• Testimonials

    The Western Literature Association has proved to be an invaluable asset and I look forward to continuing to attend throughout my career.
    Jacqueline Harris, 2014

Student Representation in the WLA

Graduate Student Representative
Over the years, more and more graduate students have started attending the annual Western Literature Association Conference. Now every fifth member of the Western Literature Association is a graduate student. Therefore, since 2001, the association’s Executive Council has included a Graduate Student Representative who is elected by the membership at large. Beginning in 2011, two grad student representatives serve on the council. Each graduate student representative serves a two-year term, and a new representative is elected each year.

Each Grad Rep’s responsibilities include:

  • being a voting member of the association’s governing body, the Executive Council, which makes decisions about the conferences and the running of the association’s scholarly journal
  • attending the pre-conference Executive Council meeting to act on behalf of the graduate student membership
  • being an active participant in the yearly conferences and most of their related events
  • organizing and moderating a panel at the yearly conference on some aspect of career and professionalization issues (he or she is usually assisted in this by a regular member of the association).
  • During the second year, the grad rep will be a committee member for selection of the Owens Awards.

If you are interested in submitting your name for nomination as Grad Student Representative, please contact the current WLA president. Note: The Graduate Student Reps are appointed for two years, and the Western Literature Association expects that appointment to be carried out. So please don’t nominate yourself or accept a nomination for Graduate Student Rep if you expect to finish your degree before the end of spring semester of your second year.


Know your current graduate student representatives:

Jillian Moore Bennion (rep.: 2018-2020)
Duquesne University, Pittsburgh
jillian.bennion@gmail.com

Jillian Moore Bennion is a doctoral student and graduate teaching fellow at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. She holds an MA in American Studies from Utah State University. Her research interests include nineteenth-and twentieth-century literature and film. Her current research centers on representations of maternal grief as labor and the resulting material artifacts as they appear in Western American narrative literature.

Jillian Moore Bennion

Jillian Moore Bennion

*************************

Surabhi Balachander (rep.: 2019-2021)
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
surabhib@umich.edu

 
Surabhi Balachander grew up in Tippecanoe County, Indiana, and graduated from Stanford University with a BA in English and Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity. Surabhi is currently a PhD student in English Language and Literature at the University of Michigan. She also works part-time at the Bill Lane Center for the American West at Stanford University. Her research focuses on rurality, race, and environment in American literature from 1920 to the present.
 
Surabhi Balachander

Surabhi Balachander


Past Graduate Student Reps:

Jes Lopez, Michigan State University, 2017-2019
Rachel Heise Bolten, Stanford University, 2016-2018
Landon Lutrick, University of Nevada, Reno, 2015-2017
Sylvan Goldberg, Stanford University, 2014-2016
Jaquelin Pelzer, University of Colorado at Boulder, 2013-2015
William V. Lombardi, University of Nevada, Reno, 2012-2014
Ashley Reis, University of North Texas, 2011-2013
Matt Lavin, University of Iowa, 2010-2012
Kerry Fine, Texas Tech University, 2008-2011
Angela Waldie, University of Calgary, 2006-2008
Drucilla Wall, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2005-2006
Matthew R. Burkhart, University of Arizona, 2003-2005
Anne L. Kaufman, University of Maryland, 2001-2003

 

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  • 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/