WLA Conference 2012, November 7-10, 2012

full name / name of organization: 
Western Literature Association
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Lubbock, Texas, is nicknamed "The Hub City" because it has historically been the crossroads of the vast, multicultural South Plains—home to Native peoples for 15,000 years, first dubbed the Llano Estacado (Staked Plains) by Coronado in 1540, and once referred to as the American Serengeti for its massive herds of buffalo, pronghorn, and deer. The WLA's 47th annual conference will take place at the Overton Hotel in Lubbock across the street from Texas Tech University. We will honor the careers of Distinguished Achievement Award winners Richard Slotkin and filmmaker and producer Joss Whedon, and engage with featured writers Annie Proulx, Christina Garcia, Barry Lopez, Naomi Shihab Nye, and others.

Highlights include:

- Distinguished Achievement Awards to Richard Slotkin and Joss Whedon
- Writers Series with Annie Proulx, Christina Garcia, Barry Lopez, Naomi Shihab Nye, and Stephen Graham Jones
- Plenary session and book signing with Annette Kolodny featuring her new book, In Search of First Contact
- Session with filmmaker David Sherman and a screening of his film Wasteland Utopias, presented in collaboration with Landmark Arts in the Texas Tech School of Arts
- Special reception for conference attendees at the Landmark Gallery for the opening of JUST NOT YET: dodging the vacuum of meaning, curated in conjunction with the WLA conference, featuring the work of twenty visionary artists working in the US Southwest
- 20th Birthday Party for the Association for the Study of Literature & Environment—founded at WLA 1992 in Reno
- Friday evening banquet and dance with live music by the Gary P. Nunn Band from PBS's Austin City Limits

The 2012 conference invites proposals engaging themes of Literature, Social Justice, and Environment in the North American West; panels or papers on any of our featured authors; or on any aspect of western literatures, TV/films, music, and cultures. We welcome proposals for papers or panels that approach these and any of the following possible topics across disciplines:

- Animals and animal studies in the West
- Native literatures of the High Plains
-Art and artists/music and musicians of Texas and the West
-Texas tall tales and western humor (check the WLA website for information on the Willa Pilla Award!)
-Spanish exploration and colonization in Texas and the West
-Mexico-Texans: Mexican American literatures in Texas
-Western films and television
-Western sci-fi
-The West in graphic novels

SUBMISSIONS must include a 250-word abstract, your full name, affiliation, contact information including email, and A/V requests (we will not provide computers). Proposals for panels (four presenters) and roundtables must include an abstract and all above information for all presenters. No more than one presentation per conference please. If you are proposing an interdisciplinary panel, or are willing to present on one, please note this in your abstract.

DEADLINE: June 22, 2012. Submit abstracts to Sara Spurgeon at WLAconference@gmail.com. For information on the WLA, or conference funding opportunities and awards, visit http://www.usu.edu/westlit/.