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: http://www.westernlit.org/the-j-golden-taylor-award/ 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: http://www.westernlit.org/the-louis-owens-awards-for-graduate-student-presenters-at-wla-conferences/

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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