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AFS Review: Notes

2015 Annual Meeting Offers Opportunities Especially for Students

Friday, August 21, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Lorraine Cashman
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There are several opportunities that are designed specifically for students:

1. AFS Graduate Student Section business meeting, Saturday, 12:15--2:00 pm, Shanghai. 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. Student Mixer. The only student-only event at the meeting, the mixer gives students a chance to find friends and make new connections with peers from other programs. Cash bar. Federal Bar, 102 Pine Avenue, Thursday, 5:00–7:00 pm.

3. 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 immediately after the Fellows' Utley lecture. The reception is at the Centennial Terrace, Friday, 5:45-7:00 pm.

4. 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 provides food, a cash bar, and a warm welcome. Centennial Terrace, Thursday, 8:00—8:30 pm.

5. The 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:

  • Barbro Klein (Swedish Collegium for Advanced Studies), folkloristics, Europe, and beyond
  • Sabina Magliocco (California State University, Northridge), creativity in folklore studies
  • Leonard Norman Primiano (Cabrini College), vernacular religion
  • Timothy Tangherlini (University of California, Los Angeles), digital humanities; legend and storytelling

This Fellows-sponsored program, now in its seventh 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, in order, for 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, 7:30—9:00 am, in Shoreline.

6. Volunteer Shifts at AFS Registration: Every year, AFS requires some student assistance during the busiest hours at the meeting registration desk; in return for working a full shift at registration, students will have their meeting registration fee refunded or waived. These shifts involve distributing nametags and programs to those who have preregistered, taking registrations and payments for those who register onsite, and any other duties as requested.

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.


Wednesday, 3:00-7:00 pm:


Thursday, 7:15-11:15 am:


Thursday, 11 am--3 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 sessions: The Cultural Diversity Committee’s ongoing concern is to diversify the Society's membership and to keep the Society engaged with diverse communities. The CDC is organizing three sessions at the Long Beach Public Library:

  • "Folklore 101: Foundation, Community and Inclusion," is specifically aimed to bring new-comers to the field or to the meeting into a discussion of foundational ideas, concepts, and approaches important to folklore studies (i.e. authenticity, power, appropriation, community, racism, privilege, representation, etc.), with a critical focus on how our practices and approaches to folklore engage notions of community and inclusion within our own scholarly community, between those we work with and ourselves. Thursday, 12:15—2:00 pm.
  • "Antidiscrimination and Undoing Ecologies of Power: A Discussion" aims to foster a conversation on how anti-racism, antidiscrimination, social justice, and other radical theories, practices, and approaches relate to AFS’s mission and to the integrity, health, and promise of the field in general, with reference to episodes from AFS and folklore studies history. Thursday, 2:45—4:45 pm.
  • "Cultural Diversity and Local Realities: AFS and Community Engagement" will ask questions such as: What is AFS’s responsibility to the communities in which it holds its annual meeting? Are there ways that engagement with those communities can enhance our cultural diversity? How could we work to effect positive change in these communities? The CDC hopes to explore such questions in this open forum—questions requiring us to interrogate the purpose and nature of our organization as well as its relationship to the communities we interact with. Thursday, 5:00--6:30 pm.

3. AFS Mentoring Program: This ongoing project initiated by the AFS Executive Board arranges mentoring opportunities for students at the annual meeting; see for more information.

Contact Carolyn Ware at as soon as possible, since space in the program is filled on a first come, first-served basis.

In general, we also encourage students to be fearless in striking up conversations with established scholars at this year's meeting!

For those 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 invite you to attend the Welcome Breakfast for First-Time Attendees, International Participants, and Stipend Recipients on Thursday, 7:00—8:00 AM, Centennial Terrace.

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