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Opportunities for Students at the 2013 Annual Meeting

There are several opportunities that are designed specifically for students:

1. AFS Graduate Student Section business meeting, Saturday, October 19, 12:15--2:00 pm, Providence III. The Graduate Student Section is the home for all students within AFS, and is one important body through which students from any university can plan AFS projects and activities, get to know students from other universities, and make their voices heard within the Society and the field. The Section welcomes new members!

2. Graduate Student Lounge: The Graduate Student Section and American Folklore Society invite all students to take advantage of this space for students to rest and network with other students. Now in its third year, the graduate student lounge is an excellent place for meeting other students, taking a break from the hustle and bustle of attending panels, or just grabbing a free snack or cup of coffee. The lounge is available throughout the meeting and is staffed by fellow students, so it’s the perfect place to stash your things or meet up with friends (hours depend on the availability of volunteers). On occasion, notable folklorists have been known to sneak in for an informal conversation. The lounge will be on the third floor of the Omni, and will be clearly signed.

Note: we still need volunteers to help staff the lounge to keep the room open as planned. Shifts will be roughly an hour long. If you can help, please contact Kaitlyn Markert at

3. Graduate Student Mixer. No Notable Folklorists Allowed! For the first time, there will be an official time and place at the Annual Meeting for students to find friends and make new connections with peers from other programs. The reception, sponsored by the Graduate Student Section, will include a cash bar and finger food, and be held in South County, Thursday, 4:30–6:00 p.m.

4. AFS Fellows Reception for Students: The Fellows offer this reception as a way to welcome students to the meeting, to create opportunities for networking with senior members of the field, and to make clear how important students are to the health and vitality of folklore studies. The reception, featuring food provided by the Fellows and a cash bar, will be held in Narragansett C, Thursday, 6:00—7:30 pm.

5. AFS Public Programs Section Mixer for Students and Young Professionals: This mixer is an opportunity for graduate students to meet with public folklorists in an informal, casual setting. The Public Programs Section and the Graduate Student Section provide food, a cash bar, and a warm welcome. Narragansett C, Friday, October 18, 7:30--8:30 pm.

6. The Breakfast of (Folklore) Champions: Senior folklorists breakfast with students, talking about a designated topic, as well as students’ questions and interests. The Fellows participating in this year’s breakfast, and their topics, are:

Jane Beck (Vermont Folklife Center), public folklore and sustainability

Dan Ben-Amos (University of Pennsylvania), narrative

Burt Feintuch (University of New Hampshire), music

Maria Herrera-Sobek (University of California, Santa Barbara), ethnic and Latino folklore

This Fellows-sponsored program, now in its fifth year, is a response to numerous requests that the Society create ways for senior members of the field to engage and mentor students directly. Based in part on your evaluations of this event, the Fellows look forward to strengthening it, and creating other such opportunities, in future years.

There is no fee for this event, but since seating is limited, advance registration is required; the eight seats per table will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. To register, email Associate Director Lorraine Walsh Cashman at, indicating the conversation in which you want to participate, and which school you currently attend. Please be aware when you make your request that we will not seat students with Fellows from their own institutions.

The Breakfast is Saturday, October 19, 7:30—9:00 AM, in Blackstone.

7. Volunteer Shifts at AFS Registration and Artists' Marketplace: Every year, AFS requires some student assistance during the busiest hours at the meeting registration desk; in return for working a full shift, students will have their meeting registration refunded or comped. Sign up is on a first-come, first-served basis, until all slots are filled. If you are interested, please email Lorraine at, indicating up to three shifts that you could cover, in order of preference.

Most shifts require working at the registration desk, distributing nametags and programs to those who have preregistered, and taking registrations and payments for those who register onsite, and any other duties as requested. The "exhibit room" shift on Wednesday will start at registration, but also require moving tables and boxes of books in the exhibit room. The Artists' Marketplace, where about a dozen of the area's finest traditional artists will demonstrate and sell their work, requires one student at a time to be available to be present and help as needed.

Tuesday, 3-6 pm

Wednesday, 3:15-7:15 pm:
Exhibit room:

Thursday, 7:45 am-12:15 pm:

Thursday, 11:30-4:00 pm:

Friday, 11:30 am--3:30 pm:


Thursday, 10:30 am--2:00 pm:

Thursday, 2:00--5:30 pm:

Friday, 10:30 am--2:00 pm:

Friday, 2:00--5:30 pm:

We also encourage you to participate in:

1. AFS Section Business Meetings: There are more than thirty AFS Sections, serving as gathering places and forums within the Society for people with common interests in the field. All Sections welcome new members, and invite prospective members to attend their annual business meeting to learn more about the interests and activities of the Section. See the AFS Annual Meeting program for specific meeting times and locations.

2. AFS Cultural Diversity Committee Open Meeting: The Cultural Diversity Committee’s ongoing concern is to diversify the Society's membership and to keep the Society engaged with diverse communities. The Committee invites everyone to contribute to the discussion in an open meeting Thursday, October 17, Narragansett C, 12:15—2:00 pm.

3. AFS Pilot Mentoring Program: This year is the second in an on-going project initiated by the AFS Executive Board to arrange mentoring opportunities for students at the annual meeting; see for more information. The shadowing program pairs students with established scholars based on similarities in interest, facilitating intellectual exchanges with the hope that these will lead toward future mentoring relationships. Contact Executive Board member Lisa Gabbert as soon as possible at to see if you can still participate this year. (The slots to have lunch with a JAF editor have already filled.) We also encourage you to be fearless in striking up conversations with established scholars at this year's meeting!

For those of you attending our meeting for the first time, please see "How to Make the AFS Meeting Work Best for You" by former AFS Board member Carole Carpenter of York University at Also, please consider attending the Welcome Breakfast on Thursday, October 17, 7:00—8:00 AM.

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American Folklore SocietySister Society: SIEF
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