The WLA honors the great writer and scholar Louis Owens for his contributions to western American and American Indian literary studies and for his unfailing generosity as a colleague, teacher, and mentor. The goal of the Louis Owens Awards is to build for the future of the Western Literature Association by modeling Owens’ own support and encouragement of diverse graduate student engagement in western literature and culture studies.
The Owens Awards are intended to foster ever-greater diversity within the WLA membership, to help broaden the field of western American literary studies, and to recognize both graduate student scholarship and financial need. Preference will be given to graduate students from under-represented groups, but applications are invited from all graduate students whose papers concern minority literatures and cultures in the West.
To be eligible for this award, you must be registered as a graduate student at the time of the conference. You are not eligible for this award if you have received it previously.
To apply, please submit the following to the WLA President (whose address is below):
1. A completed application form.
2. An itemized budget of the costs of attending the conference (listing also any grants that are or might become available to you at the time of your application).
3. An abstract of the paper (under 1,000 words) that you will deliver at the conference.
4. One letter of reference from a professor who is familiar with your work.
(This letter should comment on your paper proposal or on your work generally and address how your presence at the conference will help achieve the goals of the Louis Owens Awards, as described above. In the application you send, you may include the letter in a sealed envelope signed by the referee—or the referee may send it directly to the WLA President.)
All materials should be sent by August 15, 2014 to the WLA Presidents at WLAconference14@gmail.com.
If you are interested in applying for this award, submit a paper proposal for participation in the conference by June 15. If your paper is accepted, you can then submit the above-mentioned award application materials. If you are awarded one of the Owens stipends, you are expected to attend most of the conference. Please see conference details for the 2014 WLA Conference. If you have any questions regarding the 2014 Owens Award, please contact this year’s WLA Presidents.