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AFS Review: Notes

2016 AFS/ISFNR Joint Meeting Offers Opportunities for Students

Tuesday, September 6, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Lorraine Cashman

Students are a vital part of any AFS annual meeting; this year, almost thirty percent of preregistrants are students. AFS sent this message to registered students to encourage them to take advantage of the many opportunities and events the meeting affords, including these that are designed specifically for students:

1. Shadowing program. Sponsored by the AFS Executive Board. Preregistration required by September 15. This ongoing project initiated by the AFS Executive Board arranges mentoring opportunities for students at the annual meeting; see for more information. Contact Diane Tye at or Lisa Gilman at as soon as possible, since space in the program is filled on a first come, first–served basis.


In general, we also urge you to be fearless in striking up conversations with established professionals at this year's meeting!


2. Connect with your fellow folklorists immediately after the opening ceremonies Wednesday evening in one (or more) of three over-lapping receptions:


If it’s your first AFS meeting, please join us for the AFS Executive Board’s Welcome for First–Time Attendees, 6:30–7:30 pm, in Orchid. If not, mingle outside in Promenade/Riverwalk, at the general “Welcome to Miami!” reception, featuring local music played by DJ Le Spam, 6:30–8:30 pm.


Student–Only Mixer. Relax, find friends and make new connections with peers from other programs. Sponsored by the Graduate Student Section. Wednesday, 7:30pm–8:30pm, Monroe/Flagler


Think ahead, though: these welcome receptions will have a shared cash bar, but no food.


3. 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 AFS Public Programs Section provides food, a cash bar, and a warm welcome. Thursday, 8:30–9:30 pm, Monroe/Flagler


4. University-Sponsored Receptions. Three universities are hosting receptions for their past, current and prospective students, offering an opportunity to talk with faculty and other students:


  • Memorial University of New Foundland reception: Thursday, 9:00–10:00 pm, Promenade/Riverwalk
  • The Ohio State University Dessert Reception reception: Thursday, 9:00–10:00 pm, Hibiscus B
  • Indiana University reception: Friday, 9:00pm–11:00pm, Hibiscus B


5. AFS Fellows Receptions for Students. The AFS 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 Fellows provide food and a cash bar. Friday, 6:30pm–8:30pm, Japengo


6. Trivia Night for Grad Students. Get to know one another better in a casual setting. Start with an "elevator presentation" of your research and areas of interest, then form teams to compete in a pub–style folklore trivia night. Prizes will be awarded to the winning teams. Sponsored by the AFS Graduate Student Section. Friday, 10:00 pm–12:00 am, Tuttle Center


7. AFS Fellows Breakfast of (Folklore) Champions. Senior folklorists have 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:


Cristina Bacchilega (University of Hawai’i, Mānoa), narrative folklore

Simon J. Bronner (Penn State University, Harrisburg), folklore theory and practice

Marsha MacDowell (Michigan State University Museum), traditional culture and museums

Michael Ann Williams (Western Kentucky University), material culture


This Fellows–sponsored program, now in its eighth 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, 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 your top two preferences, 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, 7:00–8:30am, in Japengo.


8. Volunteer Shifts: Every year, AFS staff require some student assistance; in return for working a full shift, students will have their meeting registration fee refunded or waived.


Working the registration desk involves distributing nametags and programs to those who have preregistered, taking registration and payments for those who register onsite, and any other duties as request.


This year, we also request the assistance of someone for two shorter periods of time at the beginning and end of the meeting: this includes setting up speakers in meeting rooms on Wednesday and removing them on Saturday, and making a head count of attendees in Saturday afternoon sessions.


Sign-up is on a first-come, first-served basis, until all slots are filled. If you are interested, please email, indicating up to three shifts that you could cover, in order of preference.



Wednesday, 10:30 am–2:30 pm



Wednesday, 2:15–6:15 pm:



Thursday, 7:15 am–11:15 am



Thursday, 11:1 5am–3:30 pm


Friday, 7:15 am–11:15 am



Odd Jobs

Wednesday, 10:30 am–12:30 pm; Saturday, 3:00 pm–5:00 pm



We also particularly want to point out these events, which are open to all:


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 interest and activities of the Section. See the AFS Annual Meeting program for specific meeting times and locations.


2. AFS Cultural Diversity Committee Brown Bag Welcome Lunch. The over-arching goal of the AFS Cultural Diversity Committee is to find ways to diversify attendance at the AFS annual meeting and to diversify the membership of the Society; the goal of the brown bag is to create a more immediate welcome to anyone who is interested in this conversation. Bring a lunch. Thursday, 12:45–1:45 pm, Tuttle South

3. Regional Welcome Reception. Make social and professional connections to folklorists and other cultural workers from your home region or a region you are interested in exploring. Representatives of regional folklore groups, gatherings, and retreats will be on hand to talk about ways to network, particularly in person, back at home, and in between AFS meetings. Cash bar, sponsored by South Arts. Thursday, 5:45–7:45 pm, Promenade/Riverwalk


Finally, those of you who are attending our meeting for the first time, should take a look at “How to Make the AFS Meeting Work Best for You" by former AFS Board member Carole Carpenter of York University at



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