the process, or you will be charged the non-member registration rate.

2. This process requires that you have your title, abstracts (in Word .doc format), participant names and contact information, and credit card at hand when you begin the process. Please do not begin the process until you have these materials ready.

Submitting Your Materials

We strongly encourage you to register, pay your fee, and submit your proposal online through the AFS web site, which will increase our efficiency in tracking proposals and our accuracy in preparing the program book. Chairs of all organized sessions—panels, poster sessions, forums, and media sessions—must submit all materials online. For online submissions, AFS provides a secure payment page (operated by BluePay) to safely process credit card information. AFS accepts MasterCard and VISA only, and all transactions will be made in US dollars.

If you choose to submit your materials by fax or mail, please go to the AFS web site to download the forms for your registration, fee payment, and proposal.

If you are submitting your materials by fax, pay your registration fee by providing your MasterCard or VISA information. Fax your materials to AFS’s attention at 614/292-2407. We must receive your fax by March 31, 2011.

If you are submitting your materials for an individual presentation in hard copy by mail, send your materials (including your MasterCard or VISA card information or a check in US dollars for your registration fee) to: AFS 2011 Annual Meeting, Mershon Center, Ohio State University, 1501 Neil Avenue, Columbus, OH 43201-2602 USA. Your mailing must be postmarked by March 31, 2011.


Proposal Review Process

We always receive more proposals than can be accommodated into the space and time available for meeting sessions, and we work to present the strongest possible program of sessions within those limitations.  Accordingly, each year we ask the Annual Meeting Committee to exercise its best professional judgment in applying the criteria below to all proposals, and give the Committee the authority to accept and reject all proposals, just as we give the editors of the JAF the authority to accept and reject all Journal submissions. 

The Annual Meeting Committee will carry out a blind review of 500-word long abstracts for all annual meeting program proposals, and will accept for the program those proposals that best address the following criteria:

  • A clear thesis or analytical statement
  • A coherent argument
  • An indication of familiarity with previous research
  • A statement of the presentation’s or session’s contribution to a deeper understanding of the theme of this year’s meeting (Peace, War, Folklore), or to one or more of the core concepts of the field of folklore, such as art, context, folk, genre, group, identity, local knowledge, performance, text, or tradition
AFS will e-mail you notification of acceptance or rejection for the annual meeting program by June 1, 2011.

We will post a preliminary version of the 2011 annual meeting program schedule on the AFS website by July 1, 2011. Please review this schedule carefully. We must receive all your requests for changes and all corrections to this program by July 15, 2011. We will try to accommodate the changes you request before July 15, but we cannot guarantee such accommodation.

If you notify us by August 31, 2011, that you are unable to attend the annual meeting, we will refund your registration fee. We cannot issue refunds after this date.


AFS Annual Meeting Presentation Policies

AFS Membership

Both AFS members and non-members may submit proposals for presentations, or may simply attend the meeting without presenting, but non-members must pay the higher registration fees noted on the registration form.

Audiovisual Equipment

AFS will provide data projectors and screens in every meeting room, and audio systems in larger meeting rooms and in all rooms in which media sessions will take place. All presenters must bring their own computers, and Mac users should bring the appropriate cabling for their particular model. If your presentation requires higher-quality audio than that provided by your computer, please check the "I Need Audio” box on your proposal form (if you are participating in an organized session, please tell your chair to make this request), and we will endeavor to place your presentation or session, if accepted, into a meeting room with an audio system.


AFS defines a no-show as someone on the program who is not physically present at her/his session at the annual meeting and either (1) has not notified AFS in advance that she cannot attend the meeting or (2) has not submitted a presentation to be read by the chair or another person at the meeting.

No-shows are conspicuous in their absence. They inconvenience the chair, their fellow presenters, and those attending the session. No-shows will not be considered for the following year’s program. If you notify AFS in advance, or submit a presentation to be made by someone else at your session, you will not be penalized. You are responsible for finding your own alternative presenter.

Number of Presentations

You may appear only once as a presenter in the annual meeting program. You may serve in one other session as the chair or as a paper session discussant; e.g., you can read your paper in a session chaired by someone else, and can also chair a session made up of papers delivered by your students.

2011 AFS Annual Meeting Deadlines and Important Dates

March 31

Online or postmark submission deadline for ALL proposals, registration forms, and registration fee payments

Deadline for applications for AFS Gerald L. Davis Fund Travel Grants and for AFS Stipends for International Participants

June 1

Notifications of acceptance sent

July 1

Preliminary program posted on AFS web site

Deadline for applications for Archie Green Student Travel Stipends

July 15

Deadline for receipt of changes or corrections to preliminary program schedule

August 31

Deadline for registration at lower pre-meeting rates

Deadline for registration refunds

Deadline for registration for pre-meeting tours and other special events, the details for which will be announced at the beginning of June


October 12

AFS 2011 Annual Meeting begins, Biddle Hotel and Conference Center, Indiana Memorial Union

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