• 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

WLA and Its Affiliations

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.

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 in Los Angeles, California.

The next MLA convention will take place in Vancouver, Canada, January 8-11, 2015. If you are interested in participating in a WLA panel, please contact Elisabeth Bayley.

CFP: WLA-sponsored panel at the MLA Conference 2015: Literatures of the North American West

Affiliate Organization Session of the Western Literature Association

In continuation of the Western Literature Association 2014 conference theme, we welcome any papers on the literatures of the North American West: possible topics include, border crossings broadly interpreted, first nations/Native American writing, depictions of the cowgirl/cowboy, the storyteller, and settings/ecocritical depictions or interpretations of western writing.

Please send a 300-word abstract to Elisabeth Bayley at wlamla2015@gmail.com
Deadline for Submission is March 7, 2014
cfp categories:
american cultural studies and historical approaches
ecocriticism and environmental studies
gender studies and sexuality
travel writing

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” <http://americanliteratureassociation.org>. 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 Nicolas Witschi at Western Michigan 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 June 23-27, 2015, in Moscow, Idaho. The call for proposals will be posted in the summer of 2014.

If you have any questions or would like to participate in a WLA-sponsored panel, please contact our liaison to ASLE, William V. Lombardi.




  • 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/