American Folklore Society Annual Meeting Reports

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The American Folklore Society (AFS) began holding annual meetings in 1889, one year after the Society's founding, and has met every year except for 1942 and 1943, in the midst of World War II, when many activities of all kinds were curtailed. Very occasionally, AFS has held more than one meeting a year.

The first 60 AFS annual meetings, from 1889 to 1948, were reported on in the pages of the Journal of American Folklore, and all of those annual meeting reports are available here. A related AFS collection in IUSW contains most of the program brochures and books produced for AFS annual meetings since 1949. As part of the Open Folklore effort, AFS is working with the Indiana University-Bloomington Libraries, the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, and the Utah State University Libraries, toward the goal of assembling a complete set of programs from past annual meetings, which as a group contain a remarkable on-the-ground history of the field, its people, and their ideas.

Today, the Society’s annual meeting brings together more than 700 folklorists from around the world—making it the largest annual folklore conference—to exchange ideas and news, and to create and strengthen friendships and working relationships. The meeting is the occasion for major lectures by folklorists and special guests, as well as the presentation of work by folklorists and those from related fields in 12-15 concurrent sessions for three days.


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