Composition of Award Committees

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Composition of Award Committees

Thursday, October 29th, 2020

The Awards Coordinators: WLA has two awards coordinators who serve overlapping four-year terms. The new Awards Coordinator is chosen by the EC, with input from the current Awards Coordinator. Applicants for the position must have been a WLA member for at least five years. Applicants should consult the ongoing Award Coordinator for information about the position. 

The Wylder Award for lifetime contributions to the Western Literature Association. The call for nominations will read: “In order to nominate someone for the Wylder award, please collaborate with WLA colleagues and solicit at least three detailed letters of support, from students, WLA members, or anyone else who seems appropriate. They can be submitted together or separately to the WLA Awards Coordinators. The Awards Coordinators will submit the nominations to the Past Presidents and current presidential line, who will make the decision.

Members who have previously won the award will not be considered for a second nomination.

Once the decision is made, the Awards Coordinators should immediately inform the winner, the current presidents as well as the Director of Operations. The winner chooses the person who s/he wants to do the introduction at the banquet.

The Lyon Award for the best monograph published in western literary or cultural studies in the previous calendar year. The committee of 3 members changes every year and must be made up of at least one Past President and one member of the EC. It is important that the three members represent the multiple areas of our field. Members should not have to recuse themselves if they know authors of the books but should consider doing so if they are relatives or advisors. It is the responsibility of the committee chair to inform winners and runners-up and to do so in a timely manner that will allow them to make arrangements to receive the award at the banquet. The chair should also immediately inform the Awards Coordinators, the current presidents, and the Director of Operations. A committee member introduces the winner at the banquet.

The Walker Award for the best article published in western North American studies in the previous calendar year. The committee is headed for five years by a major scholar in the field. The chair (5-year term) is appointed by WLA executive committee. It is recommended that one member (3-year term) is from the Executive Committee, barring complications. Two members (each with 3-year terms) are appointed by committee chair. One member (1-year term) is a WLA Past President (practice has been for the chair to approach the immediate Past President; should that person be unwilling to serve, the chair can approach any Past President). After consultation with other WLA leaders, the chair proposes his/her successor to the EC for approval.

It is the responsibility of the chair to inform winners and runners-up and to do so in a timely manner that will allow them to make arrangements to receive the award at the banquet. The chair should also immediately inform the Awards Coordinators, the current presidents, and the Director of Operations. A committee member introduces the winner at the banquet.

The Taylor Award for the best graduate student essay submitted to the annual conference. This 3-member committee is chaired by the Executive Secretary and must include one past president and one member of the EC. The President(s) cull the best submissions and are responsible for getting them to the committee. The committee chair is responsible for informing the winners or runners-up. Once the decision is made, the chair should immediately inform the Awards Coordinators, the current presidents as well as the Director of Operations. A committee member introduces the winner at the banquet.

The Dorys Crow Grover Awards are given to two outstanding papers submitted by graduate students to the annual conference. Same committee as for Taylor. The President(s) cull the best submissions and are responsible for getting them to the committee. The committee chair is responsible for informing the winners or runners-up. Once the decision is made, the chair should immediately inform the Awards Coordinators, the current presidents as well as the Director of Operations. A committee member introduces the winners at the banquet.

The Creative Writing Award for the best creative writing submission at the annual conference. The Awards Coordinator seeks 3 self-described “creative writers” to serve on the committee every year, choosing when possible those who have degrees in or have published in the fields of fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction or other fields, particularly those with national reputations. Contributors self-nominate and the president is responsible for getting the nominees to the committee members. The committee chair is responsible for informing the winner, any runners-up, and other self-nominated members. Once the decision is made, the chair should immediately inform the Awards Coordinators, the current presidents as well as the Director of Operations. A committee member introduces the winner at the banquet.

The Louis Owens Awards provide financial support for diverse—self-identified BIPOC, LGBTQ, etc.—and international graduate students to attend the annual conference. In addition to the chair, the Owens committee should consist of a grad student rep, a grad student rep who has cycled off (and may no longer be a grad student). The chair will rotate on a five-year basis. During the fourth year of their term, the chair will send out a call for those who might be interested in serving as chair, encouraging candidates with experience in fields related to diversity and social justice, who, ideally, have been associated with WLA for some time. Once the decision is made, the chair should immediately inform the Awards Coordinators, the current presidents as well as the Director of Operations. A committee member introduces the winner/s at the banquet.

The WLA/Charles Redd Center K-12 Teaching Award provides teachers with funding to attend and present at the annual conference. The chair should have some experience working with teachers and is a voting member. S/he will choose a two-person committee with an effort to get former K-12 teachers on it. The chair’s term is five years, but committee members rotate year by year. At the end of their term, the chair seeks a successor, to be approved by the EC. Because this position requires an ongoing relationship with the Redd Center to receive funding, the chair should have a relatively free hand in figuring out their successor. The chair is responsible for informing the awardee. Once the decision is made, the chair should immediately inform the Awards Coordinators, the current presidents as well as the Director of Operations. A committee member introduces the winner at the banquet.

The Rosowski Award goes to a generous and caring mentor and teacher of students and of colleagues in the Western Literature Association who has created a legacy within the organization as well as in the field of western studies. It will be given every other year, starting (again) in 2022. The committee will be comprised of three members with overlapping terms. They will remain on the committee for two cycles (4 years). If possible one member will be a former recipient of the award; a second member will, if possible, be a student of a Rosowski Award recipient. They will be chosen by the Awards Coordinators.

Once a winner has been selected, the chair should immediately inform the winner of the award, the Awards Coordinators, the current presidents as well as the Director of Operations. A committee member introduces the winner at the banquet.

 

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Virtual Events 2021

Friday, January 8th, 2021

Due to the uncertainties created by the Covid-19 pandemic, the WLA has decided not to hold a conference in 2021. Instead, there will be a variety of individual virtual events. 

We gratefully acknowledge the support from the Kansas State University English Department and the Georgia State University English Department for these events.

We would also like to thank Lisa Tatonetti and Audrey Goodman, our WLA Co-Presidents, for handling the logistics surrounding the 2021 events in addition to hosting our conference in 2022.

Please direct any questions you might have regarding the 2021 virtual engagement events to Sabine Barcatta.

• • •

If you were looking for information on the conference to be held in Santa Fe, New Mexico, please check WLA Conference 2022.


 

The Politics of Public Lands in the Contemporary US West: A Roundtable Discussion  

Our first engagement event will take place on Saturday, April 17, 3 pm EST.  

Coordinator: Tom Lynch 

Moderator: Western American Literature Special Issue Editor Jenn Ladino 

Please save the date. Sign-up zoom links will be coming soon.

Participants include Marsha Weisiger, Stephanie LeMenager, April Anson, Meagan Meylor, Ashley Reis, and Luke Morgan. 


 

Black Wall Street/Tulsa Race Massacre  

A conversation with fiction writer Rilla Askew and poet Quaraysh Ali Lansana 

Monday, May 17, 5 pm EST 

Coordinator: Kalenda Eaton 

Mark your calendar! Sign-up zoom link will be coming soon.  

Please stay tuned. More information will be forthcoming on this page.

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Past President’s Address 1993

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

AN EASTERN DUDE RIDES WEST—AGAIN

Joseph M. Flora, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, WLA President 1992


WLA Past-presidential Address, given 1993 in Wichita, Kansas


Asked for a title for this address, I at first toyed with “A Tenderfoot Rides West.” I am, after all, the first WLA president to come from an eastern university, to have eastern roots, to have spent virtually all of his life east of the Mississippi. But tenderfoot hardly seemed right. I have been a WLA member for too long, and you have charged me with too many tasks for that sobriquet to work. You’ve rewarded me with merit badges and unbounded good fellowship—and in 1992 the honor of Head Scout. Thank you for the spurs.

So I opted for dude, which in one of its meanings carries the eastern connotation. Definition number one of my dictionary reads, “An easterner or city person who vacations on a western ranch.” Listed as slang in definition three, dude is “a fellow, a chap.” In any sense, the word is informal, as this address is designed to be. For any tautology, apologies.

The label West is, of course, a much more slippery word than dude. It conveys history as well as mythology. At the University of Michigan, we sang—and folks there still sing—“Hail, hail to Michigan, the champions of the West.” Michigan originated as a part of the Northwest Territory. “Easterners” certainly thought of it as a wild, wild West. As late as 1866, when native Ohioan William Dean Howells published Venetian Life, James Russell Lowell expressed amazement that a book of such “airy elegance” could have been written by someone from “the rough-and-ready West.” Such attitudes survived Lowell. I recall from my undergraduate days Austin Warren’s explaining to Michigan students that cultured Bostonians thought of anything west of Pittsburgh as one vast region known as “Ioway.” Easterners are wont to make midwesterners feel like westerners.

But though the tension between East and West has been one ingredient of American life, historically the pull west has been the dominant pull. Most Americans, in some ways, have been westerners. In his whole life, Thomas Jefferson never ventured more than a few miles west of Monticello, but he it was who maneuvered the Louisiana Purchase; he it was who sent Lewis and Clark on their great journey to the Pacific. To good purpose, J. Golden Taylor included Cambridge, Mass., poet E. E. Cummings in his anthology of western American literature, along with Robert Frost, who, though born in San Francisco, is counted the great poet of New England experience. Easterners and midwesterners of my generation and the generation before me grew up with a vision of the West. We thought about it a lot. We were guided by Zane Grey and a host of other popular writers who wrote Westerns. Almost weekly, we would see at least one Western film, sometimes more. And West was where California lay—still the promised land in those pre-Joan Didion days.

And so I remember the adventure of my first trip to the trans-Mississippi West. In graduate school, I thought a change of scene for a summer would enhance my preparations—two summer sessions in one summer at Berkeley would allow me to make a good start on my German, and I could take a couple of English courses besides. It was a happy choice: thirteen weeks on the campus by the Bay, in what seemed to me weather close to that of Heaven. It was wonderfully rewarding. One weekend took me to Yosemite, another to Napa Valley, and on another I flew to Los Angeles to see an aunt and uncle I hadn’t seen in years and a cousin I had never met. Los Angeles didn’t seem very different from Detroit, but Yosemite was terrain that spoke adventure. Unlike the owl in Mark Twain’s “Baker’s Blue Jay Yarn,” I was not disappointed. Mostly, of course, I was taking in the ambience of Berkeley and San Francisco. My thoughts had been Western in a larger sense mainly on the cross-country drive to Berkeley. How wonderful it was—and how keen was that very special moment when our automobile crossed the Mississippi. I was in the West.

I relived the magic of my first crossing some fifteen years later, when Scribner’s published Hemingway’s The Nick Adams Stories. It contained a fragment that Philip Young titled, aptly enough, “Crossing the Mississippi.” This was probably Hemingway’s first attempt at a story set west of the Mississippi. Nick is bound, apparently, for Kansas City, though we don’t know why. It may not be a bad guess that he was going to begin work on a newspaper. It’s October of 1917. News of a White Sox victory over New York in the World Series cheers Nick, helps him check the wasteland images that he sees as his train pauses before making its crossing. Nick takes with him the optimism that many travelers from the East or Midwest took as they made that crossing. Hemingway wrote, “Crossing the Mississippi would be a’ big event [Nick] thought, and he wanted to enjoy every minute of it.” The reality is different from what Nick had expected, but he observes carefully as the train progresses over the long bridge, “The river seemed to move solidly downstream, not to flow but to move like a solid, shifting lake, swirling a little where the abutments of the bridge jutted out. Mark Twain, Huck Finn, Tom Sawyer, and LaSalle crowded each other in Nick’s mind as he looked up the flat, brown plain of slow-moving water. ‘Anyhow, I’ve seen the Mississippi,’ he thought happily to himself.” A force of nature against a man-made structure, an author, his living characters, a French explorer “crowd” Nick’s mind—history and nature and myth and literature. Nick has one of those highly satisfying moments that Hemingway occasionally gave him: “‘Anyhow, I’ve seen the Mississippi,’ he thought.” The moment was so ecstatic that Hemingway stopped writing with that sentence. He didn’t give us a story, but the fragment satisfactorily catches a special moment that many Americans have experienced, me included, upon crossing the great river.

For Americans who cross that river east to west, there are usually consequences, often great consequences. Sometimes lives are changed unalterably. And many a Western story describes such transformation. Think about the easterner of Crane’s “The Blue Hotel.” The West has challenged his notion of himself, and he knows that he failed the test. His view of human nature will be ever dark: “Johnnie was cheating. I saw him. I know it. And I refused to stand up and be a man.” The poor Swede of Crane’s story was also a newcomer to the West, so caught up by his own stereotypes of the West that he ensured his own death. Though strangers sometimes meet violent ends, writers have also enjoyed describing positive transformations. We think of the narrator of Owen Wister’s The Virginian and of Molly Stark Wood.

Going west makes a difference not only in literature, but in life. Theodore Roosevelt, Owen Wister, Zane Grey, Jack Schaefer, Willa Cather, Mary Hallock Foote, and a host of others provide ready examples. Of course, the Western Literature Association itself has its own history of consequences of eastern visits to the West. You will be interested in one of the most recent. Last year, Doris Betts of North Carolina gave the keynote address at WLA. Her novel Heading West described consequences of an unscheduled visit west by Nancy Finch, a librarian from North Carolina: Nancy had been kidnapped. At WLA, southerner Betts discussed her use of Western themes in that novel and reflected on the influence of Western writing on her. But while she was in Reno, Betts was listening and observing—as writers do. When Thomas Wolfe had visited Reno some fifty years earlier, he had been fascinated with the gaudiness of the city’s chief industry and all that surrounds it. Betts quickly got by that pleasure seeking and focused her inner eye elsewhere. She went on our Saturday outing, and it proved for her to be more than a tourist’s excursion. The country around Reno, especially Donner Lake and its surroundings, spoke to her. At WLA, Betts found the theme and setting for her next novel. She is now subscribing to the Sparks, Nevada, newspaper, suggesting that her novel won’t be a retelling of the Donner excursion. As Betts says, that has already been done, by Vardis Fisher and others, all of which she has been busily reading. But the Donner story will be reflected in her theme.

A graduate student when I first crossed the Mississippi, I was about to meet dimensions of the West I hadn’t before considered. A couple of years later in a seminar, I became acquainted with the work of Vardis Fisher. The rest is history. Through his work, I was often in imagination west of the Mississippi. The next physical trip I took was, in fact, to Hagerman, Idaho, and the Fisher ranch. That was a weekend to remember! It personalized a correspondence with Fisher that had been under way, one that after Fisher’s death was extended to Opal Fisher.

I learned from Fisher about the founding of the Western Literature Association, though several meetings would pass before I attended my first one. Back East, a member of MLA and SAMLA, I was making my way, with much naiveté, in a new region on a modest salary at a university with limited travel budgets. Attending WLA seemed a remote and exotic possibility. I’ll be ever grateful to Wilber Stevens of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, for his telephone call inviting me to be on a panel on the works of Vardis Fisher. “I’ll do it,” I said. Now I stress to graduate students: “You are your dissertation.”

The year of my first WLA meeting was 1975, the place Durango. My flight took me through Denver. In that airport, you knew you weren’t in the East or the Midwest. The clue was in the garb of all those Western Dudes—the cowboy boots and hats and the bolos. The women, however, could have been from Atlanta. As Melville might say, “Surely there is meaning in these things.” And I remember the Durango airport. That confirmed that I was in the West.

If the airport was small and remotely located, that quickly became unimportant. Western welcome really began there, for a group of WLA people were on the flight. Audrey Peterson was among them, and I was soon talking with someone who had not only heard of Vardis Fisher but knew my book on him! And so it continued in Durango, where at the convention hotel Jack Schaefer himself was one of the Western voices making me and others feel at home, part of a fellowship as well as a professional organization. Like other newcomers, I was meeting people who wished to see me again. The excitement of my first WLA meeting was such that already I was making plans to be present the next year in Bellingham. Helen Stauffer (Kearney is pronounced “Carney,” she taught me) was also among the first-timers that year. She will remember how we all hated to see the meeting end. To embellish would be tedious, but I am sure that many here could also testify to the special qualities of first WLA meetings, to the good fellowship and the bonds that were made.

A quick check of the membership directory will confirm how successful the band of western scholars who founded the association have been in attracting easterners to the organization. Many of us have served on the Executive Committee of the organization, and after I had been in WLA for a few years, some folks began to suggest that it might even be appropriate to have a president from the East, pointing out that the location of the meeting need not be tied to the school of the president. With the growing number of easterners, some began to suggest that the Association might even wish to meet one year in the East. Hints of manifest destiny! In 1980, WLA went to the great river itself for its meeting. In 1983, George Day carried us to Minneapolis and St. Paul—Big Ten country, where the ghosts are those of Sinclair Lewis and F. Scott Fitzgerald, though Fred Manfred could have given us a tour of the upper regions of the Father of Waters.

When in 1989 members of the Executive Committee asked me to accept nomination as vice president of WLA, with presidency two years down the road, I thought it a good moment for me to say yes, to agree to the work that would, I hoped, say thank you to an organization that had been not only extraordinarily welcoming, but extraordinarily supportive of my work and had opened my eyes to new opportunities and new ways of seeing. Ann Ronald agreed to hold the 1992 meeting in Reno. Let me here renew my thanks to her and to her splendid colleagues at the University of Nevada-Reno for their partnership. I might have managed local arrangements by phone, or a quick visit, but I was glad that I didn’t have to do that.

My election was the occasion for renewed discussion of the possibility for holding an annual meeting east of the Mississippi. There might, after all, be some point to our meeting in Asheville, North Carolina, let’s say, Vardis Fisher had keenly identified with Thomas Wolfe because of the similarities of their mountain origins. Or we might have met in Boone, North Carolina, and had a major focus on re-imagining older notions of West.

When the Executive Committee talked about the possibility of some day meeting in the East, we agreed that my election was a good moment to go beyond cocktail-hour talk; to see what the membership as a whole might think about meeting in the East now and then. So we devised a questionnaire, and in bright purple so it couldn’t be missed, it went to the membership.

For several weeks, the purple forms kept my mailbox full and enlivened my reading. One hundred thirty-seven members responded. That is a pretty strong survey response, I think. The responses that came after the deadline were less impassioned than those that came in the initial flurry and were often more thoughtful. There was, to be sure, a good deal of passion from the most eager respondents. For some members, going east of the Mississippi for WLA would approach something like blasphemy; others would be extremely reluctant to go in that direction—for any purpose—I gathered. When their time comes, they want to die in the West—and with their boots on.

Noting the increasing percentage of members who live in the East and suggesting that holding some conference meetings in the East might equalize the burden of the greater travel expenses easterners face, the questionnaire asked members to agree or disagree with this statement: “WLA conferences should be held ONLY in the region of North America WEST of the Mississippi River (or its average longitude).” The form provided space for comments. Fifty-seven members agreed with the statement; seventy-six members disagreed. Four members (hating to be bound by statements with only) did not check but explained; they would fit in the disagree column. So count the vote 76 for policy that might permit an occasional meeting in the East and 57 against such policy. That’s a bigger margin than President Clinton got on his budget, but it is hardly a pressing mandate for change. Certainly it did not seem to me strong enough to recommend that the Executive Committee consider a policy for meeting in the East every fourth year, as some recommend. Most easterners like coming west very regularly, though they tend to approve the notion that it might be desirable for WLA to meet in the East, at least occasionally. Some Westerners eloquently argued the same position. The Chaucer Society, as one of you noted, does not meet only in England. Likewise, Western literature is not just for the West. Nor are all who write it western by every standard.

There are, of course, practical considerations in these matters. An advisory vote does not chart a course, as a national budget vote might. WLA does, after all, want a good attendance at its meetings. So does SAMLA, which prides itself on being the largest of the regional MLAs. SAMLA has its best attendance when the meeting is in Atlanta; so we meet there most often, currently in alternate years. Washington, DC, does well for SAMLA, too. But a Florida site will cut down on attendance. It’s too far for too many people. Members in the Upper South tend to stay away. But SAMLA continues to experiment. Next year SAMLA meets in Baltimore, and probably Florida will get another chance in some distant year. Even now, the SAMLA membership is voting on the proposition that all meetings be held in Atlanta.

The drama for MLA is similar. New York is a sure draw, but there was a falling-off, some of you know, when the meeting was held in Houston, and I make no prediction about Toronto. But come what may, MLA will survive! Count on it.

WLA will wish to be similarly pragmatic, but like MLA it should not be afraid to experiment. It is encouraging that October 1995 will find WLA meeting in Canada for the first time ever. We seem agreed, however, that the Association does not want to meet in big eastern or midwestern cities. It doesn’t want Cleveland, but it might like Boone. Some year, we might want to meet on the shores of Lake George in New York, one of the beautiful Wests of James Fenimore Cooper.

There would be no point in holding SAMLA’s meeting in St. Louis, or in holding the Rocky Mountain MLA’s meeting there. And although there are members in those organizations not from the defining regions, the organizations exist first to serve a region. The Western Literature Association, by contrast, is a national organization; it has increasingly become national in membership and in vision. Recognizing West as a fluid concept in American history, we study the literature of many Wests.

I draw back from any formulas or ratios for future meeting sites, but I hope we will continue to keep our options open. If we make a mistake some year, WLA will survive. The survey responses—with that majority favoring experimentation—strike me as worthy of inclusion in the WLA archives, and I submit them this day to Tom Lyon.

Whatever glitches or triumphs lie ahead, I am confident that we will continue to be a noticeably welcoming and inclusive organization. “Roll on, WLA, roll on!” This eastern dude salutes you and cheers you on to even greater achievement.

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WLA and Its Affiliations

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

The WLA is interested in exchanging ideas with other organizations. Below is a list of existing affiliations. Generally, this means that WLA members present a panel at the affiliate’s conference and vice versa. Please look for CFPs either here or on our NEWS page. If you are interested in participating in a WLA-panel at another conference, please contact the liaison for that particular conference. You must be a WLA member at the time of the conference, to participate in a WLA-sponsored panel.


Modern Language Association (MLA)

As of 2010, the Western Literature Association has affiliate status with the Modern Language Association. What does this mean for WLA? This affiliate status guarantees the WLA to be able to present a panel at each MLA Conference. The first such panel was presented during the 2011 MLA Conference in Los Angeles, California.

The next MLA convention will take place in Vancouver, Canada, January 8-11, 2015. If you are interested in participating in a WLA panel, please contact Elisabeth Bayley.

CFP: WLA-sponsored panel at the MLA Conference 2015: Literatures of the North American West

Affiliate Organization Session of the Western Literature Association

In continuation of the Western Literature Association 2014 conference theme, we welcome any papers on the literatures of the North American West: possible topics include, border crossings broadly interpreted, first nations/Native American writing, depictions of the cowgirl/cowboy, the storyteller, and settings/ecocritical depictions or interpretations of western writing.

Please send a 300-word abstract to Elisabeth Bayley at wlamla2015@gmail.com
Deadline for Submission is March 7, 2014
cfp categories:
american cultural studies and historical approaches
ecocriticism and environmental studies
gender studies and sexuality
travel writing

American Literature Association (ALA)

The WLA is one of the affiliated organizations in the American Literature Association’s “coalition of societies devoted to the study of American authors” <http://americanliteratureassociation.org>. Since 1989, the ALA has convened on the weekend prior to Memorial Day for its annual conference, with the location alternating between the East Coast in odd-numbered years and the West Coast in even-numbered years. Most of the conference revolves around panel presentations/sessions organized by the various member societies; as an affiliated society, the WLA has the option of presenting two sessions at the western meetings and one session at the eastern meetings.

Calls for proposals are initially made and discussed at the WLA’s business meeting, held each fall at the conclusion of the annual WLA conference. Subsequent calls for proposals are distributed via various online modes of communication, including both the WLA and ALA websites. The WLA’s liaison to the ALA is appointed by the WLA Executive Secretary, and the chief duties of the liaison consist of issuing the calls for proposals, organizing the conference sessions and communicating the final details of them to the organizers of the ALA, and when possible attending the meeting of society liaisons at the ALA conference.

The current WLA liaison is Nicolas Witschi at Western Michigan University.


Association for the Study of Literature & Environment (ASLE)

ASLE was established at the annual WLA conference in 1992, and the two organizations continue to share common membership, with each organization regularly well represented at the other’s conference. In 2011, the two organizations entered affiliate status. The WLA liaison is appointed for a 3-year term.

ASLE conferences are organized every other year (in odd years). The next conference will be held June 23-27, 2015, in Moscow, Idaho. The call for proposals will be posted in the summer of 2014.

If you have any questions or would like to participate in a WLA-sponsored panel, please contact our liaison to ASLE, William V. Lombardi.

 

 

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Frequently Asked Conference Questions

Monday, February 18th, 2019

Why should I book a room at the conference hotel if it’s not my most economical option?

Staying at our contracted hotel is the most important thing you can do to help our conference organizers avoid huge losses. When you book a room in a different hotel, a contracted room goes unsold. Unless that room is sold to an unrelated traveler within a certain timeframe before our conference, we must pay penalty fees to the hotel. In addition, the inability to fill the actual number of hotel rooms that we estimated weakens our negotiating power in the future. It also means that we will have to charge higher registration fees in the future to make up for the penalties paid to our contracted hotel. Please support the Western Literature Association by reserving your sleeping room at our official hotel. Yes, it may cost each individual a little more, but you are basically also supporting use of the conference rooms, which are part of the contract when we organize a conference. The more hotel rooms we fill, the cheaper the conference rooms often are. That helps keep our registration fees as low as possible.

>>> Please book your lodging within the official room block.


We live in a digital world. Why should I forego AV?

Most conference hotels hire the services of a separate company to provide audio-visual. The company’s representatives set up the equipment and remain on call to troubleshoot. Their fees are based on a given number of rooms for a given number of days. If we ask for equipment in a room and use it for just one session, we still must pay for the whole day. AV costs for a 3-day conference generally run between $15,000 and $30,000. Of course, we want to accommodate all AV needs, especially if you are talking about images or film, but if PowerPoint isn’t essential to understanding your paper, please consider whether AV is truly necessary for your presentation. Again, this is a matter of keeping our registration fees low.

>> >Please ask for AV only if it is critical to your presentation.


 

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WLA Archives

Tuesday, February 19th, 2019

An extensive holding of archival materials can be found in Special Collections at Utah State University. Some materials are also held at Boise State University.

Information can be obtained at Archives West: http://archiveswest.orbiscascade.org/. Type in “Western Literature Association” and click on the archive you’d like to explore.

If you have questions regarding the holdings of the Utah State University repository, please contact Clint Pumphrey, Archivist, Special Collections.

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WLA Conference 2022

Tuesday, August 20th, 2019

56th WLA Conference
Santa Fe, NM

Wednesday, October 19–Saturday, October 22, 2022


Due to the uncertainty surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic, the Western Literature Association has reluctantly decided to postpone the 2021 conference. Instead, we expect to gather in Santa Fe in 2022.

In the meantime, we will be organizing alternative digital events for 2021. Please check for more information at Virtual Events 2021.


Palimpsests and Western Literatures:
The Layered Spaces of History, Imagination, and the Future

hosted by Professors Lisa Tatonetti and Audrey Goodman

Lisa Tatonetti and Audrey Goodman


Luci Tapahonso (Diné) was chosen as the 2022 Distinguished Achievement Award recipient. She will accept the award at the conference!


The conference will be held at the beautiful Santa Fe Convention Center, Wed, October 19–Sat, October 22, 2022 

https://www.santafe.org/meetings/meet-different/the-convention-center/ 

 

The main conference hotel will be the Drury Plaza Hotel, 828 Paseo de Peralta 

https://www.druryhotels.com/locations/santa-fe-nm/drury-plaza-hotel-in-santa-fe 

Room rates: $169 single or double; $179 triple; $189 quad 

Rates include complimentary hot breakfast and evening drinks and snacks; free wifi; access to business center; reduced rate parking ($10/day) 

 

Additional rooms will be available at the Inn of the Governors 

https://innofthegovernors.com/amenities/tea-sherry-hour 

Traditional room: $140 for single or double; $155 triple; $170 quad 

Rates include mountain sunrise breakfast; welcome sherry and biscochitos; year-round heated pool; free parking


Call for Papers:

Craig Dan Goseyun (San Carlos Apache), Apache Mountain Spirit Dancer (Courtesy Tourism Santa Fe)

Craig Dan Goseyun (San Carlos Apache), Apache Mountain Spirit Dancer (Courtesy Tourism Santa Fe)

A palimpsest is a material, be it birchbark or slate or parchment, upon which something is written, and then expunged or blotted out, only to be written upon again. It is a thing made of layers of inscription, a thing made of strata of expression, a thing made of traces that may not be visible but can never be fully erased or repressed.

Santa Fe, the location of WLA in 2022, is a place made of palimpsests at once beautiful and disturbing. It is the oldest capital in the United States; its name declares the arrival of Catholicism and colonialism in the New World.  At the center of the Santa Fe Plaza, on Pueblo and Jicarilla Apache land, stands a nineteenth-century settler monument, a graying marble slab that reads:

To the heroes
who have fallen in the various battles with XXXX
Indians in the territory
Of New Mexico

The missing word in the inscription, which originally read “savage,” has long been chiseled out. The carved-out indentation, layered upon that elided slur, speaks volumes. In recent years, the word “courageous” has been written atop that same loud space. This palimpsest speaks to the ways that settler colonialism tries to erase both the presence of Indigenous peoples and its own histories of violence, and to the impossibility of that task. WLA 2022 takes such layered spaces of history, of imagination, of present, and of the future as its call.

We ask, then, for participants to look at the layers, collisions, omissions, and the expressive possibilities of the palimpsest. From Indigenous-Indigenous encounters, to settler incursions, to Mexican, Spanish, and broader Latinx landscapes–what is the palimpsest in Western literatures writ large? Is it the double exposure of a photograph? The bi- or tri-lingual text of a public mural? Is it in the queer traces in a Cather text? Or in the multiple narrators of a Midwest podcast? Is a palimpsest a zombie apocalypse written over post-Civil War Kansas in Dread Nation? Or is it the elision of the words “climate change” or “oil spill” from government documents about threats to the Ogallala aquifer? Is it a strategy for reading Georgia O’Keeffe’s landscapes or Cormac McCarthy’s prose? What are the palimpsests of the West?

We invite papers and discussions addressing these and other topics that seek to describe, undercover, and animate the inscriptions in and beyond this layered western space.

Send queries to Audrey Goodman and/or Lisa Tatonetti, our current WLA Presidents.

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Black Lives Matter

Wednesday, June 10th, 2020

The Western Literature Association (WLA) is in solidarity with Black communities, after the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, and the ongoing pattern of systemic racism and injustice that targets black and brown bodies. We recognize, as well, that the United States is built on a history of stolen lands and bodies and that Indigenous people, as well as other people of color, are targeted by racial violence. In light of these dark realities, we support the right to freedom of speech and the outcry against continuing patterns of government and police violence that has led to protests across the nation. They are both righteous and necessary. 
 
As an organization, the WLA supports those fighting the racism, historical oppression, and structural injustices so deeply embedded in the United States. We mourn those who have been murdered as well as the senseless violence enacted against those voicing their grief and anger. 
 
This is more than our commitment to celebrating the diverse voices and experiences of the American West: it is also our duty as an organization with its own social privilege. With recent WLA conferences held in Minneapolis (2017) and St. Louis (2018), we have enjoyed the hospitality of the communities that were home to George Floyd, Philando Castile, and Michael Brown. In their memory, we say their names and condemn the acts of violence that ended their lives. The institutions and laws of this country have failed individuals and communities of color, and we recognize the need to address such systemic racism and every act of violence it engenders.  
 
WLA is donating a portion of the registration fees from our upcoming conference meeting to an organization dedicated to social justice, antiracism, and the promotion of equitable political and social practices for Black communities to demonstrate our solidarity. We also encourage scholars to continue their support of Black communities in their classrooms; as educators we can facilitate difficult but necessary conversations and through our syllabi provide spaces for Black voices.
 
#BlackLivesMatter

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Black Lives Matter

Thursday, June 11th, 2020

The Western Literature Association (WLA) is in solidarity with Black communities, after the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, and the ongoing pattern of systemic racism and injustice that targets black and brown bodies. We recognize, as well, that the United States is built on a history of stolen lands and bodies and that Indigenous people, as well as other people of color, are targeted by racial violence. In light of these dark realities, we support the right to freedom of speech and the outcry against continuing patterns of government and police violence that has led to protests across the nation. They are both righteous and necessary. 
 
As an organization, the WLA supports those fighting the racism, historical oppression, and structural injustices so deeply embedded in the United States. We mourn those who have been murdered as well as the senseless violence enacted against those voicing their grief and anger. 
 
This is more than our commitment to celebrating the diverse voices and experiences of the American West: it is also our duty as an organization with its own social privilege. With recent WLA conferences held in Minneapolis (2017) and St. Louis (2018), we have enjoyed the hospitality of the communities that were home to George Floyd, Philando Castile, and Michael Brown. In their memory, we say their names and condemn the acts of violence that ended their lives. The institutions and laws of this country have failed individuals and communities of color, and we recognize the need to address such systemic racism and every act of violence it engenders.  
 
WLA is donating a portion of the registration fees from our upcoming conference meeting to an organization dedicated to social justice, antiracism, and the promotion of equitable political and social practices for Black communities to demonstrate our solidarity. We also encourage scholars to continue their support of Black communities in their classrooms; as educators we can facilitate difficult but necessary conversations and through our syllabi provide spaces for Black voices.
 
#BlackLivesMatter

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WHAT’S NEW?

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

If you have a news item, please mail it to Sabine Barcatta.


The old Western American Literature office needed to be cleaned out. We would like to make available to a library an almost complete run of journals from 1997 to 2010. We ask that the library pay shipping plus $25 handling. If you know somebody who’d be interested, please pass this message along. Contact: Sabine Barcatta.


CFP: WLA-sponsored panel at the MLA Conference 2015

Literatures of the North American West (MLA, Vancouver, 2015)

Elisabeth Bayley/Western Literature Association
contact email: wlamla2015@gmail.com

Affiliate Organization Session of the Western Literature Association

In continuation of the Western Literature Association 2014 conference theme, we welcome any papers on the literatures of the North American West: possible topics include, border crossings broadly interpreted, first nations/Native American writing, depictions of the cowgirl/cowboy, the storyteller, and settings/ecocritical depictions or interpretations of western writing.

Please send a 300-word abstract to Elisabeth Bayley at wlamla2015@gmail.com
Deadline for Submission is March 7, 2014
cfp categories:
american cultural_studies_and_historical_approaches
ecocriticism_and_environmental_studies
gender_studies_and_sexuality
travel_writing


Join us for the 54th Annual Conference of the
Western History Association
THE WEST & THE WORLD
October 15-18 2014
Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa Newport Beach, California
The Deadline for Awards, Advertisements, & Exhibitors is APRIL 1, 2014!


Great Plains Research: Call for Manuscripts

Great Plains Research is a biannual, multidisciplinary, international journal that publishes peer-reviewed research on the natural and social sciences of the Great Plains. The editor is soliciting current manuscripts on important research results and synthetic reviews of critical scientific issues for the Great Plains. At this time page charges are subsidized by the UNL Center for Great Plains Studies, except for the costs of printing color images, which are paid by the author/s. For “Instructions to Authors,” discussion of potential articles, or subscription information, consult the website or the editorial office.

See flyer for more information: GPR Call for submissions 9-08 low res

GREAT PLAINS RESEARCH
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
1155 Q Street, Hewit Place, Rm 404
PO Box 880246
Lincoln, NE 68588-0246
Tel.: (402) 472-6970
Fax: (402) 472-0463
E-mail: gpr@unl.edu

www.unl.edu/plains



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CFPs

Sunday, June 13th, 2010

This page features calls for papers from any organization that would like our members to know about them. If you have a CFP that you would like to distribute to Western Literature Association members, please submit it to info@westernlit.org.


 

SPECIAL ISSUE:  Mark Twain and the West

The Mark Twain Annual will commemorate the sesquicentennial of Roughing It in 2022 with a special issue devoted to Mark Twain and the West. The Annual is seeking article-length submissions that examine Twain’s relationship to all aspects of the American West.

This broad scope allows for critical examinations of Twain’s work as:

  • • Western regionalist writing
  • • Twain and indigenous peoples
  • • Twain and immigrant populations
  • • Commentary on the American frontier
  • • Twain and domestic travel
  • • Twain’s Western journalism
  • • The West as a shaping force on his development as an artist
  • • The circle of writers Twain encountered out West and their continued relationship
  • • Twain and contemporary Western writers

While Twain and the West has been the subject of numerous studies since the early twentieth century, this special issue seeks to explore what in recent years has become somewhat forgotten territory in Twain’s fictive and nonfictive writings.

In addition to being published in The Annual, authors will have the opportunity to be part of the Eighth Annual Quarry Farm Weekend Symposium sponsored by the Center for Mark Twain Studies in Elmira, New York. The symposium will be held in October 2021, one year prior to publication of The Annual.  The gathering will begin with a dinner on the Elmira College campus, followed by a keynote address. The symposium will continue throughout the next day with presentations and discussions in the tranquil atmosphere of Quarry Farm, a writing retreat reserved for scholars and writers working in the field of Mark Twain Studies, where breakfast, lunch, and dinner will also be served. Registrants will be invited back to Quarry Farm on Sunday morning to enjoy an autumnal breakfast and casual discussions. 

Those interested should submit a 150-word proposal to Ben Click at baclick@smcm.edu by March 31, 2021. Proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis, and final decisions for symposium participation will be before July 1, 2021 when the symposium program needs to be finalized. Final manuscripts for publication in The Annual must be submitted by December 15, 2021.  Selected essays should be 4,000-8,000 words in length, but longer essays of more than 8,000 words will also be considered.


 

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WLA Conference 2020

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

55th WLA Conference

Theme: Graphic Wests

October 21-24, 2020

Location: VIRTUAL CONFERENCE


WLA Co-Presidents for 2020 will be Dr. Rebecca Lush, California State University San Marcos, and Dr. Kerry Fine, Arizona State University.   


Information for Graduate Students: 

Connecting with other grads:

The graduate students of the WLA have a Facebook group page that is used for networking. Simply request to join and one of the Graduate Student Representatives will add you to the group. Or, if you are not on Facebook, you can contact the grad reps directly about networking opportunities during the conference: Jillian Moore Bennion (jillian.bennion@gmail.com) & Surabhi Balachander (surabhib@umich.edu).

WLA Awards 2020:

Graduate students: Please consider submitting your essay for the J. Golden Taylor Award, the Dorys Crow Grover Awards, or the Louis Owens Award. All applications and accompanying materials are due by September 4th.  

All presenters sharing creative work: Please consider submitting your WLA 2020 material for the Creative Writing Award. All applications and accompanying materials are due by September 4th.


We are ready to receive your submissions. The deadline is July 15, 2020.

All users of the WLA Conference Conftool portal need to create a new user account. Those from previous years have been deleted.

https://www.conftool.pro/wla-conference-2020/


The COVID-19 pandemic has led to significant changes in our everyday lives and how we conduct business in academia. Due to concerns that there could be a renewed wave of infections in the fall and the possibility of declining university support for conference travel, we have decided to transition our October 2020 meeting to an online format. These are unprecedented times and we cannot, in good conscience, risk the physical health of our members or the economic health of our association.
 
While we are saddened to not have an opportunity to meet in person as an association, please know that your 2020 co-presidents are working on putting together an online conference that still provides social connection and interaction. Please see our updated CFP attached to this message and always visit the WLA 2020 conference webpage for all the latest information. The portal for submitting proposals will be open very soon, and we’ve also extended the deadline to July 15. We know that many of you, ourselves included, have been extremely busy lately. Many of us have been shifting much of what we do to online formats, and so we trust that this extension will prove welcome and reassuring.

Despite these less-than-ideal circumstances, we ask you to join us in focusing on the positives of this unexpected turn of events. An online meeting will allow us to try a nearly carbon neutral conference format which our sister organization ASLE has done in the past. We are also happy to have increased accessibility with an online environment. We recognize that online is not a substitute for the connection and experience we enjoy each year at our face-to-face meetings, but we hope to connect with you all virtually this October and then in person in Fall 2021 in Santa Fe.

 
Kerry Fine, Arizona State University
Rebecca M. Lush, California State University, San Marcos

CFP: GRAPHIC WESTS

October 21-24, 2020

Vortex Mosaic Surfboard, by Cherrie LaPorte. [2014]. Image courtesy of Cherrie LaPorte. Photo © Phil Ireland.

Vortex Mosaic Surfboard, by Cherrie LaPorte. [2014]. Image courtesy of Cherrie LaPorte. Photo © Phil Ireland.

Due to the unusual and unprecedented public health concerns and attendant restrictions on university sponsored-travel related to COVID-19,the 2020 conference will be held virtually.

 

The American West and the western have long been nurtured by visual culture, in particular via the California-specific locations of Hollywood and its ties to the film industry and San Diego as the international headquarters for comic book culture. Drawing on this mixture, the theme “Graphic Wests” invites proposals that take up the graphic in all its connotations, from graphic content to visual texts as well as the intersections of the two when considering the varied literatures and cultural products of the North American West. We also invite papers that address the unique culture of Southern California, such as surf and coastal literatures, along with papers that examine California writers and themes.

The 2020 Distinguished Achievement Award winners include poet Juan Felipe Herrera (21st National Poet Laureate), and fiction author Stephen Graham Jones, whose works exemplify “Graphic Wests.” Confirmed speakers include: Stephen Graham Jones and graphic novelist, playwright, and singer/songwriter Arigon Starr.

Since we originally intended to host this meeting in Southern California, we are still interested in proposals that focus on issues related to California and the American West but as always, the WLA meeting remains interested in proposals that focus on any aspect of the literatures and cultures of the North American West (including Canada and Mexico).

In addition to proposals on any aspect of the literatures and cultures of the North American West, the WLA especially encourages panels and papers that explore the following topics:

• Comic books/graphic novels set in the West and/or western comics
• Filmic and televisual representations of the West/western
• Borderlands literature
• Graphic violence, language, and/or sexuality in the West/western
• Texts set in the West, or that take up western themes, that incorporate visual elements or make use of graphic design in their engagement with language
• Approaches to teaching texts and topics of the North American West
• California writers and texts (Le Guin, Steinbeck, Didion, Mary Austin, John Rollin Ridge, Helen Hunt Jackson, María Ruiz de Burton, etc.)
• Writers and texts that explore California surfing and beach culture
• The work of invited speaker Arigon Starr
• The work of Distinguished Achievement Award Winner Juan Felipe Herrera
• The work of Distinguished Achievement Award Winner Stephen Graham Jones

While we are still interested in traditional 4 person panels, this format may not be as captivating in an online format. We encourage proposals for innovative formats that will take advantage of the virtual (and graphic) nature of the conference. We are also implementing a range of formats including:

Lightning Talks – 5-6 presenters. Each with a 5-7 minute presentation time. Proposals can range from concise traditional-type presentations to Ignite or PechaKucha 20×20 style talks. Abstracts for Lightning Talks should be 200 words.

Conversation Panels – (Preformed Panels Only) Propose to help facilitate a focused conversation on a topic relevant to WLA members. Each scheduled conversation will have 2 or 3 leaders to share responsibility for its focus, depth, concreteness. This is NOT a traditional panel or a roundtable. This is a conversation that should include an audience participation component. Each of the 2 or 3 conversation leaders will submit an abstract of no more than 250 words explaining their individual contribution.

Public Intellectual Panels – (Preformed Panels Only) 3 presenters each with a 15-minute maximum for a talk designed particularly for an audience drawn from the general public. Be sure to identify your intended audience in your abstract (your local community gathered at the public library, a retirement community, etc…) and take care to shape your presentation for a non-academic audience. Abstracts for public intellectual talks should be 250 words.

Roundtables – Proposals for a Roundtable (5-6 presenters) should be presentations of 5-6 minutes each. Roundtables differ from Lightning Talk panels in that the while preformed Lightning Talk panels might be thematically coherent each presentation is individual. Roundtables typically take the shape of a larger discussion or debate based on the brief comments of the presenters. The organizer must submit an overview of the Roundtable in an abstract of no more than 250 words. Each presenter on the Roundtable will submit an abstract of no more than 200 words explaining their individual contribution.

Creative Writing/Work(s) – 4 presenters. Each with a 15-minute maximum presentation time. Present your original creative work (in any genre). Abstracts for the Creative track should be 150-200 words.

Presenters on preformed panels and roundtable discussions must submit proposals individually.

The deadline for submissions is July 15, 2020

Proposals can be submitted using the WLA Conference Conftool portal: https://www.conftool.pro/wla-conference-2020/.

Please submit questions to Rebecca M. Lush or Kerry Fine at WLAConference2020@westernlit.org.


CHECK BACK FOR MORE INFORMATION. It will be posted here as it becomes available.


Tags: Literature and cultures of the American Westliterature of the American Westregional studiesWestern Literature Association ConferenceWLA Conference participation


 

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WLA Conference 2018

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

THEME:

Indigenous Hubs, Gateway Cities, Border States


The WLA Conference 2018 will be hosted by Dr. Emily Lutenski, St. Louis University, and Dr. Michael K. Johnson, University of Maine, Farmington

The conference will be held in St. Louis, MO, Oct. 24 – 27, 2018.
Venue: Chase Park Plaza Hotel.

Emily Lutenski

Emily Lutenski

 

 

Michael K. Johnson

Michael K. Johnson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Registration for the 2018
Western Literature Association
conference on
Indigenous Hubs, Gateway Cities, Border States 
is now open!

 

Click the blue button below to register at the ConfTool site.
Register at ConfTool Now
The conference registration deadline is September 24. Late fees ($25 for registration and $5 for meals) will apply after that date.
The Conference Theme

Indigenous Hubs, Gateway Cities, Border States

St. Louis’s Old Courthouse, where Dred Scott initiated his effort to sue for his freedom, is part of the Gateway Arch National Park. The Gateway Arch itself was built as a monument to “men who made possible the territorial expansion of the United States, particularly President Jefferson . . . the great explorers, Lewis and Clark, and the hardy hunters, trappers, frontiersmen and pioneers who contributed to the . . . development of these United States.”

This site, its representations, and the silences they engender, serve as a potent reminder of the intricately linked histories of U.S. imperialism and enslavement. Our conference theme “Indigenous Hubs, Gateway Cities, Border States,” is derived from such confluences.

This year’s program offers an incredibly exciting array of contributions by both critics and creative writers, many interrogating the nexus of race and region, indigenous geographies, feminist critical regionalisms, and much more.

If you are presenting, you can search the program by your name in order to see when your paper has been scheduled. You will also see if you have been tentatively assigned to chair a session. As you peruse the program, if you see a panel that has not yet been assigned a chair and you would like to volunteer, please e-mail the conference organizers at wlaconference2018@westernlit.orgto let us know. We will do our best to accommodate these requests!

The Conference Site

The Chase Park Plaza Hotel

The 2018 conference will be held at the historic Chase Park Plaza hotel, constructed in 1922 and located in the city’s Central West End neighborhood, which has been home to some of the St. Louis’s most famous writers, like T.S. Eliot, Tennessee Williams, Kate Chopin, and William S. Burroughs.

Today, it is a walkable, vibrant neighborhood teeming with restaurants and shops like the independent Left Bank Books. It is adjacent to the 1,300-acre Forest Park, the site of the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition, and today the St. Louis Art Museum and Missouri History Museum.

Click the blue button below to make your hotel reservations.
The cutoff date for conference rate reservations is October 3.

Make Reservations at the Chase Park Plaza Now
Conference Travel

Discounts and Ground Transportation

United Airlines will offer travel discounts to conference attendees. Visit www.united.com/meetingtravel and enter the discount code ZEZH245642 in the offer code box–or call the United Meeting Reservation Desk at 1-800-426-1122. Booking fees are waived for meeting reservations. The discount is only available for travel dates between October 20 and October 31, 2018.

Once at St. Louis Lambert International Airport, the Chase Park Plaza is easily accessible by ground transportation. The shuttle service Go Best Express is offering discounts for WLA meeting attendees at the following link: https://gobestexpress.com/reservations?code=WLA2018.

Furthermore, the airport is serviced by taxis, ride share services Uber and Lyft, and the MetroLink light rail, which can take you from the airport to the Central West End station, a few blocks from the Chase.

Keynotes by Distinguished Award Winners

Percival Everett

Percival Everett counts among his many accolades two Hurston/Wright Legacy Awards and a Guggenheim Fellowship in fiction. He is the author of around 30 books, many set in the American West.

No contemporary African American author has represented the black western experience in such extensive, nuanced, and complex ways. Everett will be a keynote speaker at the conference as winner of the 2018 WLA Distinguished Achievement Award in Creative Writing.

José E. Limón

José E. Limón is the Notre Dame Foundation Professor of American Literature Emeritus at the University of Notre Dame and the Mody C. Boatright Professor of American Literature Emeritus at the University of Texas at Austin.

His pathbreaking interdisciplinary work in literature and folklore has long asked pressing questions about the cultural politics of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands and Greater Mexico. These resonate today perhaps more urgently than ever. Limón will be a keynote speaker at the conference as winner of the 2018 WLA Distinguished Achievement Award in Criticism.

More Special Events

Whose Streets? Screening and Discussion

Our opening night will feature a screening of Whose Streets?which documents the activism following the police shooting of Michael Brown, Jr. in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri.

The screening will be followed by a discussion of these events, and of how contemporary racial politics are shaped by the histories of place.

Past President’s Lunch with Eugene B. Redmond

WLA Past-President Florence Amamoto will speak with East St. Louis poet, scholar, and activist Eugene B. Redmond.

An architect of the Black Arts Movement, Redmond’s poetry has often engaged with local borders and borderlands. A poem called “Carryover,” for example, proclaims, “I have been tattooed for life: / A thought called EAST SAINT LOUIS / Is etched on each Island of my Brain.”

Women’s Breakfast and #MeToo Dialogue

Self-identified women and gender nonconforming people are invited to meet over continental breakfast on Thursday, October 25 from 7:30-8:30 in order to establish friendships, coalitions, and mentoring relationships. Breakfast will be followed by a moderated discussion about how the MeToo movement has shaped classrooms, research, and lives.

Sign up for the breakfast with registration; the discussion is open to all conference participants from 8:30-9:00 am. 

A Reading for the Mound Builders

Organized by Professor Chadwick Allen of the University of Washington, “A Reading for the Mound Builders” will feature noted writers LeAnne Howe, Phillip Carroll Morgan, and Allison Hedge Coke.

This will dovetail with a planned excursion to Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, the center of the largest pre-Columbian civilization north of Mexico.

The Digital Humanities and Western Literature

Sara L. Schwebel, Professor of English at the University of South Carolina, will speak about the possibilities of public humanities collaborations.

Her multimedia project in conjunction with Channel Islands National Park is organized around the children’s book Island of the Blue Dolphins, and equips K-12 teachers with tools to teach not only about the book, but also about the indigenous woman whose isolation due to Spanish colonial policies of reducción inspired it.

Awards Banquet

WLA Awards Banquet with Candice Ivory

The “Queen of Avant Soul,” Candice Ivory, will perform at the WLA awards banquet. Today she’s a St. Louisan, but Ms. Ivory has roots in Memphis, Tennessee, and is immersed in the jazz, blues, gospel, and soul traditions of both places. 

There is still time to submit work for some WLA awards to be honored at the banquet, including the J. Golden Taylor Award for best graduate student work submitted to the conference; the Dorys Grover Awards for outstanding graduate student papers on region, place, and space in western American literatures; the Frederick Manfred Award for best creative writing submission to the annual conference; and the Louis Owens Awards for graduate student travel to the conference.

Shop at Amazon Smile, and Amazon will make a donation to the Western Literature Association

June 18, 2018

Dear WLA Members,

We hope summer is treating you well, and we look forward to welcoming you to St. Louis in October! To that end, we want this conference to be open to as many as possible, so we are extending the proposal deadline to July 1, 2018.

Understanding Our Place: Conference Proposals, Conference Theme, Conference Site

St. Louis’s Old Courthouse, where the Dred Scott case was initiated. Along with the Gateway Arch and the Museum of Westward Expansion, the Old Courthouse comprises the Gateway Arch National Park (which, until 2018, was called the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial). The linkage of these sites is a reminder of the intricate relations between U.S. imperialism and histories of enslavement.

Please submit proposals for individual papers and complete sessions to ConfTool. Remember that ConfTool accounts don’t carry over from year to year, so if you haven’t created a 2018 account, you must do so before you submit your proposal. Remember that we welcome critical and creative writing proposals on any aspect of literature and culture of the North American West—but we’re also happy to receive submissions that tie to this year’s conference theme: “Indigenous Hubs, Gateway Cities, Border States.”

The Saint Louis Art Museum is housed in the only World’s Fair building—the “Palace of Fine Arts”—designed to be permanent.

The 2018 conference will be held at the historic Chase Park Plaza hotel, constructed in 1922, located in the city’s Central West End neighborhood. The Central West End was home to some of St. Louis’s most well-known writers: T.S. Eliot, Tennessee Williams, Kate Chopin, and William S. Burroughs, for example, all lived in the neighborhood. Today, it is a walkable area teeming with restaurants and shops, including the independent bookstore Left Bank Books. It is also adjacent to St. Louis’s 1,300-acre Forest Park, the site of the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition (which popularized the ice cream cone and Dr. Pepper as it celebrated U.S. imperialism), and today the St. Louis Art Museum and the Missouri History Museum.

Chase Hotel (early 1920s), by W.C. Persons. Missouri Historical Society Collections.

As a site for jazz-age partygoing among well-heeled St. Louisans, our conference site was featured on the front page of the New York Times on January 2, 1923, when an article described a riot that ensued when federal agents sent to enforce prohibition law raided the “fashionable Hotel Chase” on New Year’s Eve. A “barrage of chairs, glassware, plates, knives and forks were hurled promiscuously,” the Times noted. “Women became hysterical” while the “rumpus was in swing” until the “officers retreated.” “One woman,” a police sergeant reported, “had me by the collar as we were leaving.”

We can’t promise that level of excitement, but we can promise an exceptional conference line-up that examines the literature and culture of the North American West from creative and challenging angles, asking critical questions about what constitutes region and role it has played in shaping culture, identity, and power.

Looking Forward to the Program: Special Events and Guests

These questions, of course, can be seen animating the work of our Distinguished Achievement Award winners in both creative writing and criticism:Percival Everett and José E. Limón.

Everett’s 2015 short story collection, Half an Inch of Water, based in Wyoming, “paints a vibrant picture of the West that layers itself subtly but assertively over the prevailing mythos of the lonely white cowboy,” according to a review in the Los Angeles Times.

Percival Everett counts among his many accolades two Hurston/Wright Legacy Awards and a Guggenheim Fellowship in fiction. He is the author of around 30 books, many set in the American West. These include the parodic genre western God’s Country, as well as Suder, Walk Me to the Distance, Watershed, Wounded, Assumption, and the recent short story collection, Half an Inch of Water. No contemporary African American author has represented the black western experience in such extensive, nuanced, and complex ways. Everett is currently a Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Southern California.

José E. Limón’s American Encounters requires we consider—perhaps now more urgently than ever—the following vision: “I wish to imagine the possibilities of a transformation of [the relationship between Greater Mexico and the United States], so that all children who live today along the Texas border can once again enjoy the waters of the Rio Grande—so that all of the children of Greater Mexico and the United States may play along the border and beyond, carrying their Mexico and their United States within them, . . . crossing this frontier at their pleasure, in equality, and in a peaceful and plentitudinous light of day” (José E. Limón, American Encounters: Greater Mexico, the United States, and the Erotics of Culture [Boston: Beacon Press, 1999], 6).

José E. Limón is the Notre Dame Foundation Professor of American Literature Emeritus at the University of Notre Dame and the Mody C. Boatright Professor of American Literature Emeritus at the University of Texas at Austin. His interdisciplinary work brings together literature, anthropology, and folklore in studies of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, Greater Mexico, and American regions and nations broadly conceived. Among his books are Dancing with the Devil: Society and Cultural Poetics in Mexican-American South Texas, Mexican Ballads, Chicano Poems: History and Influence in Mexican American Social Poetry, American Encounters: Greater Mexico, the United States, and the Erotics of Culture, and Américo Paredes: Culture and Critique. He is currently working on a book titled Neither Friends, Nor Strangers: Mexicans and Anglos in the Literary Making of Texas.

The plenaries by these Distinguished Achievement Award winners, while certainly the centerpiece of our conference, are not the only events of note.

Mural at Ponderosa Steakhouse, W. Florissant Ave., Ferguson, MO. 2014. 6’x8′. Image courtesy of COCA—Center of Creative Arts. Photo © Michael Kilfoy.

On our opening night, we will be screening and discussing the film Whose Streets?, which documents the activism that grew from the 2014 police shooting of Michael Brown, Jr., in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. This will be followed by a discussion moderated by Jonathan Smith, Vice President for Diversity and Community Engagement at Saint Louis University and a scholar of African American literature.

During the conference, we will hear from Teresa McKenna, a foundational scholar in Chicana feminist studies and Associate Professor Emerita at the University of Southern California, who will read from her memoir.

We will learn about the possibilities of public humanities collaborations from Sara L. Schwebel, Professor of English at the University of South Carolina, who has collaborated with Channel Islands National Park on a digital humanities project for K-12 teaching organized around the children’s book Island of the Blue Dolphins and the indigenous woman, whose isolation due Spanish colonial policies of reducción and trade, inspired it. Professor Schwebel’s talk will lead nicely into presentations by the WLA/Charles Redd Center K-12 Teaching Award winners on Saturday.

East St. Louis poet, scholar, and activist Eugene B. Redmond will read from and speak about his work at the 2018 WLA Past-President’s lunch.

We will also engage local borders when we hear from poet, scholar, and activist Eugene B. Redmond during the Past-President’s lunch on Thursday. Dr. Redmond, along with fellow East St. Louisan Katherine Dunham and St. Louisan Maya Angelou, was an architect of the Black Arts Movement in the region. From his earliest poetry, Redmond has been a place-based poet. A poem titled “Carryover,” for example, which he read at East St. Louisan Miles Davis’s funeral, proclaims, “I have been tattooed for life: / A thought called EAST SAINT LOUIS / Is etched on each Island of my Brain.” “EAST SAINT LOUIS will rise!” It “Will rise from the muddy gutty Mississippi. / Will rise disguised as AFRICA” (in Gerald Early, “Ain’t But a Place”: An Anthology of African American Writings about St. Louis [St. Louis: Missouri Historical Society Press, 1998], 481).

The ancestral Mississippian city of Cahokia is directly across the Mississippi River from St. Louis. Monks Mound, pictured here, is the largest structure on the site and is the largest earthen mound north of Mexico. St. Louis was once nicknamed “Mound City,” but today only one mound within the city limits has escaped destruction: Sugarloaf Mound, which was purchased by the Osage Nation in 2009. The tribe hopes to preserve the mound and develop an interpretive center to teach St. Louisans about their city’s history from an indigenous perspective.

Candice Ivory, the “Queen of Avant Soul,” will perform at the 2018 WLA banquet.

And we’re delighted to be honoring the WLA’s 2018 award winners at the banquet on Friday night, where the “Queen of Avant Soul,” the fabulousCandice Ivory, will be joining us to perform. Today a St. Louisan, but with roots in Memphis, Tennessee, Ivory is immersed in the gospel, blues, jazz, and soul traditions of both places. We let her know that the WLA likes to dance!

In Closing, In Friendship, In Appreciation

If it wasn’t clear from the above, we are delighted to share this conference with you, our dear colleagues and friends, who have done so much to push our field in new and exciting directions. This is a preview of what’s in store—but there’s even more to come!

Most importantly, of course, is the tremendous compendium of critical and creative work on the North American West by you—the membership. So please do submit any remaining proposals by July 1, 2018. Thank you for all your contributions—we cannot do this conference, and we cannot do our work in western literature, in all its diversity, without you.

Best wishes,
Michael and Emily
Your 2018 WLA Co-Presidents


June 9, 2018

Dear WLA Members:

Just a quick reminder and a little bit of conference news.

Reminder: we are ready to start receiving proposals (deadline June 15) for the 2018 Western Literature Association conference, to be held October 24-27, in the Chase Park Plaza Hotel in St. Louis.

Bit of news: Remember to bring your dancing shoes to the conference, because Candice Ivory will be performing at the banquet: http://candiceivory.com/biography/

Below is the how-to-submit-a-proposal-through-Conftool instructions:

To submit a proposal, go to:  https://www.conftool.pro/wla-conference-2018/

Please keep in mind a few things:

  1. ConfTool is the only way to submit your proposal. Even if you’ve submitted through ConfTool before, you will need to create a new account for the 2018 conference, which you can do starting at the above URL. Once you have finished your submission, you will receive a notice from ConfTool indicating your submission success. If you don’t receive this email, check your spam folder and be sure to allow messages from ConfTool to get through to you, as some other important information (such as proposal acceptance notices) will like be sent through this system.
  2. You should submit an abstract for your paper only. For panels and roundtable, please remember that each member of the panel or roundtable must create an individual account and submission. The individual contributions on a panel are linked by the title of the panel, so for pre-formed panels, please enter the title of the panel followed by the title of the individual contribution. (Example: “Gateway Cities” / “St. Louis as Gateway West”)
  3. Shortly before the conference, the schedule will be available to download through the Conference4Me app (and will also be available online and at the conference in print form). A unique feature of the Conference4Me app is that it will allow you to download the schedule to your phone, and it will allow you to view the abstracts of papers accepted for the conference. We will send out instructions for downloading the Conference4Me app prior to the conference dates.
  4. The deadline for all submissions is June 15, 2018.
  5. Graduate students who wish to have their papers considered for the Taylor Award or the Grover Award, creative writers wishing to be considered for the Manfred Award, and those vying for the coveted Willa Pilla (awarded for most humorous), please note there are individual items to check in the topics list in order to alert us of your desire for consideration for those awards. Descriptions of these awards can be found on the WLA website: http://www.westernlit.org/western-literature-association-awards/
  6. Final copies of papers for the Taylor, Grover, and Manfred Awards are due (to Michael at michael.johnson@maine.edu) no later than August 15 so they can be sent to the appropriate Award Committees for consideration.
  7. Registration information will be sent out (via email and on the website) later, after acceptances have been made (probably in early July).
  8. Remember that all presenters MUST be a member of the Western Literature Association. You’ll have a chance to renew your membership with your registration. Or renew or join earlier via the WLA website: http://www.westernlit.org/membership/

Michael K. Johnson and Emily Lutenski

Your WLA Presidents 2018


 

May 18, 2018

Dear WLA Members:

Just a quick reminder that we are ready to start receiving proposals (deadline June 15) for the 2018 Western Literature Association conference, to be held October 24-27, in the Chase Park Plaza Hotel in St. Louis.

To submit a proposal, go to:  https://www.conftool.pro/wla-conference-2018/

Please keep in mind a few things:

  1. ConfTool is the only way to submit your proposal. Even if you’ve submitted through ConfTool before, you will need to create a new account for the 2018 conference, which you can do starting at the above URL. Once you have finished your submission, you will receive a notice from ConfTool indicating your submission success. If you don’t receive this email, check your spam folder and be sure to allow messages from ConfTool to get through to you, as some other important information (such as proposal acceptance notices) will like be sent through this system.
  2. You should submit an abstract for your paper only. For panels and roundtable, please remember that each member of the panel or roundtable must create an individual account and submission. The individual contributions on a panel are linked by the title of the panel, so for pre-formed panels, please enter the title of the panel followed by the title of the individual contribution. (Example: “Gateway Cities” / “St. Louis as Gateway West”)
  3. Shortly before the conference, the schedule will be available to download through the Conference4Me app (and will also be available online and at the conference in print form). A unique feature of the Conference4Me app is that it will allow you to download the schedule to your phone, and it will allow you to view the abstracts of papers accepted for the conference. We will send out instructions for downloading the Conference4Me app prior to the conference dates.
  4. The deadline for all submissions is June 15, 2018.
  5. Graduate students who wish to have their papers considered for the Taylor Award or the Grover Award, creative writers wishing to be considered for the Manfred Award, and those vying for the coveted Willa Pilla (awarded for most humorous), please note there are individual items to check in the topics list in order to alert us of your desire for consideration for those awards. Descriptions of these awards can be found on the WLA website: http://www.westernlit.org/western-literature-association-awards/
  6. Final copies of papers for the Taylor, Grover, and Manfred Awards are due (to Michael at michael.johnson@maine.edu) no later than August 15 so they can be sent to the appropriate Award Committees for consideration.
  7. Registration information will be sent out (via email and on the website) later, after acceptances have been made (probably in early July).
  8. Remember that all presenters MUST be a member of the Western Literature Association. You’ll have a chance to renew your membership with your registration. Or renew or join earlier via the WLA website: http://www.westernlit.org/membership/

Michael K. Johnson and Emily Lutenski

Your WLA Presidents 2018


April 16, 2018

Dear WLA Members:

Greetings from St. Louis! We are looking forward to getting your paper, panel, and roundtable proposals for the 2018 Western Literature Association conference, to be held October 24-27, in the Chase Park Plaza Hotel in St. Louis.

We are ready to start receiving your proposals!

To submit a proposal, go to:  https://www.conftool.pro/wla-conference-2018/

Please keep in mind a few things:

  1. ConfTool is the only way to submit your proposal. Even if you’ve submitted through ConfTool before, you will need to create a new account for the 2018 conference, which you can do starting at the above URL. Once you have finished your submission, you will receive a notice from ConfTool indicating your submission success. If you don’t receive this email, check your spam folder and be sure to allow messages from ConfTool to get through to you, as some other important information (such as proposal acceptance notices) will like be sent through this system.
  2. You should submit an abstract for your paper only. For panels and roundtable, please remember that each member of the panel or roundtable must create an individual account and submission. The individual contributions on a panel are linked by the title of the panel, so for pre-formed panels, please enter the title of the panel followed by the title of the individual contribution. (Example: “Gateway Cities” / “St. Louis as Gateway West”)
  3. Shortly before the conference, the schedule will be available to download through the Conference4Me app (and will also be available online and at the conference in print form). A unique feature of the Conference4Me app is that it will allow you to download the schedule to your phone, and it will allow you to view the abstracts of papers accepted for the conference. We will send out instructions for downloading the Conference4Me app prior to the conference dates.
  4. The deadline for all submissions is June 15, 2018.
  5. Graduate students who wish to have their papers considered for the Taylor Award or the Grover Award, creative writers wishing to be considered for the Manfred Award, and those vying for the coveted Willa Pilla (awarded for most humorous), please note there are individual items to check in the topics list in order to alert us of your desire for consideration for those awards. Descriptions of these awards can be found on the WLA website: http://www.westernlit.org/western-literature-association-awards/
  6. Final copies of papers for the Taylor, Grover, and Manfred Awards are due (to Michael at michael.johnson@maine.edu) no later than August 15 so they can be sent to the appropriate Award Committees for consideration.
  7. Registration information will be sent out (via email and on the website) later, after acceptances have been made (probably in early July).
  8. Remember that all presenters MUST be a member of the Western Literature Association. You’ll have a chance to renew your membership with your registration. Or renew or join earlier via the WLA website: http://www.westernlit.org/membership/

Michael K. Johnson and Emily Lutenski

Your WLA Presidents 2018


February 15, 2018

Dear WLA Members:

Greetings from the edge of the West (and the edge of the East), from the gateway city of St. Louis, Missouri, where we are busy with preparations for the Western Literature Association St. Louis 2018 Conference, to be held October 24-27 in the Chase Park Plaza Hotel. The conference theme is “Indigenous Hubs, Gateway Cities, Border States.”

Among the conference highlights that we wanted to mention, Distinguished Achievement Award winners Percival Everett (creative writing) and José E. Limón (criticism) will be present at the conference and will be reading from their work.

Percival Everett is a two-time winner of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Awards for Fiction, a recent recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in fiction, and the author of around 30 books, including the parodic genre western God’s Country, as well as multiple books set in the American West, including Suder, Walk Me to the Distance, Watershed, Wounded, Assumption, and his recent short story collection, Half an Inch of Water. No other contemporary African American author has accomplished as extensive (and complex) a representation of African American western experience. He is currently a Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Southern California.

José E. Limón is the Notre Dame Foundation Professor of American Literature Emeritus at the University of Notre Dame and the Mody C. Boatright Professor of American Literature Emeritus at the University of Texas at Austin. He is a distinguished scholar of Mexican American literature and culture in wide-ranging and interdisciplinary work that brings together the study of literature, anthropology, and folklore in studies of literature of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, Greater Mexico, and region and nation more broadly conceived. He is the author of four books, including Dancing with the Devil: Society and Cultural Poetics in Mexican-American South Texas and Américo Paredes: Culture and Critique. He is currently working on a book titled Neither Friends, Nor Strangers: Mexicans and Anglos in the Literary Making of Texas.

We particularly look forward to proposals that engage the literary and critical work and legacies of our two Distinguished Achievement Award winners.

Our deadline for papers, panels, and other session ideas is June 15, 2018. Please see the original CFP and list of proposed themes we’d like to highlight below, but, as always, we welcome proposals on any aspect of the literature and culture of the North American West. 

Proposals should be submitted through the ConfTool link, which will be posted on this page once ConfTool has been set up to receive proposals.

Soon we will be posting a follow-up letter with more information on other conference activities (including possibilities for a Saturday excursion), as well as transportation and hotel information.

Stay tuned!

Michael K. Johnson and Emily Lutenski
Your WLA Presidents 2018


CALL FOR PAPERS

2018 Western Literature Association Conference

Indigenous Hubs, Gateway Cities, Border States

Still on Ponderosa ©Michael Kilfoy

Mural at Ponderosa Steakhouse, W. Florissant Ave., Ferguson, MO. 2014. 6’×8′.
Image courtesy of COCA—Center of Creative Arts. Photo ©Michael Kilfoy.

The 2018 annual conference of the Western Literature Association will take place October 24-27 at the Chase Park Plaza Hotel in St. Louis, Missouri. “Indigenous Hubs, Gateway Cities, Border States” is derived from this location. This region, at the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, has been urban for thousands of years: Cahokia, directly across the river from today’s St. Louis, housed the largest pre-Columbian civilization north of Mexico and was long a hub for trade, communication, and transportation throughout indigenous North America. Today it is well known for its impressive earthen mounds, which the Osage Nation, among other tribal groups, counts as an important ancestral site. Long before St. Louis was known as the “Gateway to the West,” it was nicknamed “Mound City.”

St. Louis would become a North American borderland, shaped by French, Spanish, and U.S. contact and conquest. With Missouri’s 1821 entry into the nation as a slave state, St. Louis became envisioned as a gateway to western freedom even while it maintained southern bondage. This position made it possible for hundreds of enslaved people, including Dred Scott, to attempt to sue for their freedom in St. Louis. During the Exoduster movement, St. Louis indeed became a gateway to freedom for many African Americans migrating away from postbellum southern oppression. An emblem of white flight and urban disinvestment in the 20th century, today St. Louis is home to newer immigrant communities and central to the Black Lives Matter movement. It continues to serve as a microcosm of U.S. racial histories and of both stubborn divisions and promising coalitions across lines of race, class, region, and nation. “Indigenous Hubs, Gateway Cities, Border States” is meant to evoke these confluences and crosscurrents.

Both Distinguished Achievement Award Winners, Percival Everett and José E. Limón, will be attending the conference, and each will give a reading.

We welcome proposals on any aspect of the literatures of the North American West, but especially encourage panels and papers that explore the following topics:

• St. Louis (or other western places) as Indigenous Hubs, Gateways, or Borderlands
• The African American West
• Jazz and Blues and the American West
• The Art and Literature of Black Lives Matter
• St. Louis Freedom Suits
• The Work of Distinguished Achievement Award Winner Percival Everett
• The Critical Legacy of Distinguished Achievement Award Winner José E. Limón

Proposals for panels and roundtable discussions should include an abstract for each paper or presentation. The deadline for submissions is June 15, 2018. Please submit questions to Michael K. Johnson or Emily Lutenski at WLAConference2018@westernlit.org.


For more information, check back periodically.

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Western Literature Association Presidents 1966 to Present

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

 

WLA leaders who have served as presidents of the organization and have hosted the annual conference.

 
 
 

Audrey Goodman, 2022—Santa Fe, Mew Mexico

 

Lisa Tatonetti, 2022—Santa Fe, New Mexico

Rebecca Lush

Rebecca Lush, 2020—Virtual in lieu of San Diego, California

Kerry Fine

Kerry Fine, 2020—Virtual in lieu of San Diego, California

Alex Hunt

Alex Hunt, 2019—Estes Park, Colorado

SueEllen Campbell, 2019—Estes Park, CO

SueEllen Campbell, 2019—Estes Park, Colorado

Emily Lutenski—2018, St. Louis, Missouri

Michael K. Johnson

Michael K. Johnson—2018, St. Louis, Missouri

Florence Amamoto—2017, Minneapolis, MN

Florence Amamoto—2017, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Sue Maher—2017, Minneapolis, Minnesota

 

Linda Karell, 2016— Montana State University

Linda Karell—2016, Big Sky, Montana

Susan Bernardin, 2015 Reno, Nevada

Susan Bernardin—2015, Reno, Nevada

David Fenimore, 2015 — Reno, Nevada

David Fenimore—2015, Reno, Nevada

Laurie Ricou, 2014 — Victoria, BC, Canada

Laurie Ricou—2014, Victoria, BC, Canada

Anne Kaufman—2014, Victoria, BC, Canada

Anne Kaufman—2014, Victoria, BC, Canada

Richard Hutson, 2013 — Berkeley, California

Richard Hutson—2013, Berkeley, California

 

Sara Spurgeon—2012, Lubbock, Texas

Sara Spurgeon—2012, Lubbock, Texas

Nancy Cook—2011, Missoula, Montana

Nancy Cook—2011, Missoula, Montana

Bonney MacDonald, 2011 — Missoula, Montana

Bonney MacDonald, 2011 — Missoula, Montana

Gioia Woods, 2010 — Prescott, Arizona

Gioia Woods, 2010 — Prescott, Arizona

David Cremean, 2009 — Spearfish, South Dakota

David Cremean, 2009 — Spearfish, South Dakota

Karen Ramirez, 2008 — Boulder, Colorado

Karen Ramirez, 2008 — Boulder, Colorado

Nic Witschi, 2008 — Boulder, Colorado

Nic Witschi, 2008 — Boulder, Colorado

Ann Putnam, 2007 — Tacoma, Washington

Ann Putnam, 2007 — Tacoma, Washington

Tara Penry 2006 — Boise, Idaho

William Handley, 2005 — Los Angeles, California

William Handley, 2005 — Los Angeles, California

Susan Kollin, 2004 — Big Sky, Montana

Susan Kollin, 2004 — Big Sky, Montana

Krista Comer, 2003 Houston, Texas

Krista Comer, 2003 Houston, Texas

Judy Nolte Temple, 2002 — Tucson, Arizona

Judy Nolte Temple, 2002 — Tucson, Arizona

 

Susan Naramore Maher, 2001 — Omaha, Nebraska

Susan Naramore Maher, 2001 — Omaha, Nebraska

 

Robert Murray Davis, 2000 — Norman, Oklahoma

Robert Murray Davis, 2000 — Norman, Oklahoma

Michael Kowalewski, 1999 — Sacramento, California

Michael Kowalewski, 1999 — Sacramento, California

Robert Thacker, 1998 — Banff, Alberta, Canada

Robert Thacker, 1998 — Banff, Alberta, Canada

Gary Scharnhorst, 1997 — Albuquerque, New Mexico

Gary Scharnhorst, 1997 — Albuquerque, New Mexico

Susanne K. George Bloomfield, 1996 — Lincoln, Nebraska

Susanne K. George Bloomfield, 1996 — Lincoln, Nebraska

Laurie Ricou, 1995 — Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Laurie Ricou, 1995 — Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Stephen Tatum, 1994 — Salt Lake City, Utah

Stephen Tatum, 1994 — Salt Lake City, Utah

Diane Quantic, 1993 — Wichita, Kansas

Diane Quantic, 1993 — Wichita, Kansas

Joseph Flora, 1992 — Reno, Nevada

Joseph Flora, 1992 — Reno, Nevada

James Work, 1991 — Estes Park, Colorado

James Work, 1991 — Estes Park, Colorado

Lawrence Clayton, 1990 — Denton, Texas

Lawrence Clayton, 1990 — Denton, Texas

Barbara Meldrum, 1989 — Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

Barbara Meldrum, 1989 — Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

Glen Love, 1988 — Eugene, Oregon

Glen Love, 1988 — Eugene, Oregon

Susan J. Rosowski, 1987 — Lincoln, Nebraska

Susan J. Rosowski, 1987 — Lincoln, Nebraska

Tom Pilkington[pictured in the middle, receiving award], 1986 — Durango, Colorado

Tom Pilkington[pictured in the middle, receiving award], 1986 — Durango, Colorado

Gerald Haslam, 1985 — Fort Worth, Texas

Gerald Haslam, 1985 — Fort Worth, Texas

Ann Ronald, 1984 — Reno, Nevada

Ann Ronald, 1984 — Reno, Nevada

George Day, 1983 — St. Paul, Minnesota

George Day, 1983 — St. Paul, Minnesota

Martin Bucco, 1982 — Denver, Colorado

Martin Bucco, 1982 — Denver, Colorado

James Maguire, 1981 — Boise, Idaho

James Maguire, 1981 — Boise, Idaho

Helen Stauffer, 1980 — St. Louis, Missouri

Helen Stauffer, 1980 — St. Louis, Missouri

Bernice Slote, 1980 — University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Bernice Slote, 1980 — University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Richard Etulain, 1979 — Albuquerque, New Mexico

Richard Etulain, 1979 — Albuquerque, New Mexico

Mary Washington, 1978 — Park City, Utah

Mary Washington, 1978 — Park City, Utah

Arthur Huseboe, 1977 — Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Arthur Huseboe, 1977 — Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Lawrence L. Lee, 1976 — Bellingham, Washington

Lawrence L. Lee, 1976 — Bellingham, Washington

Maynard Fox, 1975 —Durango, Colorado

Maynard Fox, 1975 —Durango, Colorado

John S. Bullen, 1974 — Sonoma, California

John S. Bullen, 1974 — Sonoma, California

Max Westbrook, 1973 — Austin, Texas

Max Westbrook, 1973 — Austin, Texas

Thomas J. Lyon, 1972 — Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Thomas J. Lyon, 1972 — Jackson Hole, Wyoming

John R. Milton, 1971 — Red Cloud, Nebraska

John R. Milton, 1971 — Red Cloud, Nebraska

Don D. Walker, 1970 — Sun Valley, Idaho

Don D. Walker, 1970 — Sun Valley, Idaho

Morton L. Ross, 1969 — Provo, Utah

Morton L. Ross, 1969 — Provo, Utah

Jim L. Fife, 1968 — Colorado Springs, Colorado

Jim L. Fife, 1968 — Colorado Springs, Colorado

Delbert Wylder, 1967 — Albuquerque, NM

Delbert Wylder, 1967 — Albuquerque, NM

C. L. Sonnichsen, 1966 — Salt Lake City, Utah

C. L. Sonnichsen, 1966 — Salt Lake City, Utah. [Photo credit: El Paso Herald-Post records, Special Collections, U of TX at El Paso Library]

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Past Presidents’ Addresses

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

PAST PRESIDENTS’ ADDRESSES

At every conference, the past president gives the Past President’s Address. Below you’ll find links to some of them:

1989—Glen Love, “Revaluing Nature: Toward an Ecological Criticism”
1992—James Work, “Who’s Afraid of the Virginian’s Wolf?”
1993—Joseph M. Flora, “An Eastern Dude Rides West—Again
1994—Diane Quantic, “Reimagining the West: A Consideration of the Discipline”
1996—Laurie Ricou, “Extra West”
1997—Susanne George Bloomfield, “Dancing with Our Skeletons: Some Reflections on Time”
1998—Gary Scharnhorst, “In Defense of Western Literary Biography”
1999—Robert Thacker, “Crossing Frontiers, Riding Point”
2001—Robert Murray Davis, “Part-Time Westerner”
2002—Susan Naramore Maher, “When East Meets West: A Tale of Sundry Adventures”
2003—Judy Nolte Temple, “Why in the World Study Diaries: Tales from the Road Less Traveled”
2006—William R. Handley, “An Anatomy of Feeling Western; or, The Good News about Estrangement”
2008—Ann Putnam, “Memory, Desire, and What’s ‘True at First Light’”
2009—Karen Ramirez and Nicolas Witschi, “Western Collaborations X: The Generative Power of Working Together”
2010—David Cremean, “Livin’ in These Badlands: Don’t Fence Me In—or Out”
2011—Gioia Woods, “Reinvent America and the World”
2013—Sara Spurgeon, “Incidentally Western”
2014—Richard Hutson, “Tom Sawyer and the Struggle for Recognition”
2015—17 Past Presidents recounted the WLA’s journey of where it has been and where it is going (no transcript available)
2016—Sacred and Profane West: A Conversation with Stephen Graham Jones, moderated by Susan Bernardin and David Fenimore (no transcript available)
2017—Learning from Legacies: A Conversation with Linda Karell and Kao Kalia Yang (no transcript available)
2018—A Conversation: Florence Amamoto and Eugene B. Redmond (no transcript available)
2019—Past Presidents’ Conversation: Buried Archives of the West(ern), with Michael K. Johnson and Emily Lutenski plus Christine Bold, Susan Nance, Kirby Brown.
2020—Alex Hunt, “Public Face West: How to Find a Wider Audience and Why We Might Oughta”

 

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WLA Conference 2011 Registration

Saturday, August 7th, 2010

46th Annual Western Literature Association Conference
Oct. 5-Oct. 8, 2011
Missoula, MT

ONLINE REGISTRATION FORM

First Name:
Last Name:
Title:
Affiliation:
Mailing Address:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Country:
Email:
Home/Cell Phone:
Work Phone:
Check if graduate student in October 2011 Check if undergraduate student in October 2011

2011 CONFERENCE REGISTRATION FEES

(Please note: You must be a member of the WLA at THE TIME OF THE CONFERENCE
to present a paper at the conference. See information on WLA Annual Membership Dues below.)

WLA member

$120
Retired member

$100
Student member

$100
Non-member, not presenting

$110
Guest of member, not presenting *

$50
Whose guest are you?
Name of WLA member if registering as “guest of member”:


Registration

* Guest rate is for non-presenting spouses or partners who accompany a registered WLA member, retired member, or student member and wish to attend conference sessions, receptions, and/or meals. Partners who do not plan to attend sessions, receptions, or meals need not register. Two non-members traveling together must each pay the full non-member rate. Two presenters traveling together must each pay the appropriate member rate. Registered partners will receive a name badge and other registration materials. Please use a separate form for each individual.

2011 WLA MEMBERSHIP DUES
(includes subscription to Western American Literature)

Presenters and session chairs must be WLA members AT THE TIME OF THE CONFERENCE. If you have questions regarding your membership status, please contact the WAL office.

CATEGORY MAILING ADDRESSES IN THE US ADDRESSES IN CANADA + MEXICO ALL OTHER DESTINATIONS
Regular member $35.00 $50.00 $60.00
Student/Retired $30.00 $45.00 $55.00
Couples $40.00 $55.00 $65.00
Sponsor $75.00 $75.00 $75.00
Patron $100.00 $100.00 $100.00
None. My membership is current through 10/2011. $0
Membership

MEALS

Thur, Oct 6, 12:15–2:00 pm: Past Presidents’ Address Luncheon
(Everyone invited!)
$25
Choose one:
Meat
Vegetarian
Fri, Oct 7, 7:00-8:00 am: Past Presidents’ Breakfast
(Past Presidents only!)
$15
Fri, Oct 7, 12:15–2:00 pm: Graduate Students’ Luncheon
$15
Fri, Oct 7, 6:30 pm: Banquet (includes awards ceremony and the traditional WLA dance)
$45
Choose one: (a) braised short ribs
(b) balsamic chicken
(c) Northwestern rainbow trout
(d) seasonal vegetarian entrée
Meals

OWENS AWARD CONTRIBUTION

Please consider supporting the Louis Owens Awards, WLA’s competitive travel scholarships for graduate students who contribute to the diversity of the WLA conference.

See the award description for more information.

I would like to donate the following amount:

Donate $10

Donate $20

Clear Amount
Owens Contribution

SATURDAY ACTIVITIES

Missoula has numerous hiking and biking trails available for you to enjoy from our beautiful downtown location within a half-block of the Clark Fork River. Maps and a local “What to do in Missoula” Guide will be issued to you at the registration desk. You can contact the following providers below for horseback riding and fishing trip outings:

For horseback riding, please contact Suzanne at www.dunrovinranchmontana.com.
For guided fishing trips and fly-casting lessons, contact Russell via email. (Missoulian Angler will offer $100 off a fully guided trip if you mention the WLA Conference.)

For planning purposes, please indicate your preference for the following:

Horseback Riding
Guided Fishing Trip
Fly-Casting Group Lesson
Rattlesnake Wilderness Hike (gentle)
Rattlesnake Wilderness Hike (strenuous)

PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY

A fundraising cocktail party at Nancy Cook’s home, including drinks and hors d’oeuvres. Transportation will be arranged. Money will go to WLA endowments. If you’d like to participate, please donate a minimum of $55.00. If you are contributing to the Presidential Library, please add the amount you would like to donate, then hit “update total”.

I would like to donate the following amount:
GRAND TOTAL

If you are unable to attend the conference once you have registered, please send an e-mail to nancy.cook@mso.umt.edu.

All cancellations are subject to a processing fee of 20% of your total, if the cancellation is received before September 20. After that date, no refunds can be issued.


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