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Annual Meeting: Types of Proposals

We invite proposals on any focused topic that relates to folklore. Meeting participants are invited to propose preorganized panels, or individual presentations that, if accepted, will be assigned to a session by the program committee.

Contact Lorraine Walsh Cashman at to discuss alternative panel formats.

All proposals are due March 31. See How to Submit a Proposal Online


Special Events

AFS sections, university folklore programs, and other organizations may request a time and space for sponsored events, including professional development workshops, meetings, lectures, receptions, performances, jam sessions, and the like. Essentially, any event that is to be scheduled outside of concurrent sessions is handled as a “special event.”

Standard Paper Sessions

The standard paper session consists of a set of papers on a given topic to be presented in a two-hour session. Each paper presentation will be allotted 30 minutes on the program, including time for a brief introduction, 20 minutes for the presentation, and 5-10 minutes immediately following the presentation for questions and discussion. There can be no more than four 20-minute papers in a single standard panel session. If a session includes a discussant, there can be no more than three papers in that session.

Short Paper Sessions

Preorganized panels may consist of 5-7 short papers. To keep the schedule modular, so audience members may move between papers during each regular session, papers should be scheduled in 15-minute blocks. Therefore, papers in panels of five or more papers will be allotted 10 minutes for each presentation, followed immediately by 5 minutes for questions, with remaining time devoted to discussion of the panel as a whole. All short paper panels should allow at least 15 minutes at the end of the two-hour panel for discussion of the panel as a whole. Panel chairs may make scheduling notes about how the two-hour block should be allocated.

Diamond Sessions

Preorganized panels may consist of 6-8 diamond presentations, a formalized presentation genre structured by time and images: individual diamond presentations are seven minutes long and are organized around 21 slides that are set to advance automatically every 20 seconds. All diamond sessions will be constructed with an initial seven minutes allotted for preparation and introduction of the session as a whole, seven minutes for each diamond presentation, time for questions in between presentations, and the balance of the available time dedicated to discussion of the full set of presentations. At the discretion of the session chair, the discussion time may be used for response by a formal discussant, open "full room” questions and answers, break-out time in which presenters can confer with interested audience members, or a combination of these discussion formats.


Forums are panel discussions of a specific topic in one two-hour session. Forums may include no more than eight participants (a maximum of six is preferred), and should be designed for extensive interaction among the panel and audience. Forums may include brief prepared presentations (5 minutes or less), but they should not include papers or other formal presentations; therefore, forum proposals do not include presentation titles or abstracts from the individual participants.

Media Sessions

Media sessions feature the presentation of multiple audio or video works in a two-hour session; alternatively, a media session may include one longer work if it is combined with other presentations or discussants for an overall presentation that requires a two-hour block. Videos may be completed or works-in-progress. Media session chairs must indicate during the proposal process how the time will be divided, specifying media playing time as well as framing presentation and discussion, including time for Q&A. Films of less than 90 minutes should be submitted as individual media presentations, even with co-presenters (see below).

Individual Paper Proposals

You may choose one of two paper formats, or leave your options open:

1) short papers are allotted 15 minutes: 10 minutes to read the paper, followed immediately by 5 minutes for questions. Whenever possible, panels with short papers are allotted additional time for discussion of the presentations and panel as a whole.

2) long papers are allotted 30 minutes: 20 minutes to read the paper and 10 minutes for discussion immediately after the paper.

You may indicate on the proposal submission form that you are willing to present in either format; in that case, the program committee will have more flexibility in finding a good place for your paper. If you choose this option, it is important that you check the preliminary program when it is released in June to see which presentation format you have been assigned.

Diamond Presentations

The diamond is a formalized presentation genre structured by time and images: diamond presentations are seven minutes long and are organized around 21 slides that are set to advance automatically every 20 seconds. Diamond presentations will be allotted at least 10 minutes: 7 minutes for the presentation, 3 minutes for set up; additional time will be scheduled for questions for each presentation (times will vary depending on the composition of the panel). Diamond presentations are flagged in program materials.

Individual Media Presentations

To receive proper handling, individual presentations that consist primarily of audio or video work, completed or works-in-progress, should be submitted as media presentations. Films of less than 90 minutes should be submitted as individual media presentations; AFS will combine them, when possible, with other media or related presentations in a two-hour block. The scheduling of media presentations depends in part on the length of the media itself, but also on modular scheduling (presentation blocks of 15 or 30 minute increments). All media presentation proposals must clearly indicate the duration of the media work, and also the duration of the total presentation block, including time for Q&A.


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American Folklore SocietySister Society: SIEF
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