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 2017 Annual Meeting will be held at the University of Oregon, Eugene, on 21-22 April 2017, and we are planning to meet jointly with the Association of Western States Folklorists (AWSF). Please put these dates on your calendar and check the website as plans develop. We hope to see you there. Click on the 2017 Meeting button for further information. Note that you can now pay your registration fee by PayPal or credit card.

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.

Note, the deadling for abstracts of proposed papers have been extended to February 24, 2017. 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 For further information, visit the 2017 Meeting page:

For questions, contact

Daniel Wojcik
Professor, English and Folklore Studies
1286 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97405-1286

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.

The Society awards up to three stipends of $150 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.

For more information specific to the 2017 Annual Meeting, please visit the 2017 Meeting page:

One important event in the Society’s Meetings is the invitational Archer Taylor Lecture Series, given by a folklorist of note. The lectures are subsequently published in the Society’s journal, Western Folklore. In 2017, the Archer Taylor Lecture will be given by Dorothy Noyes, Professor in the Departments of English and Comparative Studies, and Affiliated Faculty with The Center for Folklore Studies; The Mershon Center for International Security Studies; Department of Anthropology; and the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures at The Ohio State 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

Payment options:

  • Membership and registration fees may now be paid through PayPal, either by credit card or PayPal account. See the Membership page for paying membership fees, and the 2017 Meeting page for paying registration fees and additional details about this year's meeting.

  • 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