Annual Conference Announcement

and Call for Papers

April 16-17, 2021

Virtual Conference via Zoom

The Western States Folklore Society, invites you to join us in exploring the theme of “Folklore's Role in Trans-Pacific Communication,” and to exchange ideas on other topics within the field.

The Western States are essential to trans-Pacific communication in our increasingly globalized world, especially with respect to the reconstruction of identity within and between diverse cultural groups with distinct folk practices. An important issue for the Western States Folklore Society is the role folklore plays in trans-Pacific communication today. We encourage presentations that explore immigration, cyber-community, group identity, family folklore, diaspora experience, multilingual education through folklore, and other relevant issues.

As always, the theme is a suggestion for those considering presentation, not a requirement. We welcome proposals for individual papers and organized panels on any topic related to folklore.

Please note that this year’s Archer Taylor Lecturer will be Dan Ben-Amos (see above), whose definition of folklore as “artistic communication in small groups” has inspired many a study, pro and con.

Registration: Conference registration has begun. Papers will be presented via Zoom on Friday, April 16 and Saturday, April 17. All those have registered (including paying the registration fee) by the time the sessions begin will be sent invitations with links. Only those who have registered will be admitted to sessions.

Nonmembers who join the Society at the time of registration are eligible for membership benefits, including reduced registration fees and a subscription to Western Folklore. The registration fee for regular members is $20; for non-members $35. The registration fees for student/retired members is $10; for non-members $20. If registering by mail, please make checks out to the Western States Folklore Society and address them to:

Western States Folklore Society
17591 River Ranch Rd
Grass Valley, CA 95949

Paper presentations: Participants wishing to present a paper must submit by email a short (100-150 word) abstract by February 1, 2021. The following Abstract guidelines are also available on the Meetings page on the WSFS website.

Note: Please read the following description carefully, and be sure to follow the stated guidelines exactly. If accepted, your abstract will be printed as given. Be sure to proofread it for grammar and spelling.

Please submit abstracts of 100-150 words in Microsoft Word by February 1, 2021. Please use the following format:

LAST NAME, First Name (Affiliation in parentheses). Title in boldface. Abstract text (100-150 words only) in regular typeface (not bold). (Your email address, enclosed in parentheses)

  • Please use Microsoft Word: PDF and email text are not acceptable
  • The full abstract—including your name, presentation title, descriptive text, and email address—must be a single paragraph; do not separate title from text
  • Descriptive text must not exceed 150 words (that is, not including name, affiliation, title of presentation, and email address).

Abstracts that do not follow these guidelines will be returned to the author for revision.

Abstracts should be submitted to the Abstract Review Committee. Cut and paste the following address into your email program: abstracts@westernfolklore.org.

Registration fees should be postmarked the same day as the abstract submission and should be accompanied by a brief note indicating your name and paper title (non-presenters please indicate “non-presenter”). All correspondence will be handled electronically unless specifically requested otherwise.

Sample abstract:

JORDAN-SMITH, Paul (Western States Folklore Society). Of Black Holes, Virality, Uncertainty, and Incompleteness. Science, technology, history, and other scholarly disciplines are rich resources for folk idioms. By referencing their academic sources, such idioms self-justify, establishing and extending their usage just as do contemporary legends and other folk genres. This paper addresses how certain idioms result from simplifying, broadening, distorting, or ignoring their original and narrower technical and historical meanings, psychological mechanisms that may reveal underlying world views and transient attitudes like those described by Lakoff and Johnson. Here I explore a few quasi- scholarly idioms in light of Oring’s critique of memetics as well as more traditional approaches to an understanding of how such idioms are generated, how they function, and how they are used in general discourse. (pauljordansmith@gmail.com)

Please check this page again for further information as it develops.