• Testimonials

    I could not have chosen a better conference or wished for a more welcoming, interested, and supportive group of scholars and colleagues to engage with.
    Johannes Fehrle, 2020
    Owens Award recipient 2011 and EC Member 2013-2016

Don D. Walker Prize

The Don D. Walker Prize is given annually to the best journal essay or book chapter from an edited collection on the literature and culture of the North American West, published during the previous calendar year (for example, the 2023 winner’s essay will have a publication date of 2022). “Western” in this context is defined broadly and refers to all of North America that historically or critically has been considered “West” as well as to comparative studies of the American West that cross regional or national boundaries.

Nominations are solicited from presses and journals, as well as from individuals. Self-nominations are accepted. The prize selection committee is made up of Western Literature Association members.

The award will be given at the annual Western Literature Association conference. 

It is not necessary to be a member of the association to win the award.

Please submit the essay or article you wish to nominate (preferably by electronic attachment) to the committee chair, Emily Lutenski.

In the event of print submission, please send 5 copies to

Emily Lutenski
Walker Prize Chair
Saint Louis University
Adorjan Hall
3800 Lindell Blvd 131
St Louis MO 63108

Deadline for nominations: June 1, 2023.

If you have any questions, please email Dr. Emily Lutenski directly.

Don D. Walker Prize Recipients

2022Krista Comer for “Staying with the White Trouble of Recent Feminist Westerns,” Western American Literature 56.2
2021Joshua Smith for “Uncle Tom’s Cabin Showdown: Stowe, Tarantino, and the Minstrelsy of the Weird West,” in Weird Westerns: Race, Gender, Genre , ed. by Kerry Fine, Michael Johnson, Rebecca Lush and Sara Spurgeon
2020Emily Lutenski for "Dickens Disappeared: Black Los Angeles and the Borderlands of Racial Memory," American Studies
2019Marcel Brousseau for "Allotment Knowledges: Grid Spaces, Home Places, and Storyscapes on the Way to Rainy Mountain, " Native American and Indigenous Studies
2018Jessica Hurley for "Impossible Futures: Fictions of Risk in the Longue Durée," American Literature
2017Christopher Pexa
2016Lori Harrison-Kahan and Karen E. H. Skinazi
2015Joanna Hearne
2014Jayson Gonzales Sae-Saue
2013Kay Yandell
2012Kirby Brown
2011Chadwick Allen
2010Hsuan L. Hsu
2009Mark Rifkin
2008Chadwick Allen
2007 Stephen Tatum
2006Janet Dean
2005Susan Bernardin
2004Stephanie LeMenager
2003Susan Scheckel
2002Victoria Lamont
2001Susan Kollin
2000Chadwick Allen
1999Krista Comer
1998Forrest Robinson
1997Gary Scharnhorst
1996Susan K. Bernardin
1995Stephen Tatum
1994Susan Lee Johnson
1993Annette Kolodny
1992Roxanne Rimstead
1991Glen A. Love
1990Lee Clark Mitchell
1987Roger Stein
1986 Margery Fee
1985William Lemon
1984Melody Graulich
1983Robert Roripaugh
1982 Richard Slotkin
1981Anthony Hunt
1980 Forrest G. Robinson
1979Jarold Ramsey


  • 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/