Western American Literature (THE JOURNAL)
Jointly published by the Western Literature Association and Utah State University, Western American Literature is the leading journal in western American literary studies. Always iconoclastic, Western American Literature published some of the first essays on now celebrated writers such as D’Arcy McNickle, Wallace Stegner, and Terry Tempest Williams, critical essays by N. Scott Momaday and Rudolfo Anaya, and influential early essays on ecocriticism. The journal now focuses broadly on western culture, each issue including reproductions of western images—paintings, photography, film stills, botanical and survey drawings, maps, murals—to offer a cultural context for the essays. In addition to theoretical pieces based on cultural geography, new western history, and environmental writing, recent issues include essays on traditional western favorites such as Edward Abbey and John Muir, new western figures such as Cormac McCarthy, American Indian writers, and African American writers and filmmakers. A recent issue of WAL also focuses on the Hispanic Literary Recovery Project.
The Western Literature Association is seeking a new institutional home for Western American Literature.
For nearly fifty years, Western American Literature was co-published by WLA and Utah State University, but USU will end our funding beginning July 1, 2013. As Western American Literature readers know, it is a quarterly journal of 112-140 pages, usually containing 3 or 4 essays and 10 or so book reviews. The journal has always been broadly interdisciplinary. For the past fifteen years, editorial policy has invited work on “western North American cultural studies.” Editorial policy is determined by the editor(s) and an editorial board made up of WLA members.
At USU, Western American Literature is staffed by
- one editor (who received two course reductions and 1.5 months summer salary)
- a managing editor (80% time), who also did layout/typesetting
- a book review editor (one course reduction, some summer salary)
- two MA student editorial fellows (one funded by WLA, one by the USU English Department) who receive $13,000/year plus full tuition waivers
- a book review fellow who receives one course reduction
Of course there are many possible models for journal publication, and we welcome proposals from institutions, departments, centers, or consortiums. We recommend, however, that the editorial fellow program be continued because it is an excellent recruitment tool for institutions and helps ensure the WLA will continue to be involved with the next generation of scholars.
All proposals should include information about who will serve as editor(s); memos from administrators with concrete offers of funding and support; information about how the journal will be staffed; and any other pertinent information. Proposals are due January 10, 2013. Send to Melody Graulich, 3200 Old Main Hill, Logan UT 84322. Potential editor(s) can request a meeting at the Lubbock conference, with the ad hoc committee of WLA members who will make the decision. We are also looking into agreements with presses who handle journal publication.
For more information, email Melody Graulich.