• Testimonials

    I can't overstate the importance of WLA to my career. I felt so welcomed as a graduate student that WLA has become my intellectual home.
    Nancy Cook
    Associate Professor, English Department, University of Montana, Missoula

WLA Conference 2016

51st WLA Conference
September 21-September 24, 2016
Big Sky, Montana

WLA President for  2016 will be Prof. Linda Karell, Montana State University. All questions regarding the conference should be addressed to her.

Linda Karell (photo credit: Nathan Norby)

Linda Karell (photo credit: Nathan Norby)





The profane: not limited to the blasphemous or the obscene, but rather encompassing that which is underrepresented, undervalued, censored, denied, and/or secretly shared. Unofficial and unsanctioned pleasures and punishments. The necessary complement of the sacred, helping both to define and erode it.

The 51st annual Western Literature Conference, hosted by Linda Karell (Montana State University), will take place in the spectacular natural beauty and undeniable tourist development that is Big Sky, Montana. We invite you to think about “the profane West” in ways that challenge entrenched definitions/conceptions/celebrations of the West—including the once subversive.

In addition to proposals on the conference theme and any aspects of literature about the North American West, we especially encourage innovative proposals on the following:

°  Indigenous literatures of and about the West
°  Feminist and queer approaches to Western literature
°  Women’s autobiographical and memoir writing
°  Pedagogy and K-12 issues in Western literature
°  Animals (and sacred cows) in Western literature
°  Montana literature and writers

Proposals for panels and roundtable discussions should include an abstract for each paper or presentation. Deadline: June 1, 2016.

For more information see http://www.westernlit.org/wla-conference-2016/.

Please direct your questions to WLAConference2016@westernlit.org.

  • 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