• Testimonials

    Publications, important professional connections, and new research interests and teaching ideas have grown from my participation in WLA.
    Jenny Emery-Davidson, 2008
    Taylor Award recipient 2000

About WLA

WESTERN LITERATURE ASSOCIATION

THE ASSOCIATION

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.

The WLA was formed in 1965 by bringing together scholars, artists, environmentalists, and community leaders who thought of the writings of the American West as more than pulp fiction and who valued the West’s literary and cultural contributions to American and world cultures. Since that pivotal 1965 beginning, understandings of the West have radically expanded. Today, the WLA hosts scholarship that perceives the North American West as contested layered, multiethnic, Indigenous, and queer cultural space. 

Cutting-edge scholarship, hands-on mentorship, and intentional community building are all essential components of the WLA. The organization recognizes important critical and creative work with awards such as the Distinguished Achievement Award and the Thomas J. Lyons Book Award. The WLA’s journal Western American Literature showcases the best work in the field and reaches audiences nationally and internationally via Project Muse, EBSCO, and JStor.

Further, the WLA welcomes and supports young scholars. In fact, one in four members is a graduate student, and graduate students have representation throughout the organization.

The WLA prides itself on building relationships not only between and among members but also by drawing from its multidisciplinary strength and from the many distinct voices that make up the field in the twenty-first century.

  • 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/