Annual Meetings

The Western States Folklore Society (formerly California Folklore Society) holds Annual Meetings to encourage professional and amateur folklorists to meet each other, present papers, and engage in discussions of all aspects of folklore and folklife. The Meetings, usually held on a weekend in April and extending from Friday through Sunday morning, are hosted by different colleges or universities throughout the western states from the Rockies to the Pacific.

The 78th Annual Meeting will be held at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, Friday-Saturday, April 12-13, 2019. As in previous years, we'll get together on Thursday evening, April 11, for registration, check-in, and a reception.

Click on the Call for Papers button in the navigation panel for complete information about this year's Annual Meeting.

Presentations and abstracts: Members and nonmembers alike can present papers. Papers are presented in sessions with other papers and need to follow the session schedule. Single-paper presentations should run no longer than 20 minutes (about 2,000 words, or 8-10 double-spaced pages, max.). We strongly recommend that authors read their final versions aloud before presentation, to make sure they will not run over the limit.

Abstracts must be 100-150 words in length and must be accompanied by a registration fee. You can email abstracts to the Abstract Review Committee at You will receive acknowledgment that your abstract has been submitted.

For questions, contact

Jill Terry Rudy
BYU English Department
4157 JFSB
Provo, UT 84602

Sample abstract:

MIEDER, Wolfgang (University of Vermont). “The American People Rose to the Occasion”; A Proverbial Retrospective of the Marshall Plan after Seventy Years. The American soldier-statesman George C. Marshall (1880-1959) played a major role as United States Army Chief of Staff during World War II and as United States Secretary of State from 1947 to 1949. He was a major player in rebuilding the economies of Western Europe on democratic principles by envisioning, planning, and executing the European Recovery Program that became known as the Marshall Plan and that earned him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1953. In his numerous addresses, speeches, and testimonies for this sociopolitical program he also stressed the necessity of humanitarian aid in the form of food, clothes, and other necessities to return life to normal in sixteen war-torn countries. While his rhetoric was for the most part straightforward and to the point, he also employed such proverbs as “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing,” “The proof of the pudding is in the eating,” “Practice what you preach,” and “Man does not live by bread alone” to add metaphorical expressiveness to his deliberations. Proverbial expressions like “To sell the same horse twice,” “to throw down the gauntlet,” “to tighten one's belt,” and “to hang in the balance” played their part in making Marshall's rhetoric more effective by supplying some colloquial color. While there is no plethora of proverbial language, George Marshall clearly helped his important cause by relying on at least some traditional folk speech and its emotional cadence.

Registration fees: Special discount rates are available for regular members, student/retired/limited income members, and student/retired/limited income nonmembers. 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; see the Publications page for information about the journal.

Student Travel Stipend:The Society awards up to three stipends of $250 each to help students presenting a paper to defray travel expenses to the annual meeting. Known as the Elliott Oring Student Travel Stipend, the awards are given to students on the basis of their submitted abstracts as well as the distance they must come to present their papers.

Archer Taylor Lecture: One important event in the Society’s Meetings is the invitational Archer Taylor Lecture Series, given by a folklorist of note. Many lectures are subsequently published in the Society’s journal, Western Folklore. In 2019, the Archer Taylor Lecture will be given by Juwen Zhang, Professor of China Studies and Folklore in the Department of Japanese and Chinese at Willamette University. For a list of previous lectures, visit the Archer Taylor page:

Fee information:

Registration fees for regular members:   $45
Registration fees for non-members:   $70
Registration fees for student/retired/limited income members:   $25
Registration fees for student/retired/limited income nonmembers:   $45
Combined membership and registration fees for individual non-members:   $85
Combined membership and registration fees for student/retired/limited income non-members:   $55

To become a member or renew your membership, please pay membership fees first (see the Membership page).

Payment options:

You may now pay your registration fee using PayPal, using your PayPal account, major credit card, or bank account. You do not need to have a PayPal account to do so; PayPal will handle credit cards and bank accounts for those not having a PayPal account.

Select registration category:

If you wish to pay registration and/or membership fee by check, make checks payable to Western States Folklore Society and send to:

Paul Jordan-Smith
Business Manager
17591 River Ranch Rd
Grass Valley, CA