• Testimonials

    Publications, important professional connections, and new research interests and teaching ideas have grown from my participation in WLA.
    Jenny Emery-Davidson
    Blaine County Center Director, College of Southern Idaho



If you have a news item that you wish to appear on this page, please send it to Sabine Barcatta.

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CFP: WLA Panel at SSAWW Conference

The Western Literature Association invites submissions for its upcoming panel at the triennial meeting of the Society for the Study of American Women Writers, November 4-8, 2015 in Philadelphia.

In response to the SSAWW conference theme of “Liminal Spaces, Hybrid Lives,” we welcome papers that consider how women writers respond to the ideological and imaginative boundaries that have shaped western American literary and cultural production. Proposed papers might address but are not limited to the following topics:

  • gender, genre, and the West
  • negotiations of racial, ethnic, and religious difference in western women’s writing
  • women writers and the geographic and chronological definitions of the West
  • archival and recovery work in the field of western women’s writing
  • women writers and the post-western West

E-mail a 300-word abstract and brief CV to Randi Tanglen  by January 20, 2015. While you do not need to be an SSAWW or WLA member to submit a proposal, you must be or become a member of both SSAWW and WLA in order to present as part of this panel.

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Assistant Professor of post-1865 American literature (University of North Alabama)

English: The English department at the University of North Alabama is seeking an Assistant Professor of post-1865 American literature (to include the 21st century). An emphasis in poetry and drama is particularly desired, and we welcome candidates with a secondary expertise in one or more of the following: critical theory, African American literature, gender studies, literature and the environment, and/or ethnic literatures.

Posted: Nov. 4, 2014. Open until filled.

More information can be found here: https://chroniclevitae.com/jobs/0000856819-01?cid=ja#sthash.uu6LDZ1E.dpuf

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CFP SSAWW 2015 Proposed Panel: CFP: Indigenous Influence and Perspective in Mourning Dove’s Cogewea, the Half-Blood: A Depiction of the Great Montana Range (Deadline 12.15.14)

by Donna Campbell

CFP: Indigenous Influence and Perspective in Mourning Dove’s Cogewea, the Half-Blood: A Depiction of the Great Montana Range (Deadline 12.15.14)

Mourning Dove’s novel Cogewea has been recognized for its foregrounding of a cast of liminal characters who straddle Native and non-Native cultures and spaces. Scholars have also drawn attention to the novel’s hybridized form with its celebration of indigenous oral traditions and its engagement and subversion of the familiar tropes of the western romance and sentimental novel. This panel would like to further explore indigenous influences and perspectives within the novel or Mourning Dove’s other writings, and welcomes a wide range of approaches to her work.

Email 250 word abstracts and a brief bio or CV to Amber LaPiana at aa.lapiana@gmail.com by December 15, 2014.

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Grants and Fellowships: Woodress Scholar Archive Research Grants (Deadline 11.30.15)

Woodress Scholar Archive Research Grants (2015)

The Cather Project of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln announces the availability of two Research Grants for visiting scholars. These grants provide financial support for scholars to travel to and reside in Lincoln, NE, for four consecutive weeks, in order to conduct research on Willa Cather using Cather resources in Nebraska and at UNL.

Applications are invited from early career scholars, advanced graduate students, recent PhDs, and faculty not yet tenured. Projects should reflect the need for research at the UNL Archives and in Nebraska. Each Woodress Research Grant is $3,000 and each scholar is expected to be in residence in Lincoln for four consecutive weeks during January 1 – August 31, 2015. The Cather Project will assist with advice about travel, lodging, and a trip to the Willa Cather Foundation in Red Cloud, Nebraska (2 ½ hours away) to enable the scholar to research materials in the Foundation’s archives and visit the area of Cather’s childhood.

The Cather Project produces the Willa Cather Scholarly Edition and Cather Studies, both published by the University of Nebraska Press. The Archives and Special Collections of the UNL Libraries hold the largest collection of Cather letters to and from her, edited typescripts, manuscripts, multiple editions of her works, and many other Cather-associated materials.

Funding for the grants is from the Roberta and James Woodress Fund (created from a gift by Roberta and James Woodress; Mr. Woodress was an eminent Cather biographer and emeritus professor of English at University of California-Davis).

To apply, please send, as e-mail attachments to Beth Burke at eburke3@unl.edu, the following items:

-            your c.v.

-            a statement of no more than 3 pages describing the proposed research project and the importance of materials and resources at UNL to your project

-            a sample of scholarly writing (20-25pp: preferably focusing on Cather, though not necessarily exclusively)

In addition, two letters of recommendation should be sent directly by your recommenders to Beth (eburke3@unl.edu).   Letters should be specific to the fellowship and proposed project rather than general letters of recommendation from your job placement dossier.

The deadline for submission of materials is November 30th, 2014 and we will inform successful applicants by December 19th, 2014.
Guy Reynolds, Director, The Cather Project
309 Andrews Hall

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Lincoln, NE 68588-0396

(402) 472-1919


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English – Assistant Professor of Ethnic American Literatures (St. Lawrence University)

by jacobsok

Deadline November 15, 2014
Date Posted September 26, 2014
Type Tenured, tenure track
Salary Competitive
Employment Type Full-time
St. Lawrence University invites applications for a tenure-track appointment in ethnic American literatures (with emphasis on African-American literature, Asian-American literature, Latin-American literature, and/or Native American literature). The successful candidate will offer introductory surveys and upper division courses in these subject areas, as well as the departments research methods/theory course. The successful candidate will join a department founded upon the essential relationship between creative expression and the study of literature, a department with a commitment to excellence in teaching as well as scholarship. Normal teaching load is three courses per semester. St. Lawrence offers a generous travel policy, and junior faculty members receive pre-tenure research leave support.

Ph.D., publications, and teaching experience required.

To apply:

Applicants must complete an online application at http://employment.stlawu.edu
Submit a letter of application, C.V., letters of recommendation, and sample syllabi for two relevant courses via Interfolios ByCommittee. (For help with Interfolio, please emailhelp@interfolio.com or call (877) 997-8807.). Applications should be received by November 15, 2014; review will continue until the position is filled.

All offers of employment are contingent upon the finalist successfully passing a background (including criminal records) check.

Located at 23 Romoda Drive, Canton, NY, 13617, St. Lawrence University is a coeducational, private, independent liberal arts institution of about 2,400 students from more than 40 states and 40 nations. The educational opportunities at St. Lawrence inspire students and prepare them to be critical and creative thinkers, to find a compass for their lives and careers, and to pursue knowledge and understanding for the benefit of themselves, humanity and the planet. Through its focus on active engagement with ideas in and beyond the classroom, a St. Lawrence education leads students to make connections that transform lives and communities, from the local to the global.

The University is committed to and seeks diversity among its faculty, staff and students. Such a commitment ensures an atmosphere that is diverse and complex in ways that are intellectually and socially enriching for the entire campus community. Applications by members of all underrepresented groups, as well as from individuals with experience teaching or working in a multicultural environment, are encouraged. St. Lawrence University is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

For additional information about St. Lawrence, please visit http://www.stlawu.edu.

- See more at: https://chroniclevitae.com/jobs/0000849312-01?cid=ja#sthash.f4eYpPjX.dpuf

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CFP: Gilman and the Archive (Deadline 12.15.14)

by Donna Campbell

The Sixth International Charlotte Perkins Gilman Conference

Gilman and the Archive

June 12-14, 2015

Schlesinger Library, Cambridge, MA

More information: http://ssawwnew.wordpress.com/2014/08/07/cfp-gilman-and-the-archive-deadline-12-15-14/

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The Society for the Study of American Women Writers

 2015 Awards

The Society for the Study of American Women Writers was founded in 2000 to promote the study of American women writers through research, teaching, and publication. The followingthree awards were established in 2011 to honor the work and legacies of the Society’s founding members and to further SSAWW’s goal to support and broaden knowledge among academics as well as the general public about American women writers.

Book Award

The SSAWW Book Award is given every three years at the Society for the Study of American Women Writers’ conference to recognize excellence in the field. The award recognizes the monograph’s significant contribution to scholarship related to American women writers published during the preceding three years before the submission deadline.

Eligibility for 2015 award: Eligible books must contribute to the field of American women writers, have been published between December 2011-November 2014, and mailed to all committee members by the submission deadline, January 1, 2015. Edited collections are not eligible for the award.

Edition Award

The SSAWW Edition Award is given every three years at the Society for the Study of American Women Writers’ conference to recognize excellence in the recovery of American women writers. The award recognizes an edition published during the preceding three years before the submission deadline.

Eligibility for 2015 award: Eligible books must contribute to the field of American women writers, have been published between December 2011-November 2014, and mailed to all committee members by the submission deadline, January 1, 2015. Print and digital collections are welcome.

Karen Dandurand Lifetime Achievement Award

The Karen Dandurand Lifetime Achievement Award is given every three years at the Society for the Study of American Women Writers’ conference to recognize a scholar’s career achievement in the study of American women writers. The award recognizes the individual’s commitment to the field as demonstrated in his/her teaching, mentoring of students, scholarship and service.

The award is named in honor of Karen Dandurand, who passed away in 2011. She was one of the founding editors of Legacy and was an active member of SSAWW, serving as Vice President of Development (2004-2009).

Nomination Deadline for 2015 AwardJanuary 1, 2015.

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Notes from Underground:

The Depths of Environmental Arts, Culture and Justice


Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE)

Eleventh Biennial Conference, June 23- 27, 2015

University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho




In Notes from Underground (1864), Dostoyevsky explores relations between modernity and its discontents at an important historical conjuncture: the novella’s unnamed, unpleasant hero rails against capitalist industry, imperialist architecture and an emerging social scientific understanding of human behaviour premised on predictability and knowability. By writing from the underground – from the subterranean, from the murk, from the world of refuse – Dostoyevsky asks us to consider the importance of experiences that lie beneath (and both before and after) the shiny edifices of progress, rationality and industry. But the “underground” also asks us to consider what lies beneath us much more literally: crust, tectonic plates, magma, minerals, fossil fuels, aquifers, lakes, caves, fungal networks, clay, compost, worms, ants, nematodes, roots, rhizomes, tubers, seeds, warrens, nests, vaults, graves, landfills, nuclear weapons and waste, buried treasure. In this act of collection – underground elements, underground agents, underground movements, underground epistemologies – we hope to draw attention to the multiple ways in which things underground and the institutions that variously cultivate, harness and contain them, are constantly changing the terrain (literally and politically) on which we stand.

Especially in the midst of such widespread focus on atmospheric climate change, perhaps we also need to look down, under, beneath and below for imaginative aesthetic, critical, pedagogical and activist responses? At our current political and ecological conjuncture, the literal underground is very much the subject of contest – extraction, pollution, depletion, neoliberalisation, cultivation, sovereignty, equity, (re)claiming – suggesting the need for creative new ways of engaging in activism, reading, writing and education in these networks of depth: underground arts, humanities, ecocriticism, justice. For the 2015 ASLE conference, we seek proposals for panels, papers, performances, discussions, readings and roundtables that address this constellation of undergrounds. We invite participants to interpret the conference theme as broadly as possible and to imagine their work in terms not only of underground contentbut also of subterranean form: we particularly encourage non-traditional modes of presentation, including hybrid, performative and collaborative works; panels that minimize formal presentation in favour of engaged emergent discussion; interdisciplinary approaches; environmentally inflected (earthy?) readings of fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, film, theatre and other media; and proposals from outside the academic humanities, including submissions from artists, writers, teachers, practitioners, activists and colleagues in the social and natural sciences.

Our list of keynote speakers includes Donna Haraway, Linda Hogan, Stephanie LeMenager, Ann Fisher-Wirth, Jorge Navarro, Anna Tsing, Rita Wong, and Tanure Ojaide.

For questions about the program, please contact 2015 ASLE President Cate Sandilands at ASLE2015@yorku.ca. For questions about the conference site, field sessions, progressive event and other local activities, please contact the conference site hosts at asle2015host@uidaho.edu. For questions about ASLE and membership, please contact Amy McIntyre, ASLE Managing Director, atinfo@asle.org.


Read or download the full CFP: http://www.asle.org/assets/docs/ASLE_Conferences_2015CFP.pdf

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Open Access to the Encyclopedia of American Studies

Published by Johns Hopkins University Press for the American Studies Association (ASA), the Encyclopedia of American Studies covers the history, philosophy, arts, and cultures of the United States in relation to the world, from pre-colonial days to the present, from various perspectives and the global American Studies movement. With over 800 online, searchable articles and accompanying bibliographies, related websites, illustrations, and supplemental material, the Encyclopedia of American Studies is the leading reference work for American Studies. Access to content on this site is open to the public and is subject to copyright protection.

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Take a day out of days to explore the surreal magic of America’s leading living playwright.  From humble beginnings in the lofts and cafés of the Village, New York to Broadway and across the globe Sam Shepard has explored family, violence, politics and fear.  These are typical American theatre themes but Shepard takes them on through the eyes of a cowboy.  He mixes classic American theatre with uniquely American cinema, all inspired by the British and Irish theatre revolution of the 1950’s.  A Stetson wearing playwright?  If he didn’t exist, you’d have to make him up.

Already famous by the end of the 1960’s for opinion splitting but award winning plays such as The Rock Garden and La Turista he then escaped New York City and moved to London.  There he wrote perhaps his most purely Shepard play The Tooth of Crime, attempting to mix his passion for music intricately into his theatre work.  Only after his return to the States though was his reputation secured with Buried Child, True West and Fool for Love.  Family plays with a dark heart.

He is of course, for the general public, more famous for his film appearances and script writing.  Days of Heaven saw his first big film but it was the Oscar nomination for playing Chuck Yeager in The Right Stuff that brought him a brief Hollywood stardom.  He has gone on to star or co-star in dozens of films since then and written screenplays, most famously for Wim Wenders’ Paris Texas.   The books of short stories/poems/thoughts that have often come from these film experiences such as Motel Chronicles, Cruising Paradise or Day out of Days are perhaps the purest form of his writing and can be read again and again.

Sam Shepard has just turned seventy and is still as busy as ever.  With the influence of Samuel Becket never far away, it is appropriate that much of his recent work has premiered in Ireland due to his strong connections with Abbey Theatre and Stephen Rea’s ‘Field Day’ Theatre Company.

This symposium explores not only his playwriting but also his films and stories, all through the most expert and experienced writers and practitioners working on or with Sam Shepard.

If you are familiar with his work this will keep you right up to date, if you have only just found an interest in some aspect of his art then this symposium will have you coming back for more.

All this from a man who’d rather go fishing than go and see a play.  Sam Shepard is still at the centre of a contradiction. “Can we become completely ourselves even while wishing we were something else?”  (Sam Shepard, Derry, 20th November 2013)

The day will include the premiere of Ashley Smith’s new play I wish I was Sam Shepard

Confirmed Speakers:

Stephen Bottoms, “Fascinating me to Death: Sam Shepard and the Environmental Absurd”

Phillip Breen (Director), “True West in the 21st Century. Why Shepard’s masterpiece is the play for now”.

Emma Creedon, “Ireland’s Bromance with Sam Shepard…and Vice Versa: A Site for the Surreal.”

Neil Campbell, “Post-Western Man: Framing the West in Sam Shepard’s Films”


£25 for the symposium and play performance, including buffet lunch, teas and coffee.
£12 concessions for seniors, students and unwaged.

How to Buy a Ticket

Contact the Derby Theatre Box Office on 01332 593939 or book online at  www.DerbyTheatre.co.uk

  • Western Literature Association (WLA)

    Founded in 1965, the Western Literature Association (WLA) is a non-profit, scholarly association that promotes the study of the diverse literature and cultures of the North American West, past and present.

    Conference Proposals

  • Western American Literature (WAL)

    (The Journal)

    Published by the Western Literature Association, Western American Literature is the leading journal in western American literary studies.

    Article Submissions