New Season of “The Killing”

A new season of the Seattle-based detective series “The Killing” starts this weekend. The first season of “The Killing” was a big favorite here at the WLA Blog (season two, not so much).  I am, however, looking forward to seeing more of Linden and Holder. If you see the season opener before we have a chance to post something here at the Blog, please feel free to use the comments below to let us know what you thought.


New Season of Longmire

The first episode of Longmire‘s second season aired recently. What did you think about the episode?

CFP: Drought on the Great Plains

Drought in the Life, Cultures, and Landscapes of the Great Plains
April 1-4, 2014
Lincoln, NE

The 40th annual Center for Great Plains Studies symposium is a collaboration with the National Drought Mitigation Center and the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute.

2011 and 2012 witnessed two of the worst Great Plains droughts in recent memory, a tragic counterpoint to the damaging floods of 2011 and a return to the stressful times of 1998-2006. Drought is a recurring pattern in this semi-arid region, with severe droughts in the 1890s, 1930s, 1950s and 1980s. Indeed, using tree ring, lake sediment, and dune records, scientists have documented the periodic return of severe droughts. Based on such evidence, some scientists have observed that drought was the dominant feature of climate rather than the exception. Drought has been and will continue to be a normal part of the climate of the Great Plains and may increase in frequency and severity in the future as a result of projected changes in climate.

Drought or the ever-present threat of it has had a pervasive effect on the region and its people. It molded the region’s settlement patterns, agriculture and commerce, stimulated innovation, aroused conflict between agriculturalists and environmentalists, and fueled litigation between states. Drought shaped how the people of the Great Plains think of themselves and their region and influenced their culture, literature, and art. Today it raises concern about whether the region will have sufficient water for its future.

Scientists and scholars from across the full spectrum of disciplines are invited to share their expertise and perspectives as the symposium explores all aspects, causes, impacts, projections, social and cultural consequences, and ramifications of drought.

For more information or to submit an abstract to the conference, click on the following link:



I am writing to let you know about the 85th annual conference of the South Atlantic Modern Language Association (SAMLA) and to see if the Western Literature Association would like to join us by offering an affiliate session in our program. This year, our conference will be held November 8-10 at the Marriott Buckhead Hotel in Atlanta, GA. Our special focus is “Cultures, Contexts, Images, and Texts: Making Meaning in Print, Digital, and Networked Worlds,” and among the special events at this conference will be a plenary address by Katherine Hayles (Professor of English and Director of Graduate Studies at Duke University) as well as a six highlighted panels with eminent scholars in literature and language studies who are actively engaged in various facets of digital humanities. The attached poster gives more information about these attractions.

Dr. Hayles teaches and writes on the relations between literature, science and technology in the 20th and 21st centuries and on the effect of various modes of communication on the philosophy of human subjectivity.  Her works, including How We Became Posthuman: Vitual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and InformaticsElectronic Literature: New Horizons for the Literary; and How We Think: Digital Media and Contemporary Technogenesis, have received numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Rockefeller Residential Fellowship, and two Presidential Research Fellowships from the University of California. Her current project, Making, Critique: A New Paradigm for the Humanities, proposes a new intellectual model for the humanities, which she calls Comparative Media Studies and which is located in the twin activities of making objects and of critique.

If you or someone else in the organization would like to propose a session for this conference, please complete the attached call for papers form and return it to the SAMLA office ( Keep in mind that while we invite proposals related to the special focus, we welcome proposals addressing other topics related to English and language studies. You can either submit a complete panel or a call for papers which we would upload to the SAMLA website. The deadline for submitting full session details to the SAMLA office is June 28, 2013.

[Please Note: If you are a WLA member interested in putting together a session, please let Richard Hutson know ( as you will be representing the WLA.]

Thanks for your consideration of this request.


Renée Schatteman
SAMLA Executive Director, Associate Professor, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA,, 404-557-3330