Western American Literature

Western American Literature

Edited by Tom Lynch

ISSN 0043-3462

eISSN 1948-7142

Purchasing options


To order memberships and subscriptions, visit the Western Literature Association website at http://www.westernlit.org/membership/.

Published by the Western Literature Association in partnership with the University of Nebraska Press.
Since 1965 Western American Literature has been the leading peer-reviewed journal in the literary and cultural study of the North American West, defined broadly to include western Canada and northern Mexico. The journal constantly looks for new theoretical approaches to canonical figures as well as studies of emerging authors, filmmakers, and others who are expanding the canon of western literary and cultural production. While remaining grounded in the geography of the North American West, it continues to explore new approaches to literary and cultural studies more broadly, such as groundbreaking work in ecocriticism and scholarly support for the Hispanic Literary Heritage Recovery Project.

In a desire to further this tradition of integrating western studies into global scholarly conversations, there is special interest in publishing theoretical and critical articles in areas such as critical regionalism, global indigeneity, settler-colonialism, digital humanities, cinema and new media, global wests, and other cutting edge approaches. 

Table Of Contents

Volume 54, Issue 1 (Spring 2019)


Special Issue: The Politics of Public Lands in the Contemporary US West
Guest edited by Jennifer Ladino

Introduction: Setting the Stage for Justice: The Politics of Public Lands in the Contemporary US West
Jennifer Ladino

Revisiting the Radical Middle (What’s Left of It)
Stephanie LeMenager and Marsha Weisiger

“Trespassing in Sovereign Territory”: Place, Patriarchy, and the Ideology of Public Lands in Longmire
Luke Morgan

Performing the Empty Archive: Feeling and Public Lands in the Bundy Case and Percival Everett’s Grand Canyon, Inc.
Meagan Meylor

The President Stole Your Land: Public Lands and the Settler Commons
April Anson

#EquityOutdoors: Public Lands and the Decolonial Mediascape
Ashley E. Reis

Book Reviews
Natchee Blu Barnd, Native Space: Geographic Strategies to Unsettle Settler Colonialism
Mika Kennedy

Michael Snyder, John Joseph Mathews: Life of an Osage Writer
Frances W. Kaye

Christian Knoeller, Reimagining Environmental History: Ecological Memory in the Wake of Landscape Change
William Barillas

Jeb Rosebrook, Junior Bonner: The Making of a Classic with Steve McQueen and Sam Peckinpah in the Summer of 1971
Leonard Engel

Steven Frye, Understanding Larry McMurtry
John E. Dean

Elizabeth Cook-Lynn, That Guy Wolf Dancing
Kathleen Danker

Armistead Maupin, Logical Family: A Memoir
Robert Kellerman

Michael P. Branch, How to Cuss in Western (And Other Missives from the High Desert)
Paul Lindholdt

Gertrude Skivington, Echevarria
Hank Nuwer


WLA Conference Information

Submissions & Book Reviews

Western American Literature publishes literary criticism and interdisciplinary work with a literary focus. We invite manuscripts on any aspect of the literature, culture, and place-oriented pedagogy of the North American West, including western Canada and northern Mexico. We are especially interested in work that advances the field in new and provocative directions and that engages in a conversation with the latest scholarship.

If unfamiliar with our journal, take a look at recent copies available on Project MUSE.

Due to space limitations, WAL will not consider essays more than 35 pages in length, inclusive of endnotes and works cited. Please do not submit an essay that is under consideration elsewhere or that has been previously published.

Articles should be submitted via our online portal.

Do not put your name anywhere on the article or in a running head, and veil any references to your own work (if applicable) to assure anonymity with the readers. You will need to register with the online portal before submitting, so we will have your personal information in the system keyed to your submission.

Typically, the peer-review process takes 3-6 months, sometimes longer. Please be patient.

NOTE: Your manuscript should follow the most recent edition of the MLA Handbook. Please use endnotes, not footnotes. Long discursive notes should be avoided and will count toward the page limit.

You are welcome to provide illustrations that are pertinent to your essay. Images should be scanned at 350 dpi or higher and saved as a TIF or EPS file. It is your responsibility to obtain reprint permission for images, for both print and digital formats. The editors and the publisher reserve the right not to use poor-quality images.

Also, if you are writing about poetry, it is almost certain that you will need to obtain permission to quote from the poems. If you don't do so ahead of time, be prepared to do so immediately should your article be accepted.

A word to the wise: we receive many submissions on a few authors about whom much has already been written, in particular Cormac McCarthy, Willa Cather, and Leslie Marmon Silko. Please be sure you have something truly new to say about these authors and are familiar with the latest critical studies of their work.

Editorial Board

Tom Lynch

Editorial Board
José Aranda, Rice University
Neil Campbell, University of Derby, UK
Nancy Cook, University of Montana
Krista Comer, Rice University
Charles Crow, Bowling Green State University
Gheryll Glotfelty, University of Nevada, Reno
Victoria Lamont, University of Waterloo, Canada
David Rio, University of the Basque Country, UPV/EHU, Spain
Susan Shillinglaw, San José State University
Sara Spurgeon, Texas Tech University
Janis Stout, Texas A&M University
Lisa Tatonetti, Kansas State University
Steve Tatum, University of Utah
Nicolas S. Witschi, Western Michigan University

Book Review Editor
George Wolf

Editorial Fellow
Hannah Kanninen

Graduate Editorial Assistants
Dan Clausen
Lydia Presley
Emily Rau
Cory Willard


Single Article Sales
Single articles from Western American Literature  are now available for purchase through Project MUSE.

Research Site Launched
A joint project of Western American Literature  and the Western Literature association, Western American Literature Research provides researchers a convenient starting point for mining the wealth of information available in the journal. A dropdown list allows users to select from an extensive list of authors to find links to past articles related to that author's work. Another page presents a list of special themed issues. Additional authors and topics will be added over time, increasing the site's value to scholars at all levels.

Featured Articles

What were people reading on Project MUSE during the first quarter of 2019?
  1. "'Sovereignty'"  (Vol. 53, No. 1, 2018)
  2. "Rejuvenating 'Eternal Inequality' on the Digital Frontiers of Red Dead Redemption" (Vol. 47, No. 2, 2012)
  3. "'Pedagogy'" (Vol. 53, No. 1, 2018)
  4. “'The Sterility of Their Art': Masculinity and the Western in Leslie Marmon Silko’s Ceremony" (Vol. 49, No. 3, 2014)
  5. "The Only Cure Is a Dance: The Role of Night Swan in Silko’s Ceremony"   (Vol. 50, No. 3, 2015)

Sponsoring Society

Founded in 1965, the Western Literature Association (WLA) is a non-profit, scholarly association that promotes the study of the diverse literature and cultures of the North American West, past and present.

Since its founding, the WLA has served to publish scholarship and promote work in the field; it has gathered together scholars, artists, environmentalists, and community leaders who value the West’s literary and cultural contributions to American and world cultures; it has recognized those who have made a major contribution to western literature and western studies; and it has fostered student learning and career advancement in education.

WLA members receive Western American Literature as a benefit of membership and only members are able to obtain individual subscriptions to the journal.


Western American Literature Research Site

This site, a project of the journal Western American Literature and the Western Literature Association, is a useful starting point for researchers wishing to utilize the wealth of information on specific authors and topics presented over the many years of the journal's publication.

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