Run For Dana-Farber

As many of you know, one of our young WLA members, Kiara Kharpertian, passed away earlier this year. In her honor, her husband, Kai, is training for a marathon. All funds raised will support the Claudia Adams Barr Program in Innovative Basic Cancer Research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. If you would like to contribute in Kiara’s memory, please follow this link:

Help support the 2017 Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge.

Percival Everett and the American West (CFP; ALA 2017)

Percival Everett and the American West (CFP; ALA 2017)

Call for Papers for a Panel on Percival Everett and the American West at the 2017 American Literature Association Meeting (Boston; May 25-28)

NPR’s All Things Considered, as part of an interview about his latest collection of short stories Half an Inch of Water (set mostly in Wyoming), introduced Percival Everett as “a man of the West: the region, for him, is a place of calm and comfort, danger and extremes.” He is a two-time winner of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Awards for Fiction, a recent recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in fiction, the author of around 30 books (novels, short stories, poetry), including the parodic genre western God’s Country, as well as multiple books set in the American West, including Suder, Walk Me to the Distance, Watershed, Wounded, The Water Cure, and Assumption. No other contemporary African American author has accomplished as extensive (and complex) a representation of African American western experience.

This panel will consider and explore Percival Everett’s writing about the American West. Individual papers might examine the relationship between race and region in Everett’s writing; Everett as a (western) genre writer; landscape and environment in Everett’s writing; erasure in Everett’s western texts; or other topics that examine the relationship between Percival Everett’s work and the American West or the western genre.

The Western Literature Association is an affiliated organization of the ALA, and I will be proposing that this panel be submitted as the WLA’s guaranteed panel for the meeting.

For consideration for this panel, please submit an abstract (250-500 words) to Michael K. Johnson ( by December 30, 2016.

The American Literature Association’s 28th annual conference will meet at the Westin Copley Place in Boston on May 25-28, 2017 (Thursday through Sunday of Memorial Day weekend).

For further information about the American Literature Association conference, please consult the ALA website at


WLA 2017 (Minneapolis)

A video introduction to the site of the 2017 Western Literature Association Conference:

Minnesota Video


WAL (Summer 2016)

The just published issue of Western American Literature is on Queer Wests. I’m sending this link to the Project Muse site for your own information, but I’d also be grateful if you could forward it to anyone, or to any lists, that you think might be of interest.

Western American Literature

Volume 51, Number 2, Summer 2016

Table of Contents

Special Issue: Queer Wests

Guest Edited by Geoffrey Bateman

From the Editor

p. vii | DOI: 10.1353/wal.2016.0038


Queer Wests: An Introduction

pp. 129-141 | DOI: 10.1353/wal.2016.0041

17th International Willa Cather Seminar

The Willa Cather Foundation invites proposals for the 17th International Willa Cather Seminar, to be held in June 2019. Seminar directors work alongside WCF staff and Board to create a one-­of-­a-­kind conference experience for Cather scholars and enthusiasts in locations central to Willa Cather’s life and writing. Past seminars have been held in Red Cloud, Lincoln, and Nebraska City, Nebraska; Santa Fe; Quebec City; Frederick County, Virginia; Bread Loaf Campus of Middlebury College, Vermont; Paris and Provence, France; Flagstaff, Arizona; Northampton, Massachusetts; and Chicago. Seminars traditionally last 5-6 days and blend concurrent sessions of academic papers, keynote lectures, tours of Cather-­related sites, performances, public events, and social activities.

We ask for succinct 2-­3 page proposals that include the names of directors, their academic status, brief summary of their Cather scholarly and other related experience, justification of site appropriateness for Cather studies, explanation of proposed theme, and specifics on institutional partnership and sponsorship potential. Preference will be given to proposals that demonstrate strong institutional partnership, sponsorship potential, and sufficient local infrastructure for an academic conference (transportation, dining, lodging, and entertainment options). The WCF staff and Education Committee collaborate with, advise, and support directors and partner institutions in order to ensure that seminar experiences are successful and satisfying for all.

For questions or to submit a proposal, please contact Andrew Jewell, Education Committee Chair (, and Tracy Tucker, Education Director of the Willa Cather Foundation ( Deadline for proposals is February 1, 2016.

Tracy Sanford Tucker
Education Director & Certified Archivist
The Willa Cather Foundation
413 North Webster Street | Red Cloud, NE 68970
Phone: 402-746-2653 | Toll Free: 866-731-7304 |

Announcement. Neil Campbell’s New Book Published!

Neil Campbell’s new book Affective Critical Regionality has just been published by Rowman & Littlefield International in the Place, Memory, Affect series. The book explores and expands critical regionalism with a particular emphasis on different forms of western writing or writings of the west, including DJ Waldie, Willy Vlautin, Karen Tei Yamashita, Charles Olson, Rebecca Solnit & Kathleen Stewart.

Kathleen Stewart calls it a ‘powerful intervention of a singular kind’ and Steve Tatum  ‘A scintillating, ultimately humane achievement’.

Available in paperback now!

Western Literature Association 2016 Conference

For the latest information on the 2016 Western Literature Association conference in Big Sky, Montana, including registration information, see the WLA organization website’s 2016 conference page.