Annual Conference Announcement

and Call for Papers

April 7-9, 2022

The Magic of the Everyday

Live Conference at the USC campus, in the heart of LA


Virtual Conference via Zoom

The Western States Folklore Society invites you to join us in exploring the theme of “The Magic of the Everyday,” and to exchange ideas on other topics within the field.

The 80th annual Western States Folklore Society’s Annual Meeting theme is The Magic of The Everyday, which is meant to encourage presentations illuminating the importance of everyday cultural activities, the ways that people give meaning to their everyday lives through performances of traditional culture, however big or small. If the everyday is often overlooked in favor of spectacles, festivals, and special performances, this conference attempts to draw our gaze back to the myriad ways in which we perform culture as ubiquitous and essential parts of our lives. As always, while presentations on this theme are encouraged, they are not required: we welcome all presentations on folklore-related topics for this conference.

Please note that this year’s Archer Taylor Lecturer will be Tok Thompson, Professor of Anthropology and Communication at the University of Southern California. Prof. Thompson describes his working title as something on the order of “Have a Nice Day...Really!”: Affectual Leakages of Late Capitalism.

Registration: Online conference registration will begin January 1, 2022. In person registration will begin Thursday, April 7, 2022 and continue throughout the conference, as will online registration. Papers will be presented live and online via Zoom on Friday, April 8 and Saturday, April 9. All those who 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, 2022. 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, 2022. 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)

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:

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 generating folk idioms. By implicitly referencing their academic sources, such idioms self-justify, thereby establishing and extending their usage—just as do contemporary legends and other folk genres. This paper addresses how certain everyday idioms result from simplifying, broadening, distorting, or ignoring their original and narrower technical and historical meanings. Such sociolinguistic mechanisms 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 their creation, function, and use in everyday discourse. (

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