CFP: Taylor Sheridan’s Wests

Call for Papers 

Taylor Sheridan’s Wests 

Writing for Deadline in a piece conceived as a “Welcome to Taylor Sheridan’s universe,” Mike  Fleming characterized the actor-turned-writer/director’s rapidly growing oeuvre as “a place  different from any other in the Hollywood landscape.” What makes Sheridan and his television  shows and movies ‘different’ is the simple fact that they are positioned in the current entertainment  landscape as west of the rest. His writing and directorial credits have coalesced around Western  spaces, lifeworlds, and characters, ranging from his breakthrough script for Sicario (2015) to the  television phenomenon that is Yellowstone (2018–), which has become a beachhead for an  evolving ecology of television content (1883 [2021–], 6666 [forthcoming], etc.). Seeking to  highlight the fastest-growing geo-cultural region in the United States, Taylor Sheridan advances  expansive views of the West that are deliberately complex, difficult, and challenging. In short, his  creative output posits that the West, with its interweavings of history and mythography, matters

Consequently, the proposed book project seeks to assemble a collection of original  contributions (6,000-8,000 words) which map and assess Taylor Sheridan’s Wests. We welcome  equally proposals for works that pursue thematic through-lines cutting across Sheridan’s growing  catalogue and for in-depth readings of individual movie and/or television titles. We invite  proposals from scholars at all stages of their careers. Possible topic areas and/or themes include  but are by no means limited to: 

★ Shedding light on the effects of the Necrocene/Capitalocene in the West ★ (Mis)representing Native American lifeworlds and sovereignty (e.g. Land Back  discourses, the pathology of settler colonialism, etc.) 

★ Excavating “flyover country” from mainstream neglect 

★ Spatial liminalities: border crossings, border spaces, liminal characters ★ Post-West(ern) poetics, revisionist discourses, the appeal and pitfalls of western nostalgia ★ Tall tales, western humor, cowboy antics 

★ Neo-pastoralism 

★ Sheridan’s Wests as New-New American Gothic? 

★ Sheridan’s “authenticity work” (e.g. livestock raising, husbandry, and horsemanship  economies, sartorial aesthetics and accoutrements of Western life, firearms, extraction  and surveillance technologies, etc.)

CFP, Taylor Sheridan’s Wests 1 

★ Ecocritical readings of Sheridan’s work (e.g. land ownership versus stewardship, human non-human interfaces, etc.) 

★ Masculinities, aging, toxic, redemptive, and otherwise 

★ Ethics of law and/or justice 

★ Violence and exploitation: abject spaces, bodies, and acts 

★ Transmedia (f)ranchising and fandom: intersections between texts, paratexts  (e.g. podcasts, aftershows, etc.), and invested audiences (e.g. Yellowstone fanfiction,  social media, etc.) 

★ Sonic Wests: soundscapes, soundtracks, etc. 

If you are interested in proposing a chapter, please email an abstract of 500–700 words to Your abstract should outline your working thesis and briefly  sketch the theoretical/methodological framework(s) within which your chapter will be situated.  All submissions will be acknowledged. If you do not receive a confirmation of receipt within  48 hours, you may assume that your email fell prey to the vagaries of the world wide web. In that  case, please resend your abstract. Please note that we will not include previously published essays  in the collection. 

Feel free to contact us at the email address indicated above with any questions or concerns you  might have. 

Tentative roadmap 

June 15, 2022: abstract deadline 

July 31, 2022: notification of acceptance/rejection (Please note: Acceptance of your abstract does  not automatically guarantee your chapter’s inclusion in the collection.) 

December 22, 2022: first drafts due 

February 29, 2023: feedback on first drafts 

Expected publication: 2024 

Editorial team 

Paweł Pyrka (SWPS University Warsaw) 

Stefan Rabitsch (University of Graz/University of Warsaw) 

Anna Warso (SWPS University Warsaw) 

Nicolas S. Witschi (Western Michigan University)

NO FRONTIERS PlaceRun (Event)



This event is a virtual fundraising challenge and 5K. The Western Literature Association will benefit from your registering to participate in this 5K fun run/walk/hike on October 16 or 17. WLA will benefit even more greatly if you “Become a Fundraiser” and gather sponsors for your activities through the challenge period, which starts on Sept. 19.

Register by Sept. 27 to get your very excellent t-shirt. We will make various awards at the WLA award banquet so that you may achieve notoriety. The awards and other matters are more fully explained on the website.

For more information:

To sign up:

The event is designed to encourage you to show off your place as you log your challenge miles and/or participate in the 5K. If we do it right, it will be fun and interactive, employing social media. While we cannot be together in geographical space, we can come together to celebrate our respective places, our enjoyment of moving across the landscape, and our support for WLA.

CFP: Emerging WRiters

Emerging Writers: Western Identities and Alternative Discourses

deadline for abstract submissions: 9 August 2021

full name / name of organization: Journal of Western American Literature (WAL)

contact email:,,

Guest edited by Jillian Moore and Surabhi Balachander, Graduate Representatives to the Western Literature Association

In Alt Dis: Alternative Discourses and the Academy, Patricia Bizzell suggests that composition instructors are most successful when they imbue students with the skills and tools that they need to transfer experiences in composition coursework to future classes and other contexts. Such skills and experiences are often acquired through analyzing and engaging with alternative discourses. “Academic discourses” have historically been narrowly defined. Today’s rapidly evolving social and academic climate calls on scholars of western American literature to face our own limitations–in content, scholarship, and cultural programming. Responding to more accurate representation and adapting inclusive practices is a task currently being taken up by the Western Literature Association and its members. Inviting alternative discourses into our writing and analyses allows us to not only face our own limitations, but also move beyond academia’s traditional cultural biases in order to bring more identities and lived experiences into the academic fold. One way that discourses are being disrupted is through changing technologies that challenge traditional meanings and understandings of what is “academic” by engendering new forms. In this and other ways, emerging scholars and writers are on the frontier of crafting alternative discourses.

Western American Literature: A Journal of Literary, Cultural, and Place Studies is a platform that values and appreciates scholarship that pushes established theoretical boundaries and that creates new frameworks with which to examine the Western American literary imagination and culture.  Building on Bizzell’s arguments and the discussions in Alt Dis, we invite emerging writers to submit work that either participates in redefining what is academic discourse or analyzes forms of discourses materializing in today’s scholarship. This guest-edited issue of WAL: Emerging Writers: Western Identities and Alternative Discourses aims to account for the rich and diverse alt discourses with which emerging scholars and writers are engaging, both on a personal level and within their academic classrooms. Emerging scholars and writers include graduate students, faculty who are pre-tenure or not on the tenure-track, scholars outside of the academy, and others who face precarity within the academic system. We welcome traditional papers or creative or hybrid works.

Themes and possible topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Western discourses
  • Reimagining the West
  • Job market precarity, alt-ac, or ac-adjacent
  • Adjunct and non-tenure track faculty experiences
  • Pedagogy and andragogy (widely understood)
  • Identity, race, gender, and/or sexuality, in literary works or in the classroom
  • Digital humanities
  • Popular culture
  • Material culture
  • Correspondence between public intellectuals and the academy

We invite proposals of up to 250 words for scholarly essays or creative works with a strong focus on identity, academic discourses, in relation to one or several of the above topics (suggestions for additional ones are welcome). The deadline for submission of proposals (MLA Style) is 9 August 2021. Proposals should include a short bio note. If a proposal is accepted, manuscripts of 10-12 pages will be due 15 November 2021. Please submit your work to the linked Google Form.

Publication date: Summer 2022

The tulsa Race Massacre at 100

The Tulsa Race Massacre at 100: Creative Writers Reflect on Its Impact, Legacy, and Lessons  

Fiction writer Rilla Askew and poet Quaraysh Ali Lansana in conversation with Kalenda Eaton, University of Oklahoma 

Date: Monday, May 17, 2021 at 7 pm ET (6pm CT, 5pm MT, 4pm PT)

2021 marks the 100-year anniversary of the destruction of the famed “Black Wall Street” and neighboring community in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The events of a white mob who burned, looted, and terrorized black citizens is widely known as “The Tulsa Race Massacre.”

Novelist Rilla Askew (Fire in Beulah) and Poet Quraysh Ali Lansana (The Breakbeat Poets) consider what it means for writers and artists to document the history of racist violence in the west and imagine the possibility of a different future. 

Novelist Rilla AskewRilla Askew Poet Quraysh Ali LansanaQuraysh Ali Lansana

Coordinator: Kalenda Eaton, University of Oklahoma

Participation is FREE to everyone. WLA membership is not required. But you must be registered by midnight the night before the event in order to receive a zoom link to participate in this webinar.

Register here:

Seeking Nominations

Don D. Walker Prize 

On behalf of the Don D. Walker Prize Committee and the Western Literature Association, I am writing to request nominations for this year’s prize. Established in 1978, the Don D. Walker Prize is awarded each year for the previous year’s best scholarly essay published in western American literary studies. “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 literary studies of the American West that cross regional or national boundaries. The award recipient will receive a framed certificate and a small honorarium.

As Chair of the Prize committee, I would be happy to receive nominations of up to three essays by June 1, 2021 for publications appearing in the calendar year 2020. Please submit the article(s) you wish to nominate (preferably by electronic attachment) to

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

Prof. Susan Kollin
Department of English
Montana State University
2-176 Wilson Hall
Bozeman, MT 59717

Nominated essays will be screened by the committee, which will select the recipient of this year’s award before the end of the summer. Please don’t hesitate to email me if you have questions or would like further information about the Prize.

Last year’s Don D. Walker Prize was awarded to Dr. Emily Lutenski for her essay, “Dickens Disappeared: Black Los Angeles and the Borderlands of Racial Memory,” published in a special issue on “New Directions in Black Western Studies” in American Studies
Best wishes,
Susan Kollin
Chair, Don D. Walker Prize Committee

WLA Virtual Engagement

WEBINAR: The Politics of Public Lands
in the Contemporary US West

Date: Saturday, April 17, 2021
Start time: 3:00 pm EST
From Standing Rock to Bears Ears, from Malheur to Nüümü Poyo, the politics of public lands in the US West remains contentious, divisive, and, occasionally, promising. This webinar, based on a special issue of Western American Literature, will examine issues of public lands from the perspective of literary studies, cultural studies, and settler colonial theory.

Moderator: Jennifer Ladino, Special Issue Editor, University of Idaho

 (and contributors to the special issue):
April Anson, San Diego State University
Stephanie LeMenager, University of Oregon
Meagan Meylor, University of Southern California
Luke Morgan, Texas Tech University
Ashley Reis, University of North Texas
Marsha Weisiger, University of Oregon 
Participation is FREE to everyone. WLA membership is not required.
Please register here:

The entire special issue (WAL 54.1/spring 2019) can be accessed at Project Muse.

This is the first of four engagement events in lieu of a conference in 2021. For more information, please check our website:

Weird WEsterns (CFP)

Hell-Bent for Leather:  Sex & Sexuality in the Weird Western, Vol. II (critical collection)

deadline for submissions: 

May 1, 2021

full name / name of organization: 

Editors: Kerry Fine, Arizona State University

Michael K. Johnson, University of Maine–Farmington

Rebecca M. Lush, California State University San Marcos

Sara L. Spurgeon, Texas Tech University

contact email:

From Brett Harte’s forbidden 19th century interracial love stories to the homoerotics of Star Trek and other space westerns, from the gender-queer romances in China Miéville’s fantasy western Iron Council to the human-cyborg couplings of West World, from the tight pants and BDSM-inflected camp of The Wild, Wild West to the cross-dressing protagonist in Octavia Butler’s Afrofuturism western Parable of the Sower, as weird westerns weird other genre conventions they also frequently weird sex and sexuality. This follow-up to Weird Westerns: Race, Gender, Genre (University of Nebraska Press, 2020) will explore the myriad ways sex, sexuality, and gender expression and identity are imagined in weird westerns–a hybrid genre form that mixes western themes, iconography, settings, or conventions with elements drawn from horror, fantasy, futurism, supernatural, or science fiction genres.

We are interested in submissions that explore both how the weird western challenges the representation of sex and sexuality in the conventional western and how the weird western can serve as a way to reinforce existing sexual and gender paradigms in the genre. We welcome submissions that consider how weird westerns portray gender identity, in particular texts that highlight gender queer and trans positionalities.

We are especially interested in contributions that consider sex, sexuality, and various gender identities in relation to the inclusion and representation of African American, Native American, Chicanx/Latinx, and Asian American characters and creators in the weird western, as well as weird western texts (literature, film, television, games, comics, etc.) by and about LGBTQIA creators and characters. We are seeking contributions that consider the following possible topics (but the volume’s scope is not necessarily limited to only these):

  • Weird Western violence in relation to BDSM
  • Sex and Sexuality in Weird Westerns
  • Two-Spirit representation and participation in Weird Westerns
  • Non-binary Gender Identities in Weird Westerns
  • Queer Romances in Weird Westerns
  • Sexual Empowerment in Weird Westerns
  • Sex Work and Sex Workers in Weird Westerns
  • Monstrous sex(ualities) and/or sex with Monsters
  • Ace Identities in Weird Westerns

Please send proposals to by May 1, 2021. Proposals should be between 500-700 words. Those with accepted proposals will be expected to submit a full draft (6,000-8,000 words) in late August 2021. 

WLA 2020 Conference Update

CFP: Western Literature Association Virtual Conference “Graphic Wests”

Conference Info in Brief

Conference Theme: Graphics Wests
When: October 21-24, 2020
Where: Online
Proposals Due: July 15, 2020
Click here for details
Questions? Contact us

Join us for our first fully virtual conference. We are committed to creating an engaging experience with low registration costs to increase accessibility.

Due to the unusual and unprecedented public health concerns and attendant restrictions on university sponsored-travel related to COVID-19, the 2020 55th annual conference will be held virtually.

The theme “Graphic Wests” invites proposals that take up the graphic in all its connotations, from graphic content to visual texts as well as the intersections of the two when considering the varied literatures and cultural products of the North American West.

The conference will include special talks with the following confirmed guest speakers:

Stephen Graham Jones, novelist and WLA 2020 DAA recipient
Rebecca Roanhorse, novelist
Arigon Starr, graphic novelist, playwright, and singer/songwriter

Since we originally intended to host this meeting in Southern California, we are still interested in proposals that focus on issues related to California and the American West but as always, the WLA meeting remains interested in proposals that focus on any aspect of the literatures and cultures of the North American West (including Canada and Mexico).

In addition to proposals on any aspect of the literatures and cultures of the North American West, the WLA especially encourages panels and papers that explore the following topics:

• Comic books/graphic novels set in the West and/or western comics
• Filmic and televisual representations of the West/western
• Graphic violence, language, and/or sexuality in the West/western
• Texts set in the West, or that take up western themes, that incorporate visual elements or make use of graphic design in their engagement with language
• Creative submissions about the North American West
• Approaches to teaching texts and topics of the North American West
• Antiracist pedagogies/practices
• The work of invited speakers Rebecca Roanhorse and Arigon Starr
• The work of Distinguished Achievement Award Winner Juan Felipe Herrera
• The work of Distinguished Achievement Award Winner Stephen Graham Jones

The deadline is July 15, 2020.

We are ready to receive your submissions.

See our conference webpage for more details on this year’s presentation formats.


Statement from the Western Literature Association

The Executive Council of the Western Literature Association <> has approved for immediate distribution the following statement:

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. We recognize, as well, that the United States is built on a history of stolen lands and bodies and that Indigenous people, as well as other people of color, are targeted by racial violence. In light of these dark realities, we support the right to freedom of speech and the outcry against continuing patterns of government and police violence that has led to protests across the nation. They are both righteous and necessary.

As an organization, the WLA supports those fighting the racism, historical oppression, and structural injustices so deeply embedded in the United States. We mourn those who have been murdered as well as the senseless violence enacted against those voicing their grief and anger.

This is more than our commitment to celebrating the diverse voices and experiences of the American West: it is also our duty as an organization with its own social privilege. With recent WLA conferences held in Minneapolis (2017) and St. Louis (2018), we have enjoyed the hospitality of the communities that were home to George Floyd, Philando Castile, and Michael Brown. In their memory, we say their names and condemn the acts of violence that ended their lives. The institutions and laws of this country have failed individuals and communities of color, and we recognize the need to address such systemic racism and every act of violence it engenders.

WLA is donating a portion of the registration fees from our upcoming conference meeting to an organization dedicated to social justice, antiracism, and the promotion of equitable political and social practices for Black communities to demonstrate our solidarity. We also encourage scholars to continue their support of Black communities in their classrooms; as educators we can facilitate difficult but necessary conversations and through our syllabi provide spaces for Black voices.


Western Literature Association Conference 2020 Update

Please note following update about the 2020 Western Literature Association conference from Drs. Kerry Fine and Rebecca Lush, co-presidents of the WLA:
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to significant changes in our everyday lives and how we conduct business in academia. Due to concerns that there could be a renewed wave of infections in the Fall and the possibility of declining university support for conference travel, we have decided to transition our October 2020 meeting to an online format. These are unprecedented times and we cannot, in good conscience, risk the physical health of our members or the economic health of our association.
While we are saddened to not have an opportunity to meet in person as an association, please know that your 2020 co-presidents are working on putting together an online conference that still provides social connection and interaction. Please see our updated CFP attached to this message and always visit the WLA 2020 conference webpage for all the latest information. The portal for submitting proposals will be open very soon, and we’ve also extended the deadline to July 15. We know that many of you, ourselves included, have been extremely busy lately. Many of us have been shifting much of what we do to online formats, and so we trust that this extension will prove welcome and reassuring.
Despite these less-than-ideal circumstances, we ask you to join us in focusing on the positives of this unexpected turn of events. An online meeting will allow us to try a nearly carbon neutral conference format which our sister organization ASLE has done in the past. We are also happy to have increased accessibility with an online environment. We recognize that online is not a substitute for the connection and experience we enjoy each year at our face-to-face meetings, but we hope to connect with you all virtually this October and then in person in Fall 2021 in Santa Fe.
Kerry Fine, Arizona State University
Rebecca M. Lush, California State University, San Marcos

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