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Guidelines for Presenters in the 2013 AFS Poster Exhibitions

The AFS Poster Exhibition will be organized around distinct thematic exhibitions. Each exhibition will have its own space in the exhibitions hall and will be introduced with a customized, overarching title panel that introduces the theme and offers connections to the individual projects.

The exhibition will be on display in the Narragansett Ballroom lobby on the first floor of the hotel, outside the Narragansett Ballroom where the plenary sessions will be held. This is a public, unsecured area, near the meeting registration desk, central to conference traffic, but not in a main thoroughfare. The lobby will also be used for evening receptions.

Poster Logistics

Posters will be displayed on easels. AFS will provide cardboard or foam core backing and pins or tape to secure the posters to the board. The maximum available area for your poster is three feet by four feet (3' height x 4' length).

Posters should be printed before the conference and brought to the conference ready to unroll and display. While this system does not preclude creating a poster the old-fashioned way with scissors and paste, the preferred (and more common) way to produce your poster is as a digital document printed on a large-format printer. (Helpful resources for designing and producing a conference paper in this way are provided at the end of this guide.) Each presenter will be assigned a location in the exhibition. These will be selected by the curator (museum-fashion) to maximize the coherence of the exhibition relative to the theme and the other included posters.

Presenters are asked to display their name and poster title prominently and to include contact information and a photograph of themselves somewhere on the poster. Because many conferees will consult the posters after the opening reception (when the presenter will not be present), the inclusion of a photograph will help such visitors find and connect with presenters later in the conference.

The curator will take down all of the posters on Friday night and they will be available in rolled and rubber-banded form at the AFS registration table until noon on Saturday morning. Posters that have not been picked up by this time will be disposed of.

Reception Logistics

Presenters are asked to have their posters mounted and ready for display before 8 AM on Thursday (October 17, 2013). The area will be ready by at least 7:30 AM for this purpose. Exhibitions curator Carrie Hertz will be on site then to address any last minute questions.

At 8 AM, conferees will be welcomed into the exhibition. At 9 AM each of the three exhibition discussants will make some informal remarks to everyone in the hall about the exhibition for which they serve as discussant. Each set of remarks will last about ten minutes, with the full discussion period lasting about a half hour. The final 20 minutes will allow for a final period of informal discussion among the participants.

At 10 AM the reception will conclude. The poster exhibitions will remain in place until Friday evening. Presenters are not obligated to stay with their posters beyond the end of the reception, but they are asked not to remove them.

While those attending the reception will have the unique and valuable opportunity to discuss posters with individual presenters (and this dialogue is the highest aim of this project), the ideal is a poster that can also stand alone and communicate effectively without the presence of the presenter. In a small number of cases, it may be possible to include multi-media enhancements for a poster but these would only be in use during the reception. Costs, technical issues, and security concerns preclude the use of electronic media during the full run of the exhibitions. Those with questions in this regard should contact the curator (Carrie Hertz).


Carrie Hertz (Curator of Folk Arts, Castellani Art Museum, Niagara University) will curate the exhibition.

Tom Walker of Goucher College will discuss Cultural Sustainability.

Marsha Bols of the Museum of International Folk Art will discuss Folklore and Museums.

Steve Zietlin of City Lore will discuss Studies in Folklore and Place.

General Advice

Remember that we are folklorists and presenting in exhibition-like ways is one of our specialties. Do not be put off by the fact that the poster genre is more established in scientific fields. We are making it our own! With this thought in mind, much general guidance relevant to the development of scholarly posters can be found online. Sources of direct relevance include:

"Creating Anthropology Conference Posters: A Guide for Beginners" by Jason E. Miller and John K. Trainor

"Guidelines for Poster Presentations" compiled for the "Discourse 2.0: Language and New Media" conference in 2011.

"How to Design and Present a Successful Poster" by Kristen Syrett [for the Linguistic Society of America]

"Poster PresentationsDesigning Effective Posters" by the University at Buffalo Libraries.

"Poster Presentations" by Gary Ritchison

"Tips for Effective Poster Presentations" by the U.S. Department of Energy

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