• Testimonials

    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


The WLA is interested in exchanging ideas with other organizations. Below is a list of existing affiliations. Generally, this means that WLA members present a panel at the affiliate’s conference and vice versa. Please look for CFPs either here or on our NEWS page. If you are interested in participating in a WLA-panel at another conference, please contact the liaison for that particular conference. You must be a WLA member at the time of the conference to participate in a WLA-sponsored panel.

American Literature Association (ALA)

The WLA is one of the affiliated organizations in the American Literature Association’s “coalition of societies devoted to the study of American authors.” Since 1989, the ALA has convened on the weekend prior to Memorial Day for its annual conference, with the location alternating between the East Coast in odd-numbered years and the West Coast in even-numbered years. Most of the conference revolves around panel presentations/sessions organized by the various member societies; as an affiliated society, the WLA has the option of presenting two sessions at the western meetings and one session at the eastern meetings.

Calls for proposals are initially made and discussed at the WLA’s business meeting, held each fall at the conclusion of the annual WLA conference. Subsequent calls for proposals are distributed via various online modes of communication, including both the WLA and ALA websites. The WLA’s liaison to the ALA is appointed by the WLA Executive Secretary, and the chief duties of the liaison consist of issuing the calls for proposals, organizing the conference sessions and communicating the final details of them to the organizers of the ALA, and when possible attending the meeting of society liaisons at the ALA conference.

The current WLA liaison is Travis Franks at Utah State University.

Association for the Study of Literature & Environment (ASLE)

ASLE was established at the annual WLA conference in 1992, and the two organizations continue to share common membership, with each organization regularly well represented at the other’s conference. In 2011, the two organizations entered affiliate status. The WLA liaison is appointed for a 3-year term.

ASLE conferences are organized every other year (in odd years). The next conference will be held in 2023.

If you have any questions or would like to participate in a WLA-sponsored panel, please contact our liaison to ASLE, Jada Ach (Arizona State University).

Modern Language Association (MLA)

As of 2010, the Western Literature Association has affiliate status with the Modern Language Association. What does this mean for WLA? This affiliate status guarantees the WLA to be able to present a panel at each MLA Conference. The first such panel was presented during the 2011 MLA Conference.

If you’d like to participate on a WLA panel at the MLA or if you have any questions about this affiliation, please contact our liaison, Billy Stratton.


National Willa Cather Center (The Willa Cather Foundation)

Throughout the early years of the Western Literature Association, Willa Cather was a decided presence at its annual meetings. Often two or more sessions were held annually.

While Cather sessions and papers at WLA have not disappeared, they have waned, so a formal affiliation is a way to reinvigorate the connection.

This affiliation will continue to support mutually shared interests at the annual WLA conferences and at the annual center’s Spring Conference in Red Cloud (first week of June) and at International Willa Cather Seminars.
Liaison: Robert Thacker, rthacker@stlawu.edu

Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association (PAMLA)

As of 2018, the WLA is affiliated with PAMLA.

Our current liaison is Anne Jansen, University of North Carolina, Asheville.

Society for the Study of American Women Writers (SSAWW)

The Society for the Study of American Women Writers was established to promote the study of American women writers through research, teaching, and publication. It is the goal of the Society to strengthen relations among persons and institutions in this country and internationally who are devoted to such studies, and to broaden knowledge among the general public about American women writers. The Society is committed to diversity in the study of American women writers — racial, ethnic, gender, class, sexual orientation, region, and era — as well as of scholars participating in the Society.

We encourage WLA members to attend SSAWW conferences.


SSAWW members, of course, are welcome to attend the WLA Conference. We are hoping to expand this affiliation in ways mutually beneficial to our organizations.

If you have questions about this affiliation, please contact our WLA liaison, Cathryn Halverson

Stephen Graham Jones Society (SGJS)

The SGJS was formed at the 2018 WLA Conference in St. Louis, Missouri. For more information on the Society, click here: https://sgjsociety.org/about/

The reciprocal relationship between the association and the Society is to support scholarship relevant to the work of WLA’s 2020 Distinguished Achievement Award Recipient Stephen Graham Jones and the literature and culture of the American West.

If interested in submitting to the society-sponsored panel at the WLA Conference, please look for a CFP from the SGJS or contact the SGJS liaisons.
Liaisons: Rebecca Lush, rlush@csusm.edu
                Joshua Anderson, jtanderson@usj.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/