Updates Specific to 2023
This year, AFS is offering up to two days of dedicated virtual programming, October 11-12, in addition to a four-day, in-person gathering in Portland, Oregon, November 1-4.
AFS will also offer virtual access to some Portland-based programming in the form of streamed keynotes, a limited number of hybrid sessions, and more session recordings.
Registering for the 2023 Annual Meeting gives you access to both the fully virtual (Oct. 11-12) and in-person (Nov. 1-4) portions of the annual meeting. Virtual attendees can expect access to some Portland-based programming in the form of streamed keynotes, a limited number of hybrid sessions, and more session recordings, as well as the full virtual program October 11-12. Place-based attendees can also join the fully virtual components before gathering in Portland for the immersive, in-person conference experience. A few special events may require ticket sales to cover their specific costs.
Information about any and all events that require an additional sign-up will be emailed to all registrants and posted to the 2023 Annual Meeting page.
To make the meeting widely accessible, AFS is offering scholarships to reduce or eliminate the cost of meeting registration fees for those who can’t afford them. Complete this form to apply for financial support.
Individuals who would like to submit a proposal but who require financial assistance to cover registration fees should apply for the scholarship funds. You may choose “pay by invoice” at registration to proceed with your proposal while you wait to hear about financial support. You may withdraw your proposal without penalty if you apply for support but do not receive it.
Presenters must close their invoices by July 1 to remain on the conference program; contact us at [email protected] if that presents a problem for you. All other registrants must close their invoices by October 1, after which point the “Pay by Invoice” option will not be available.
AFS will take proposals for the virtual and in-person portions of the annual meeting, including individual presentations, pre-organized panels, and special events, from March 1 through March 31.
While we hope that anyone who can join us in person will do so, AFS is committed to maintaining and improving the accessibility of our annual meeting. To support presenters who can’t travel to Portland, individual presenters and chairs of pre-organized sessions will have the opportunity to select between virtual or in-person presentation modes when they submit their proposals. Chairs may also apply to be considered for one of the limited number of hybrid slots in Portland.
Registration provides access to both the fully virtual (Oct. 11-12) and in-person (Nov. 1-4) portions of the annual meeting. Virtual presenters can expect access to some Portland-based programming in the form of streamed keynotes, a limited number of hybrid sessions, and more session recordings, as well as the full virtual program October 11-12. Place-based presenters can also join the fully virtual components before gathering in Portland for the immersive, in-person conference experience.
Please note that we will not be able to shift presentations or sessions from one mode to another after the point of scheduling.
Important Note: To create an opportunity for greater flexibility in scheduling, sessions will be limited to 90 minutes by default, but we will accommodate 120-minute sessions as necessary. Contact us at [email protected] to request a 120-minute session.
We aim to release the preliminary program in June. Presenters will have two weeks to request corrections or changes. Staff will work to accommodate change requests received within that window whenever possible.
We ask participants to be mindful and respectful of each other, recognizing that individuals have different health vulnerabilities (which may or may not be visible) and levels of risk tolerance.
We encourage attendees to stay up to date on their vaccinations. The CDC may have an updated Covid booster by late September, making it possible to be fully boosted before our time together in Portland.
We are asking all registrants to take an at home test within 24 hours of the event, and for any participants who are traveling to take a test before the flight as an extra precaution.
Moreover, we ask you to consider the health of others. Do not attend in-person meeting events if you have tested positive for Covid-19, are waiting for Covid-19 test results, or have Covid-19 symptoms. We will not enforce any penalties if you must withdraw for any such reason.
Checklist for you to bring with you if possible:
- Alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Masks KN95 or N95
- Antigen rapid tests
Masks and rapid tests will be made available for participants at the registration desk.
We will monitor the situation so that our policies can best address the conditions that face us in the fall. AFS and the conference hotel are prepared to implement preventative measures to reduce the spread of Covid-19. Specifically, AFS will follow local and national public health regulations concerning masking and capacity limits within the conference venue and may need to update our policies. AFS will not conduct health checks or screenings.
We cannot guarantee that you will not become infected with Covid-19. We urge you to exercise caution if you have concerns about participating in the in-person meeting.
To register for the meeting, you must acknowledge that there is an inherent risk of exposure to Covid-19 in any public place where people are present. If you choose to attend any in-person gathering, you assume all risks related to exposure to Covid-19 and agree not to hold AFS, our officers, employees, contractors, or volunteers liable.
Furthermore, while attending any event related to the AFS annual meeting, you will be expected to follow all current local and US CDC recommendations for attending a large gathering.
General Annual Meeting Policies
AFS strives to ensure that all meeting participants have equal opportunities to engage in and contribute to its annual meeting. AFS selects only ADA-compliant meeting venues. Presenters and attendees are encouraged to request accommodations that will support their full participation in the conference; email [email protected] at least 60 days before the meeting.
As a step towards equitable access, AFS has developed guidelines for conference presenters for an in-person gathering and for virtual events for conference presenters to follow in order to make their work more accessible to all. AFS asks all presenters to read and follow these guidelines and to ask for assistance if needed.
As in-person meeting attendees may experience multiple chemical sensitivities, please refrain from wearing all perfumes and use fragrance-free, unscented personal care products for the duration of our event.
To participate in the annual meeting, you must register for the meeting, but you don’t have to join AFS. Both AFS members and non-members may submit proposals for presentations, or may simply attend the meeting without presenting.
The American Folklore Society is committed to providing a professional environment, at the AFS annual meeting and at other AFS-sponsored activities, that upholds values of inclusion, safety, and mutual respect. AFS expects participants at its annual meeting and at other AFS-sponsored activities to follow the same standards of ethical engagement there as they do elsewhere in their practice as folklorists, and in everyday life.
Our standards do not tolerate any discrimination or harassment on the basis of age, body size, class, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, physical appearance, political perspective, race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other legally protected characteristic. Our standards call for sensitivity to power dynamics, exhibited in part through respect for the ideas, work, personal autonomy, and contributions of individuals in more junior positions in the field. Our standards include a belief in the rights of free speech and open inquiry, as well as respect and tolerance for people with worldviews, opinions, and experiences different from our own.
We expect all participants not to engage in any form of harassment at the AFS annual meeting and at other AFS-sponsored activities. Attendees should hold themselves and each other to these expectations. Anyone requested to stop harassing or other inappropriate behavior is expected to comply immediately.
Harassment includes, but is not limited to:
- Personal remarks about individuals that reinforce damaging social structures of domination (e.g., related to age, body size, class, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, physical appearance, political perspective, race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other legally protected characteristic)
- Inappropriate use of sexual images in public spaces
- Deliberate intimidation, stalking, or following
- Unwanted photography or recording
- Sustained disruption of talks or other events
- Inappropriate physical contact
- Unwelcome sexual attention
- Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behavior
The Society seeks to provide meaningful support to members who have experienced harassment at AFS meeting program events. If you are the target or witness of harassment or other inappropriate behavior, we encourage you to report the incident to AFS staff: Jessica Turner ([email protected]), Rosalind Rini Larson ([email protected]), or Cassie Rosita Patterson ([email protected]).
These officially designated contacts can serve as intermediaries, sounding boards, confidantes, and informal advisers; they can also confer with you about possible next steps. Reporting an incident of harassment does not obligate the reporter to pursue any further action. Our goal above all is to support vulnerable members of the community and to strategize to end the harassment in question. As a voluntary professional organization, the AFS is limited in its ability to respond formally to charges of harassment, but it will follow its professional and ethical responsibility to respond to reports of harassment among its membership, to protect the privacy of all concerned within the limits of the law, and to report complaint statistics to its members.
AFS reserves the right to prohibit attendance at any AFS meeting or activity or to take other action it deems appropriate and reasonable under the circumstances.
If you have immediate concerns about safety, report them first to security at the conference venue (instructions specific to the venue will be provided in program materials), or to the police at 911.
We ask you not to report inappropriate behavior in social media, but to quickly and privately contact AFS through appropriate channels, including cell phone, email or in person at our events. For one thing, AFS staff may not see your social media posts. Additionally, social media posts could create a more volatile or dangerous situation for the individual(s) experiencing this harassing behavior.
THIS STATEMENT IS INFORMATIONAL ONLY AND IS NOT A CONTRACT, AND DOES NOT CREATE ANY LEGALLY ENFORCEABLE PROTECTIONS OR OBLIGATIONS ON THE PART OF AFS. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO, NOR SHOULD IT BE USED TO SUPPORT A CAUSE OF ACTION, CREATE A PRESUMPTION OF A BREACH OF LEGAL DUTY, OR FORM A BASIS FOR CIVIL LIABILITY.
AV equipment and technical support constitute the single largest expense of the annual meeting, typically amounting to more than half of all meeting costs in a simple year, and more for combined in-person and virtual events. AFS strives to balance the need to support presenters with the need to keep registration rates as low as possible by providing only essential AV services.
AFS provides basic internet in all meeting rooms, and some AV equipment upon request during the proposal process.
Presenters should assume that the bandwidth of the in-house wifi will not support video streaming of any kind unless you make arrangements by March 31 with [email protected]. Presenters who wish to show video are advised to bring their video file on their own personal computer or storage device.
Panels should not plan to include virtual presentations unless you make arrangements by March 31 with [email protected].
Presenters may request data projectors and/or speakers when they submit their proposals. AFS will schedule panels in meeting rooms that are equipped accordingly. All presenters must bring their own computers, and Mac users should bring the appropriate adapters for their particular model. If you are participating in an organized session, please inform your chair of your equipment needs as well. Equipment specifications are linked to the current Annual Meeting page or available upon request.
Individuals who can’t bring their own computers are advised to coordinate with other members of their panel to share equipment.
Cancellations and withdrawals
Once a paper or session is submitted, it is expected that the author(s) will present their paper at the conference if the proposal is accepted. Participation in the conference is competitive, and a cancelled presentation eliminates a spot that could have accommodated another presenter. Moreover, the cost is greater in staff time and in inconvenience to attendees when gaps are created in the program schedule (see No-Shows, Schedule of Presentations and Program Updates, below).
As a courtesy to AFS members, conference presenters, and attendees, AFS strongly discourages paper presenters from canceling their participation in the conference after proposals have been submitted. If you find that you can’t present your paper yourself, we urge you to contact the chair of your session and [email protected] as soon as possible to inform us and to make other arrangements, such as finding someone to read the paper, playing a recording of your presentation, or giving a virtual presentation if circumstances allow.
The refund policy is as follows:
- If you have registered but are not presenting or named in the program, you may request a full refund until October 1; after that, no refunds will be issued.
- No refunds will be issued after July 1 to program participants (chairs, presenters, discussants, etc.) who withdraw their presentations.
- Presenters who wait until October 1 to notify AFS that they will not present will not be considered for the next year’s annual meeting.
- No penalty will be imposed for those who can’t attend because of visa difficulties or because they have symptoms of, or have been in close contact with, contagious illness.
- In the event that local or national regulations require us to cancel our in-person gathering, the affected presenters may withdraw with no penalty.
AFS considers “no-shows” to be presenters who do not attend their scheduled sessions at the annual meeting and who have either (1) not notified AFS in advance that they cannot present at the meeting or (2) have not submitted a recorded presentation or a paper to be read in their absence.
No-shows are conspicuous in their absence. They inconvenience the chair, their fellow presenters, and those attending the session. No-shows may not present for the next two meetings. There is no penalty if you notify AFS in advance of October 1, submit a recorded presentation, or arrange for your paper to be read by someone else at your session. You are responsible for finding your own alternative presenter and notifying AFS of the change. Note: It is not enough to inform your panel chair; if you do not inform AFS, you will be penalized as a no-show. Contact [email protected] as soon as your plans change.
Number of presentations
You may “present” only once at the annual meeting. “Presenting” means: giving a paper, diamond presentation, or participating in a forum in any capacity.
However, individuals may also serve as chair in one other paper or diamond panel. This exception does not apply to forums, since the chair of a forum participates equally in the discussion, rather than serving in a support position.
Discussants are typically counted as presenters because they occupy a presentation slot; contact [email protected] if you believe circumstances warrant an exception.
No one may participate in more than two sessions altogether.
Exceptions will be made for those who are invited by AFS to present in the service of an AFS project.
In years past, participants were allowed to participate in two forums, or to present a paper and participate in a forum. This is no longer the case.
Presentations that have been given at previous AFS annual meetings will not be sent to the planning committee for review. Films may be re-presented once if the work has been substantially revised since the previous showing; thus, a filmmaker may show a rough cut and the (nearly) final product, but may not present the same title more than twice.
AFS staff takes responsibility for representing the program schedule as accurately as possible.
Presenters are solely responsible for the views and personal information they provide for the program; AFS staff exercises minimal editorial control, but reserves the right to edit for length, clarity, grammatical correctness and tone in all data submitted in proposals.
Program participants are responsible for reviewing their information in the preliminary program; corrections must be submitted within two weeks of the preliminary program publication in order to be captured in print program material.
Every year, some papers are withdrawn after program materials are published, up to and during the conference itself. Because withdrawals have a significant impact on the schedule of presentations, AFS staff will attempt to record all known paper withdrawals in digital program materials and on the print program addendum. Since withdrawals are likely to affect the start times and even the sequence of all remaining papers in a session, it is very important that presenters and attendees check for updates to the schedule at the start of each session. (See Schedule of Presentations above for more information.)
Recording of meeting events
AFS reserves the right to take still photographs of all program events and public conference space at the annual meeting for possible publication or distribution on its website, newsletter, or other official publications.
Most virtual sessions, if any, and a limited number of in-person sessions will be recorded and posted to the conference platform for asynchronous access by registered attendees for a limited time after the live proceedings. This will make meeting content more accessible to a larger number of attendees.
Presenters may opt-out of recording their contributions, or request audio recording instead of video recording.
We will seek signed permissions from all annual meeting presenters whose presentations we intend to keep and/or distribute more publicly after the annual meeting.
By frequenting conference events and space, whether in-person or virtual, attendees are granting permission to AFS to be included in photographs and recordings.
Virtual + In Person (with limited hybrid)
Offering both virtual and in-person meetings significantly increases operating costs, especially in the case of a true “hybrid” that offers both virtual and in-person participation in a single, live event.
This year, AFS is offering up to two days of dedicated virtual programming, October 11-12, in addition to a four-day, in-person gathering in Portland, Oregon, November 1-4. AFS will also offer virtual access to some Portland-based programming in the form of streamed keynotes, a limited number of hybrid sessions, and more session recordings.
Individual presenters and chairs of pre-organized sessions will have the opportunity to select between virtual or in-person presentation modes when they submit their proposals. Chairs may also apply to be considered for one of the limited number of hybrid slots in Portland.
Apply to Chair a Hybrid Session
During the proposal window, chairs may also apply to be considered for one of the limited number of hybrid slots in Portland. Given the small number of hybrid time slots, the Review Committee will be quite selective when considering applications for hybrid sessions. Preference will be given to proposals that articulate a plan for deliberately facilitating interaction between virtual and in-person participants and managing the technology to support it. If you wish to be considered for hybrid, look for the tick box to indicate your interest in hybrid mode when you submit your session proposal, and fill out this form to provide more information about your plans. If your session is not accepted for hybrid, it will be considered for the mode (Virtual or In person) that you selected in your session proposal form.
By making this selection in the proposal form, you are locking in your session’s presentation mode for the conference. We cannot shift sessions from one mode to another once they are scheduled.
If you are uncertain about whether or not you or any of your panelists will be able to travel to Portland, we recommend that you select Virtual; you are also welcome to apply for hybrid, but selecting Virtual as the primary choice ensures that all panelists will be able to present even if your session is not accepted for hybrid.
Scheduling of presentations
All paper/diamond/media sessions include a schedule with a starting time for each presentation or general discussion block.
The assigned time slots for each presentation include time for the presentation itself and also for Q&A.
We urge all panel participants to observe and enforce their scheduled times, because many attendees rely on the schedule to move from paper to paper.
Because papers are typically withdrawn even during the conference itself, we highly recommend that you check for program changes before the start of each session. See Withdrawals, below.
The manner of distributing program updates may vary with the technology available from year to year, but typically, changes received before October 1 are distributed in print materials, while all changes, including those received during the meeting, can be found in digital materials. It may be necessary to refer to a separate addendum, which will be attached to the AFS annual meeting webpage. Check the AFS annual meeting webpage at the time of the meeting for more information.
Accepted proposals for individual presentations are grouped by the Review Committee into panels. The Review Committee uses its best professional judgment as it weighs many variables in creating panels, including finding not just points of intersection between papers, but also creating opportunities for conversations across “silos.” Panels may include a variety of presentation formats and variable durations.
We seek to accommodate preferences submitted with the proposal, especially concerning presentation mode and duration, but cannot promise to do so in all cases, especially after the revised program is posted.
Each presentation time slot includes time for the presentation itself, as well as time for questions.
All presenters should check the preliminary program to confirm which slot they are actually assigned, and contact AFS staff by the posted deadline to correct any errors. Panelists may request specific schedule adaptations by that deadline, but should abide by the revised schedule during the session.
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. Each diamond presentation is allotted 15 minutes, including a few minutes to ready the equipment, seven minutes for the presentation, and the remaining time for questions and discussion. Additional time for discussion will be indicated as appropriate in the published schedule. Panelists may request specific schedule adaptations in the two weeks after the preliminary program is posted, but should abide by the revised schedule during the session.
Forums are informal discussions organized around a specific subject, issue, theme, or topic. Forums should include no more than six participants, and should be designed for extensive interaction among the panel and audience. Forums should not include formal presentations, like papers, but may include very brief (5 minute) remarks from each participant to orient the discussion. Forum chairs participate fully in the discussion with other panelists, so all forum participants are held to the same limits on the Number of Presentations (see above).
Media sessions feature the presentation of one or multiple audio or video works in a single session. Media presentations may be completed or works-in-progress. Media playing time is indicated in the program.
Short paper sessions
Preorganized panels may consist of up to 6 short papers. By default, each presentation is allotted 10 minutes for the paper, followed immediately by 5 minutes for questions. Additional time for discussion will be indicated as appropriate in the published schedule. Panelists may request specific schedule adaptations when submitting the proposal or in the two weeks after the preliminary program is posted, but should abide by the revised schedule during the session.
Standard paper sessions
A standard paper session consists of a set of papers on a given topic to be presented in a 90-minute session (or 120-minute upon request). Each paper presentation is 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. If you require more than 3 presentation slots this year, use the “short paper session” option, which provides more customized scheduling options. Panelists may request correction in the two weeks after the preliminary program is posted, but should abide by the revised schedule during the session.
Live virtual presentations, if any, will take place using Zoom Online Meetings; access will be password protected and limited to meeting registrants.
Successful virtual presentations require some preparation in advance of the meeting:
- All presenters should make sure that they have adequate bandwidth and equipment to present, including a computer with Zoom software installed (strongly recommended) or the capability to run the Zoom web browser client. You can check your bandwidth here. You should also think about your lighting, microphone, and background.
- You will share media files using Screen Share from your own device. Nevertheless, it is a wise precaution to share your files with a co-panelist in advance, in case of playback difficulties on your end.
- Pre-recorded papers or slideshows are not required, but may yield higher presentation quality. In any case, we will schedule presentations in a live session with time for questions, so you can give your paper live or play your recording from your own device using “screen share.”
Last updated: 2023
More information, including some procedures and rationales for planning decisions, are explained in Annual Meeting FAQ.