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    It is perennially inspiring to belong to an association where levity and brilliant work go hand in hand.
    Cheryll Glotfelty, 2007
    Taylor Award recipient 1987 and Rosowski Award recipient 2010



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CFP for Western American Literature—special issue!


Emerging Writers: Western Identities and Alternative Discourses

Deadline for abstract submissions: August 9, 2021

contact email: bennionj@duq.edu, surabhib@umich.edu, waljournal@gmail.com

Guest edited by Jillian Moore and Surabhi Balachander, Graduate Representatives to the Western Literature Association

In Alt Dis: Alternative Discourses and the Academy, Patricia Bizzell suggests that composition instructors are most successful when they imbue students with the skills and tools that they need to transfer experiences in composition coursework to future classes and other contexts. Such skills and experiences are often acquired through analyzing and engaging with alternative discourses. “Academic discourses” have historically been narrowly defined. Today’s rapidly evolving social and academic climate calls on scholars of western American literature to face our own limitations—in content, scholarship, and cultural programming. Responding to more accurate representation and adapting inclusive practices is a task currently being taken up by the Western Literature Association and its members. Inviting alternative discourses into our writing and analyses allows us to not only face our own limitations, but also move beyond academia’s traditional cultural biases in order to bring more identities and lived experiences into the academic fold. One way that discourses are being disrupted is through changing technologies that challenge traditional meanings and understandings of what is “academic” by engendering new forms. In this and other ways, emerging scholars and writers are on the frontier of crafting alternative discourses.

Western American Literature: A Journal of Literary, Cultural, and Place Studies is a platform that values and appreciates scholarship that pushes established theoretical boundaries and that creates new frameworks with which to examine the Western American literary imagination and culture.  Building on Bizzell’s arguments and the discussions in Alt Dis, we invite emerging writers to submit work that either participates in redefining what is academic discourse or analyzes forms of discourses materializing in today’s scholarship. This guest-edited issue of WAL: Emerging Writers: Western Identities and Alternative Discourses aims to account for the rich and diverse alt discourses with which emerging scholars and writers are engaging, both on a personal level and within their academic classrooms. Emerging scholars and writers include graduate students, faculty who are pre-tenure or not on the tenure-track, scholars outside of the academy, and others who face precarity within the academic system. We welcome traditional papers or creative or hybrid works.

Themes and possible topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • • Western discourses
    • • Reimagining the West
    • • Job market precarity, alt-ac, or ac-adjacent
    • • Adjunct and non-tenure track faculty experiences
    • • Pedagogy and andragogy (widely understood)
    • • Identity, race, gender, and/or sexuality, in literary works or in the classroom
    • • Digital humanities
    • • Popular culture
    • • Material culture
    • • Correspondence between public intellectuals and the academy

We invite proposals of up to 250 words for scholarly essays or creative works with a strong focus on identity, academic discourses, in relation to one or several of the above topics (suggestions for additional ones are welcome). The deadline for submission of proposals (MLA Style) is August 9, 2021. Proposals should include a short bio note. If a proposal is accepted, manuscripts of 10-12 pages will be due November 15, 2021. Please submit your work to the linked Google Form.

Publication date: Summer 2022

Writing Contest


NATURE-themed contest! University of Indianapolis’ student judges welcome books of poetry and prose of any genre (published since Jan 2019) in response to the theme of nature for the 2021 Whirling Prize! Learn more & see past winners at http://etchings.uindy.edu/whirling-prize/.

Deadline: Fri, Sept. 3rd, 2021, 11:55 pm EST.

Prize: $500, 10 copies of a broadside celebrating the winning book, and a featured episode in the UIndy Potluck Podcast.

Reading fee $20.

Submit digitally at https://etchings.submittable.com/submit.


The Department of Indigenous, Race, and Ethnic Studies at the University of Oregon (UO) seeks to hire a tenure-track Assistant Professor specializing in Pacific Islander studies beginning Fall 2022. We welcome applications from scholars working on any dimension of Pacific Islander studies, with a preference for expertise in Indigenous feminisms. We encourage applications from scholars in any discipline, especially those engaged in intersectional analyses, including gender, sexuality, comparative, relational, and interdisciplinary approaches. The successful applicant will be expected to teach introductory, upper-division, and graduate courses in Pacific Islander studies, as well as other, more general courses that contribute to the Ethnic Studies major, the Native American and Indigenous Studies major, and the Ph.D. program.




Edited by Louellyn White (Akwesasne Mohawk) and Michael P. Taylor 
Intended to erase all traces of Indigenous kinship and cultural identity, and thereby forever extinguish tribal claims to Indigenous lands and waters, Indian boarding/residential schools continue to influence the intergenerational realities and resulting narratives of what it means to be Indigenous in settler states and in Indigenous communities today. While the forced removal of tens of thousands of Indigenous children from their homelands/waters, languages, and kinship relations continues to negatively impact Indigenous populations, Indigenous communities have remained resilient, developing communal ways of ensuring cultural continuity and healing that sustain ongoing acts of individual and collective resurgence. 
We invite proposals for contributions dedicated to community-centered stories surrounding Indian boarding/residential schooling and the ongoing impacts across generations and across Turtle Island. We are especially interested in works that emphasize the diverse ways through which Indigenous students, survivors, and their descendants have remembered, reclaimed, and even reconciled boarding/residential school stories. 
We are especially interested in community members whose voices may not have been as broadly supported by academia, and whose contributions may not adhere to standard academic scholarship, but whose stories, expressions, and ways of knowing are equally valuable, respected, and they enrich how we understand Indian Boarding/residential schooling. Financial support may be available for non-academic contributors. 
We envision this work to become a collection of stories emerging from personal narrative, family and community history, first-person testimony, creative expression, and collaborations between academics and Indigenous communities, while making space for community members to share their voices unfiltered through the academic lens. 
Proposals for this collection should include an abstract of 250 words and a brief author bio. Please submit your proposal and bio no later than November 30, 2021 as email attachments to: Louellyn White (louellyn.white@concordia.ca) and Michael Taylor (mike_taylor@byu.edu).
  • 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.

  • Western American Literature (WAL)

    (The Journal)

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

  • Black Lives Matter

    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. ...http://www.westernlit.org/black-lives-matter/