Native American Literature Symposium

March 17-19, 2016 
Isleta Resort & Casino Hotel 
Albuquerque, New Mexico
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
Dennis Herbert
Graduate Assistant, NALS
PROPOSAL and REGISTRATION FORMS and more information can be found on the NALS web site:

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: THANK YOU to every single one of them!

Deadline Approaching!

Hi everyone! The 50th Anniversary WLA conference is quickly approaching, as is the deadline to register! Head to: Registration deadline is Tuesday 15 September, after which late fees will apply.
As you may know, we are also happy to offer extremely low room rates ($59/$99 plus tax) thanks to Harrah’s Reno, our conference hotel. We expect record attendance this year, and our room block is large but limited, so if you haven’t already done so, please go to… and book your room at the conference rate, which is available through Sunday
13 September. By doing so, you will qualify for a waiver of the hotel’s $10/day resort fee, complimentary wireless internet, free health club access, a 20% discount at the hotel’s many restaurants and cafes, and a $5 Starbucks credit. (Note that a one night’s deposit is necessary to book.)

CFP: Clint Eastwood’s Films


For a third collection of essays on the films of Clint Eastwood.

Please submit a 1 page proposal as soon as possible, but no later than September 15 to  or

Len Engel, CAS—1, Quinnipiac University &

Matt Wanat, University of Ohio

15 page papers due Jan 15, 2016.  Preference will be given to proposals that deal with Eastwood’s films

not covered in the previous collections and his films appearing since 2012.  Please see below the Table of Contents for the two previous collections.

(If you intend to send a proposal, please send a short note, within the next day  or two, indicating that.)

Clint Eastwood, Actor and Director:  New Perspectives (2007)

Table of Contents

Chapter 1–“Feminism and the Limits of Genre in Fistful of Dollars and The Outlaw Josey Wales” Brett Westbrook, St. Edward’s University, Austin, Texas

Chapter 2–“A Fistful of Anarchy: Clint Eastwood’s Character in Sergio Leone’s Dollars Trilogy and in His Four ‘Own’ Westerns Beyond” David Cremean, Black Hills University, Spearfish, South Dakota.

Chapter 3 —“Irony as Absolution” Matt Wanat, Mayville State Universtiy, North Dakota.

Chapter 4—“’One hang, we all hang’: High Plains Drifter” Richard Hutson, University of California, Berkeley

Chapter 5—“Mocking Success in Every Which Way But Loose” Leger Grindon, Middlebury College, Vermont,

Chapter 6—“Subverting Shane:  Ambiguities in Eastwood’s Politics in Fistful of Dollars,High Plains Drifter, and Pale Rider” Stephen McVeigh, University of Wales Swansea.

Chapter 7—-“’All on Accounta Pullin’ a Trigger’:  Violence, the Media, and the Historical Contextualization of Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven” Brad Klypchak, Lon Morris College, Jacksonville, Texas.

Chapter 8—The Machinery of Violence:  Clint Eastwood talks about Unforgiven” John C. Tibbetts, University of Kansas, Lawrence.

Chapter 9—“Clint Eastwood’s Western Films and the Evolving Mythic Hero” Fred Erisman, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth.

Chapter 10—“Narrative Pacing and the Eye of the Other in The Bridges of Madison County” Raymond Foery, Quinnipiac University.

Chapter 11—-“The Old Man and the C: Masculinity and Age in the Recent Films of Clint Eastwood” Walter Metz, Montana State University, Bozeman.

Chapter 12—“Mystical Moral Miasma in Mystic River” Dennis Rothermel, California State University, Chico.

Chapter 13—“Million Dollar Baby:  The Deep Heart’s Core” John M.Gourlie, Quinnipiac


Foreward, “Why do we turn to Eastwood now?” Drucilla Cornell

One, “Landscape as Moral Destiny:’ Mythic Reinvention from Rowdy Yates to the Stranger,” Robert Smart

Two, “Thoroughly Modern Eastwood: Male/Female Power Relations in The Beguiled and Play Misty for Me,” Brett Westbrook

Three, “Clintus and Siegelini: ‘We’ve got a system. Not much, but we’re fond of it,'” Mike Smrtic and Matt Wanat

Four, “Rawhide to Pale Rider: The Maturation of Clint Eastwood,” Edward Rielly

Five, “Eastwood’s Treatment of the Life of Creativity and Performance in Bronco Billy, Honkytonk Man, White Hunter Black Heart, and Bird,” Dennis Rothermel

Six, “’You Can’t Hunt Alone’: White Hunter Black Heart,”  Richard Hutson

Seven, “The End of History and America First: How the 1990s Revitalized Clint Eastwood,” Craig Rinne

Eight, “A Man of Notoriously Vicious and Intemperate Disposition”: Western Noir and the Tenderfoot’s Revenge in Unforgiven,” Stanley Orr

Nine, “A Good Vintage or Damaged Goods?: Clint Eastwood and Aging in Hollywood Film,” Philippa Gates

Ten, “Space, Pace, and Southern Gentility in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,” Brad Klypchak

Eleven, “Mystic River as a Tragic Action,” Robert Merrill and John L. Simons

Twelve, “Lies of Our Fathers: Mythology and Artifice in Eastwood’s Cinema,” William Beard

Thirteen, “Eastwood’s Flags of Our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima: The Silence of Heroes and the Voice of History,” John M. Gourlie

Fourteen, “Gran Torino: Showdown in Detroit, Shrimp Cowboys, and A New Mythology,” John M. Gourlie and Leonard Engel

Fifteen, “Invictus: The Master Craftsman as Hagiographer,” Raymond Foery

Sixteen, “Hereafter: Dreaming beyond Our Philosophies,” John M. Gourlie

Seventeen, “Citizen Hoover: Clint Eastwood’s J. Edgar,” Richard Hutson and Kathleen Moran

Western American Literature (Spring 2015)

WAL 50.1 is now available on Project MUSE


“A Chaotic and Dark Vitalism: A Case Study of Cormac McCarthy’s Psychopaths amid a Geology of Immorals”

Sean Braune

“Social Space and the Suburb in Mike Cahill’s King of California: Mapping Race, Neoliberalism, and Narratives of the Past in the Southern California Landscape”

Emily Cheng

“New Frontiers for Post-Western Cinema: Frozen River, Sin Nombre, Winter’s Bone

Jesus Angel Gonzalez

Book Reviews

Michael K. Johnson, Hoo-Doo Cowboys and Bronze Buckaroos: Conceptions of the African American West.

Bryant Keith Alexander

Stephen Miller and Jose Pablo Villalobos, eds., Rolando Hinojosa’s Klair City Death Trip Series:

A Retrospective, New Directions.

Martin Camps

Brandon D. Shuler, Robert Johnson, and Erika Garza-Johnson, eds., New Border Voices: An Anthology.

Cristina Herrera

Claudine Chalmers, Chronicling the West for Harper’s: Coast to Coast with Frenzeny & Tavernier in 1873–1874.

Jessica Dallow

Stephen J. Mexal, Reading for Liberalism: The Overland Monthly and the Writing of the Modern American West.

Nicolas S. Witschi

Linda Scarangella McNenly, Native Performers in Wild West Shows: From Buffalo Bill to Euro Disney.

Arnold Krupat

Wendy Harding, The Myth of Emptiness and the New American Literature of Place.

  1. Alan Weltzien

Bernard Mergen, At Pyramid Lake.

Jeffrey Chisum

Ken Lamberton, Dry River: Stories of Life, Death, and Redemption on the Santa Cruz.

Hal Crimmel

Andrew Gulliford, ed., Outdoors in the Southwest: An Adventure Anthology.

Linda Helstern

Julia Corbett, Seven Summers: A Naturalist Homesteads in the Modern West.

Jeffrey Mathes McCarthy

Saul Sanchez, Rows of Memory: Journeys of a Migrant Sugar-Beet Worker.

Luis H. Moreno

Joshua Doleẑal, Down from the Mountaintop: From Belief to Belonging.

Gregory L. Morris

Tyra A. Olstad, Zen of the Plains: Experiencing Wild Western Places.

Francis Moul

Iver Arnegard, Whip and Spur.

Laura Rebecca Payne

Special Funding Opportunity for Graduate Students

Your 2015 WLA co-presidents want you to be aware of a special funding opportunity for graduate students in honor of this year’s 50th anniversary. We also want to remind you of the annual awards given to graduate students by the Association. Whether you are teaching in a graduate program or are a graduate student yourself, we hope you will share this information with others as the June 15th deadline for conference proposals approaches.

1) The new 50-Year Young Scholar Fund comes from a challenge posed by past and future WLA President Susan Maher. In response, members of the Association donated funds so that graduate student attending the conference will be awarded a reduced registration rate. (The precise amount will depend on the number of graduate students participating.) Along with the very low hotel rates at Harrah’s Reno, the Young Scholar Fund awards will offset the high costs associated with conference travel.

In addition to receiving this blanket award, graduate students are eligible to apply for several merit-based awards:

2) The J. Golden Taylor Award is given for the best essay submitted to the WLA conference by a graduate student. For further details see: This year, the award will be $200, in grateful recognition of Joyce Kinkead and Dorys Grover (see below).

3) The Dorys Grover Awards: In 1966 Washington State University graduate student Dorys Grover joined the fledgling Western Literature Association and started attending its conferences. From her books on WLA’s first Distinguished Achievement Award recipient Vardis Fisher to her work on Hemingway and Graves, Professor Grover helped to develop the field of western American literary studies. One of her doctoral students, Joyce Kinkead, Professor of English at Utah State University, has created the Dorys Grover Award in recognition of her mentor’s dedication to both western American literature and to graduate students. Now in its second year, the Dorys Grover Award, in the amount of $200 each, will be given to two graduate students presenting at this year’s 50th annual conference whose papers contribute to our critical understandings of region, place, and space in western American literatures.

Graduate students are welcome to apply for the above two awards once they have been accepted to present at the conference.

4) The Louis Owens Travel Award honors the late Choctaw-Cherokee writer, scholar, and WLA member. For further details, see:

As the Western Literature Association enters its second half-century, we are pleased to offer these opportunities to those who will direct the future of our organization and conduct the scholarship that makes WLA possible.

See you in Reno!

Susan Bernardin and David Fenimore


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