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AFS Review: Notes

The 2013 Meeting for First-time International Attendees

Monday, October 7, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Lorraine Cashman
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by Dorothy Noyes (The Ohio State University)

The AFS meeting is relaxed and informal by international standards and compared to larger meetings in the US. You should feel free to speak to anyone you like, and to approach senior scholars: they are always flattered to learn that young people are interested in talking to them! Someone on your panel or an AFS Board or Fellow or committee member (look for anyone wearing some kind of ribbon on their nametag) can help you to find someone you're looking for.

During the meeting sessions, discussion can get heated when the issues are important, but questions and comments on your paper will generally be friendly and people will be interested in helping you with your work. Questions and comments from students are always welcome.

There is an orientation and welcome breakfast for all first-time meeting attendees on Thursday morning. This is a chance to meet some key people in AFS and also to make yourself known. Another important opportunity for students is the Fellows Reception for Students on Thursday night (with free food!). This is an excellent chance to talk one-on-one with senior scholars. You may see the Fellows talking among themselves: they are shy too! Go up and speak to them. You will see that there are also receptions and mixers throughout the conference, and these give you other opportunities to meet people. If you are interested in a graduate program, visit their evening reception: here you can meet some faculty and talk to current students about their experience. Finally, the section meetings, which take place mostly at lunchtime, let you meet smaller cohorts of people with similar interests. Most sections have memberships, but you do not need to be a member of a section to attend its meetings. Volunteers are always needed in the sections, and this is an excellent way to build relationships.

You can learn a lot in a hurry about the past and present of the AFS, and about how folklore studies function in North America, by attending the Opening Ceremonies on Wednesday and the Candidates' Forum and Business Meeting on Saturday. These are ethnographic moments!

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