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Every year, the Western Literature Association hosts a conference on topics of the West. The association president of the current year hosts the conference and picks the conference site. All questions regarding conferences should be addressed to the presidents in charge.

The WLA Conference 2010, hosted by Professor Gioia Woods, will be held at the Prescott Resort, Arizona, Oct 20-23.

The WLA Conference 2011 will be held in Missoula, Montana, hosted by Professor Nancy Cook and Professor Bonney MacDonald.

The WLA Conference 2012 will be hosted by Professor Sara Spurgeon, Texas Tech University.


Find a list of all WLA presidents (most with pictures) and when and where they hosted the annual WLA Conference.


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?”
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”


Below you’ll find conference programs from previous years. These are not the absolutely final copies, but they’re as close to final as they were posted at the time. So if you are looking for somebody who was on your panel or a particular paper you heard, this might be helpful. If you have any questions, though, try contacting the person who gave the paper, chaired the panel, etc. The webmaster in this case is not likely to be able to help. In other words, USE AT YOUR OWN RISK and keep any problems with these programs to yourself.

Conference Program 1999 (Sacramento)
Conference link 2003 (Houston)
Conference Program 2004 (Big Sky)
Conference Program 2005 (Los Angeles) [Word file]
Conference Program 2006 (Boise)
Conference Program 2007 (Tacoma) [Word fiile]
Conference Program 2008 (Boulder)
Conference Program 2009 (Spearfish)

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