deadline for abstract submissions: 9 August 2021
full name / name of organization: Journal of Western American Literature (WAL)
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