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AFS Review: News

AFS President Kay Turner Invites Members to Attend the AFS Business Meeting in Miami

Tuesday, September 6, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jesse A. Fivecoate
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Dear AFS Members,

I hope you’ve had a great summer and are now looking forward to joining together in Miami in October. As I said last March, as President I'll write an occasional letter inviting your input on various initiatives I plan to introduce, and this is my second such letter. My topic is a simple but important invitation to you to make plans to attend the Annual Business Meeting of the Society, to be held this year on Saturday, October 22, from 4:00-5:00 pm.

This brief hour on the program of our annual meeting is critical to the vitality of our organization. The business meeting provides the single yearly opportunity for us to come together to discuss in person the goals and meaning of our Society, to make proposals for its betterment, to seek the Executive Board’s action, or just to make a statement of concern. A range of issues—great and small—can be addressed in this meeting.

The Business Meeting should be the heart of our discourse as a Society, yet in recent years I think we have let the power of this hour diminish to rote acceptance of old business with little new business in the offing. Executive Director Tim Lloyd and I, along with the Executive Board, would like to see this change. As impetus, Tim will deliver the first of what will be annual State of the Society addresses as part of the Miami business meeting. Tim’s address will no doubt jumpstart us for a new year and I hope you’ll have lots to say in response to it. We’ll also announce the recipient of our 2016 Lifetime Scholarly Achievement Award at the business meeting.

If you have not already done so, a great way to prepare for the Business Meeting is to carefully consider the report on the Membership Survey that we conducted in June 2016, available on the AFS website at:

This important survey, taken every five years, was answered by close to 600 of our members, a better response by far than on previous AFS membership surveys. It gives a detailed view of the folklore profession as it stands today in the US and is a fine basis for addressing our Society’s needs and goals in the near future.

I believe strongly in the potential of the Annual Business Meeting to solidify commitments to the Society, so much so that when I ran for President two years ago, reinvigoration of the meeting was part of my platform speech! So, I’m just doing what I said I’d do by inviting all of you to attend and participate with vigor in our annual business blowout! No one knows better than folklorists the good that comes from gathering together in mutual concern, likeness, and difference. We are a relatively small society as professional societies go, but this gives every member a bigger voice in telling the always-unfinished story of folklore.

I look forward to seeing all of you in Miami at the Hyatt and, of course, at the Annual Business Meeting!


Kay Turner, President, American Folklore Society




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