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2011 Annual Meeting: AFS Research Poster Exhibitions

The 2011 Annual Meeting Program Committee and the Society are making a special effort to capitalize on the research poster’s special virtues for folklorists. AFS Executive Board member and Indiana University Associate Professor of Folklore Jason Jackson will curate the 2011 Research Poster Exhibitions.

Posters, a vital means of scholarly communication in many fields, allow for the integration of graphic and textual information. They share the strengths characteristic of the informal settings in which folklorists often learn, teach, and study. Many folklorists are deeply involved in studying topics that lend themselves to the poster exhibition framework.

The current digital moment has created new opportunities to extend the power of this genre. Posters can stand alone as documents of scholarly research in folklore studies, and can also be augmented through informal oral presentation or the use of multimedia enhancements. They can also be repurposed after a conference into gallery and web-based exhibitions. Like conference papers, posters can also serve as a foundation for other genres of scholarly communication, including articles and book chapters. Posters themselves have begun to be peer-reviewed, revised, and published in scholarly journals.

This year, in lieu of poster panels organized by the membership, we are soliciting individual proposals for poster presentations on one of four broad topics: Peace, War, Folklore (the 2011 annual meeting theme), Folklore and Folklorists Making a Difference, Folklore Studies and the Digital Humanities, and Musical Cultures.

Poster presentations selected for each grouping will be brought together to comprise one of four formal exhibitions, which will be initially presented at an opening reception on Thursday morning. At that time, a distinguished scholar with special knowledge of the exhibition theme will host each exhibition, and will make public remarks about the exhibition’s posters.

Steve Zeitlin from City Lore will host Peace, War, Folklore

Marsha MacDowell from the Michigan State University Museum will host Folklore and Folklorists Making a Difference

Kimberly Christen from Washington State University will host Folklore Studies and the Digital Humanities

Jeff Todd Titon of Brown University will host Musical Cultures

The reception will also provide time for presenters to dialogue informally with each other, with interested conference attendees, with the hosts, and with other special guests. The posters will remain on exhibition throughout the conference.

Post-conference publication of selected posters is a possibility. We have invited a number of journal editors to attend the poster exhibition opening as special guests. Editors so far agreeing to attend include Regina Bendix (co-editor of Ethnologia Europaea), Kristina Downs (co-editor of Folklore Forum, which is interested in receiving submissions from participating poster exhibitors), Rob Howard (editor of Western Folklore), Jason Baird Jackson (editor of Museum Anthropology Review), and Tok Thompson (co-editor of Cultural Analysis).

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American Folklore SocietySister Society: SIEF
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