CFP (ASLE Symposium)

Call for Papers

The Heart of the Gila:

Wilderness and Water in the West

Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE)

2016 Off-Year Symposium, June 8-11, 2016

Western New Mexico University

Silver City, NM

asle.wnmu.edu

Deadline Extended to March 15, 2016

Letting our location be our guide in focusing the theme, the Gila Wilderness was established as the nation’s first wilderness area 91 years ago and continues to define our regional identity. The Gila River remains the last free-flowing river in the Southwest, but there is a current proposal in the state legislature to dam the river; local activists have been organizing to fight the proposal. Drought, compounded by climate change, has greatly affected our area, with the largest fire in New Mexico state history occurring in the Gila during 2012.  The Gila was the northernmost region of the Mogollon People a millennium ago, and our region remains very culturally diverse with its close proximity to the Mexican-U.S. border.

We invite papers, roundtables, presentations, creative work, video presentations, and discussions from a range of disciplines and academic backgrounds that explore the past present, and future of wilderness, mythology of the West, Old West, New West, water, drought, climate change, desert, wastelands, atomic testing sites, military and western space, rivers, dams, tourism, fire, forest management, native cultures, migrant cultures, borders, activism, rhetoric of place, writers of place, writers of the West and Southwest (Aldo Leopold, Edward Abbey, Wallace Stegner, too many to name), wilderness philosophy, and diversity in the West. We invite participants to interpret the theme broadly. We especially welcome creative writers, activists, graduate students, and academics working in the humanities and beyond to consider submitting to the symposium.

Symposium sessions will be 90-minutes long. Both scholarly and creative submissions are welcome. Pre-formed panels are encouraged.

  • proposals for pre-formed panels must include at least four presentations (papers, readings, provocations, responses, etc.), 15 minutes-max each, plus a chair; panel organizers must submit the proposal on behalf of all panelists (500 word abstract for the panel outlining topic, format, participants’ roles; 300 word abstract for each contribution as relevant to the format; all contact information)
  • proposals for panels may also include roundtables (five or six 10 minute-max presentations plus discussion)
  • individual paper/reading/performance submissions are for 15 minute presentations; 300 word abstracts should describe both form and content and include all contact information

Please submit your proposal by March 15, 2016 on-line at asle.wnmu.edu. We will notify you of its final status by March 21, 2016.

 For questions about submissions, the program, the symposium site, or field trips, please contact the symposium organizer Dr. Michaelann Nelson at Michaelann.Nelson@wnmu.edu.

Plenary Speakers

Our list of invited speakers includes writers and scholars that are inspired by the people, culture, and landscape of our region in the Southwest.

  • David Gessner is the author of nine books, including All the Wild That Remains: Edward Abbey, Wallace Stegner and the American West, as well as, My Green Manifesto, and The Tarball Chronicles, which won the 2012 Reed Award for Best Book on the Southern Environment and ASLE’s award for best book of creative writing in 2011 and 2012.
  • Sharman Russell, author of Diary of a Citizen Scientist: Chasing Tiger Beetles and Other New Ways of Engaging the World (WILLA Award Winner), as well as a dozen other books, writes primarily about nature and the southwest. She makes her home in the Gila.
  • Dave Foreman, founder of the direct action environmental group EarthFirst!, has written several books, including Confessions of an Eco-Warrior and Ecodefense: A Field Guide to Monkeywrenching. He is currently the director of the Rewilding Institute, a think tank dedicated to promoting conservation and species extinction.
  • Lucy Tapahonso, Navajo Nation Poet Laureate, and author of several books of poetry, including The Women are Singing and Blue Horses Rush In. Her poetry is inspired by the idea that the feminine is a source of balance and power in the world.
  • Priscilla Ybarra, author of The Good Life: Mexican American Writing and the Environment. Dr. Ybarra’s work investigates Mexican American literature and environmental issues. She is a professor of English at the University of North Texas.
  • Phillip Connors, author of Fire Season: Field Notes From a Wilderness Lookout (National Outdoor Book Award, Sigurd Olsen Nature Writing Award), has spent the last decade as a fire lookout in the Gila National Forest. He previously was an editor at the Wall Street Journal.

Travel Awards

We will offer ten awards of $250 each to graduate students and independent scholars to help defray the cost of attending the symposium. Information on how to apply can be found on the website.

Symposium Location

Western New Mexico University is a diverse, public, regional university with about 3,500 students. Silver City is located in southwestern New Mexico at 6,000 feet elevation. It is the gateway to the Gila National Wilderness Area, the United States’ first wilderness area, as well as Gila Cliff Dwelling National Monument. It is known for its vibrant art community, locavore food scene, and all-around funky downtown. It has been recently named one of the top 20 small towns to visit by Smithsonian Magazine.

CFP: Teaching Western American Literature

CFP: Teaching Western American Literature

We invite submissions for a proposed collection of essays on teaching western American literature. If, as scholars and teachers of Western literatures and cultures, we regularly share our research, we perhaps do not as often get the chance to share new and innovative strategies for teaching courses or individual works in Western studies. Our volume seeks to fill this gap by offering a range of essays on teaching Western literatures and cultures that will appeal to specialists and non-specialists, faculty and graduate students, and experienced and inexperienced instructors alike. We are particularly interested in critically, historically, and theoretically informed essays that address practical aspects of course, assignment, and/or curricular design and that offer pioneering (or tried-and-true) strategies and approaches to specific pedagogical issues, subfields, classroom technologies, secondary or supplementary materials, authors, and texts. We also welcome essays that offer strategies for bringing Western literary and cultural studies and courses into the broader disciplines of literary and cultural studies.

Possible essay topics include approaches to teaching:

• Indigenous writing of and about the west
• Pre-1900 western literature and chronological definitions of western literature
• Gender, feminism, and queer approaches to western literature
• Western literatures as counter-histories
• Borders, frontiers, and geographical definitions of the west
• Place, identity, and critical regionalism
• Westerns and the post-west
• Visual culture and images of the west
• Literature and environment
• Western Studies and Disability Studies
• Racial, ethnic, and religious difference in western literature
• The west in local, national, and global contexts
• Teaching western literature to millennial students, veterans, and first-generation college students

250-500 word proposals should be sent to the editors by May 1, 2016. For those asked to contribute to the collection, we anticipate that completed essays of approximately 20 pages (MLA formatting) will be due by Nov. 15, 2016.

Randi Tanglen
Department of English
Austin College
Sherman, TX 75090
teachingwesternliterature@gmail.com

Brady Harrison
Department of English
University of Montana
Missoula, MT 59812
teachingwesternliterature@gmail.com

 

WLA at ALA (CFP)

The Western Literature Association will sponsor two sessions at this year’s American Literature Association meeting (http://americanliteratureassociation.org/…/annual-conferen…/), scheduled to meet May 26-29 in San Francisco, CA. This is a general call for papers or panels on topics related to western American literature. Of particular interest are papers on periodical culture and/of/in the West, but all topics will be considered. If you’re interested in presenting on a WLA-sponsored panel, please submit to Nic Witschi <nwitschi@westernlit.org> a paper proposal (title and a brief abstract) no later than Sunday 24 January. If you’re interested in proposing a complete session, please let Nic know ASAP.

 

From the President (WLA 2016)

Greetings! As host of the 2016 Western Literature Association Conference, which will take place in Big Sky, Montana, September 21-24, 2016, I invite you to consider giving a paper, organizing a session, or attending for the sheer pleasure of discovering all the intriguing and exciting work being done in western literary studies. The theme for this year’s conference is “The Profane West.” (Please see the CFP for a fuller discussion of the theme: it isn’t just swearing.) Be brave, be bold!

This year’s conference returns to Big Sky, MT. The resort is located between Bozeman and West Yellowstone, one of the popular gateways to Yellowstone National Park. Lean more about the resort here: http://bigskyresort.com. Fall in Montana is usually gorgeous, with warm days and cool nights, but last time we were at Big Sky, it snowed! Whatever the weather, you’ll be surrounded by some of the most specular scenery in the West, with numerous dining opportunities and much to occupy your time in addition to the conference. For those of you (there must be some, including me!) who don’t itch to get outside in the grandeur, Big Sky has a spa as well as plenty of places to relax into the quiet.

Big Sky is a tourist destination: that means good food, a chance to buy a mink or diamonds while you’re here, and copious displays of wealth. It’s also a hard-working town, with its own school district, medical center, a distillery, and plenty of friendly people. Consider coming before the conference or staying after it’s done and enjoying yourself at your own pace. It’s worth noting that Big Sky is about a 45-minute drive from Bozeman; shuttle busses will be arranged to take you to the lodge and return you to the airport, but if you’re an explorer, you may want to rent a car. More details, maps, and deals on transportation to come.

We’ve blocked an assortment of rooms (from standard rooms to suites to lofts that accommodate 2-8 guests, with room rates ranging from $149 to $289 plus tax) for the conference, so there’s much for you to choose from.

Conference highlights and details are being arranged, but here are some of the planned events that have me beyond excited about hosting you:

Our Distinguished Achievement Award Winner is Maxine Hong Kingston. Ms. Kingston is Professor Emerita at UC Berkeley, and she is the author of many books, including The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood among Ghosts, China Men, and Tripmaster Monkey. Her blazingly brave and original work has earned numerous awards, including the National Book Award, PEN West Achievement Award, and the National Medal of Arts. Ms. Kingston will be attending with her husband Earll, and she will be giving an address at the conference.

For our opening night activity, we anticipate screening Winter in the Blood, with a discussion featuring the directors Andrew Smith and Alex Smith to follow. James Welch’s powerful novel-turned-film was the Official Selection in 2013 of the Los Angeles, Austin, and American Indian film festivals.

We’re also at work developing a new component of the conference that will welcome and support secondary school teachers in their work teaching western American literature. More detail on that in coming months.

Our annual awards dinner will take place Friday evening, and the dance, featuring the popular local western/honky tonk/all around good dancing band, Little Jane and the Pistol Whips will keep us dancing through the evening.

For other entertainment and down-time fun, there will be a Saturday tour bus to Yellowstone National Park. Alan Weltzien has committed to leading a hike on Saturday for interested fitness buffs. Big Sky also offers zip lining, hiking, and other activities that can be booked individually or in small groups. (I plan to zip line and then get a massage!)

I’ll provide more details as we get closer to the event. But just a few last reminders:

  • Paper and session proposals are due June 1, 2016. This is earlier than usual, so please take note.
  • We will be using ConfTool as the registration software, and we will have appropriate keywords to identify submissions for various awards.

Welcome to 2016 WLA at Big Sky, Montana! I can’t wait to see you there!

Linda Karell
Montana State University

Native American Literature Symposium

17th NATIVE AMERICAN LITERATURE SYMPOSIUM 
March 17-19, 2016 
Isleta Resort & Casino Hotel 
Albuquerque, New Mexico
MANY VOICES, ONE CENTER
Call for Proposals
DEADLINE: November 20, 2015 
With literature as a crossroads where many forms of knowledge meet—art, history, politics, science, religion, film, cultural studies—we welcome once again spirited participation on all aspects of Native American studies. We invite proposals for individual papers, panel discussions, readings, exhibits, demonstrations, and workshops. We especially encourage presentations and panels on teaching children’s and young adult literature by indigenous writers, as well as current issues in Indian Country such as language revitalization, mascot debates, and academic freedom for indigenous scholars.
Nominations/Applications for the Beatrice Medicine Award for Scholarship in American Indian Studies due January 15, 2016. See the website for details.
Queries can be directed to
Dr. Gwen Westerman,
Director, NALS
or
Dennis Herbert
Graduate Assistant, NALS
PROPOSAL and REGISTRATION FORMS and more information can be found on the NALS web site: www.mnsu.edu/nativelit/

Western Literature Association 2015 Conference in Tweets

Embedded image permalink

Arigon Starr plays air guitar at the WLA dangerous dance last night

  • Great job , I’m thinking more about cities, Vlautin, and women writing the west. See you in Big Sky!

  • “We work in collaboration with each other and with the cosmos.” –LeAnne Howe

Oct 15

  • keywords session “sovereignty in five minutes or the impossibility of this paper.”

WLA Hall of Fame Page

Just in time for our 50-year anniversary, we now have all 55 incredibly wonderful past presidents on our “hall of fame” page: http://www.westernlit.org/wla-presidents/. THANK YOU to every single one of them!

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