Several Western Literature Association members were present at the American Literature Association conference in Boston this weekend. The WLA sponsored two panels, one on the topic of “Home and Nation in the African American West,” with presenters Eric Gardner (“A [Black] Visitor from California’: Philip Bell’s ‘Notes’ from the Pacific Northwest”), Michael Johnson (“Performing Home in the African American West: Minstrel Shows, Brass Bands, and the Beginnings of the Blues”), and Emily Lutenski (“Not Home to Harlem: African American Women’s Writing in the 1920s West”).
The second panel was on the topic of “Western Institutions,” with presenters Nicole Tonkovich (“Big Loving Sister Wives in Nineteenth-Century Sentimental Fiction”), Victoria Lamont (“Women Writers and Western Authenticity”), Seth Horton (“Border Health Institutes During the Mexican Revolution”), and Gioia Woods (“Lawrence Ferlinghtetti, City Lights Bookstore, and the Paperback Revolution”).
Susan Kollin was also spotted among the conference goers (presenting on “Back to Nature and Other Bad Trips in T. C. Boyle’s Drop City”) on a panel on contemporary literature. And Matthew Lavin (“A Confluence of National and Literary Interests: Willa Cather, McClure’s Magazine, and The Autobiography of S. S. McClure“) was on a panel on “American Periodicals and Literary Genres.”