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Helpful Information for AFS Annual Meeting First-Time Attendees

Tuesday, October 2, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Evangeline Mee
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By Dorothy Noyes (AFS President) and Jessica A. Turner (AFS Executive Director) ––


First and foremost, welcome! We look forward to having you be part of the American Folklore Society’s annual meeting—one of the largest and most energetic gatherings of folklorists in the world—in Buffalo this October. Here is information about the event that you may find useful.


1. In 2006, former AFS Executive Board member Carole Carpenter wrote a brief document, “How to Make the AFS Meeting Work For You,” that remains the best single source of advice for those taking part in AFS for the first time about getting the greatest benefit from participating in the meeting.


2. Check the AFS Review regularly before the meeting for meeting-related news, including guides to the program that may be submitted by section conveners. AFS members get an email digest every two weeks or so. You will receive a print program book when you check in at the registration desk, or you may access the program online or as a conference app (details to be released in the coming weeks); many attendees like to use both. In any case, be sure to check the online program addendum for last-minute changes. When papers are withdrawn, subsequent papers move forward to fill the gap.


3. With a very few exceptions that will be noted (i.e., by text like “preregistration required”) in the annual meeting program book, all events and activities at our annual meeting are open to all attendees, and you are welcome to attend and take part. This means, for example, that you are welcome to attend the business meeting of the Archives and Libraries Section even if you are not a member of that section, a session sponsored by the AFS Cultural Diversity Committee even if you are not a member of that committee, or the reception sponsored by The Ohio State’s University’s folklore program if you are not part of that program. Feel free to go, listen, participate, meet new colleagues, hear famous (and soon-to-be-famous) folklorists, and learn.


4. And speaking of sections: AFS has more than 30 such sections that serve as gathering places and forums within the Society for people who share specific interests in the field. Participating in sections’ various annual meeting activities is an excellent way to help focus your annual meeting experience and keep it manageable.


5. There is one annual meeting event that is especially for first-time attendees: the Welcome Reception for First-Time Attendees, sponsored by the Executive Board, the governing body of the Society. It will take place, beginning at about 6:30 on Wednesday evening, October 17 (immediately after the Opening Ceremony for the annual meeting) in Room 106A. (The Opening Ceremony will take place in the Ballroom itself.) This will be an excellent opportunity for you to meet members of the Board and staff—leaders in our Society—as well as other colleagues who are at AFS for the first time. 


6. Finally, as Carole Carpenter noted in her essay, all of us on the board and staff of AFS will be happy to help answer your questions, or to introduce you to someone you want to meet, while you are at the meeting. You can find us at the Welcome Reception or during the meeting, either at the annual meeting registration desk or throughout the meeting hotel with “Board” or Staff” ribbons on our name badges.


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