WLA Conference 2024

58th WLA Conference

Date: October 2–5, 2024


THEME: Speculative Territorializations of New Western Literatures

Hope in a Hogan © Ryan Singer, 2022

As President of the Western Literature Association for 2024, I am thrilled to announce that the WLA Conference for next year will take place from October 2–5 in Tucson, Arizona. Situated on ancestral Tohono O’odham lands known as Cuk-Ṣon and nicknamed “the Old Pueblo” by subsequent settlers, we were able to secure the Hilton El Conquistador Resort as our conference venue. Located in the Sonoran Desert in the foothills of the spectacular Santa Catalina Mountains, this site amplifies any perceptions inspired by these layered geographic and spatial significations. Such associations speak to the meaning and status of the American West and its dynamic (re)inscription through the storytelling processes of writing, art, filmmaking, performativity, and song. As a means of synthesizing such qualities and ideas, this conference will be focused on the theme of Speculative Territorializations of New Western Literatures. The theme is offered to stimulate thought-provoking discussions and the exploration of new insights arising from the physical and mythic landscapes of the American West, including Pacific Island borderlands, reaching beyond Jean-François Lyotard’s conception of the West Coast as “Pacific wall.”

Organized around this inclusive and expansive subject, the 2024 conference aims to inspire fresh intellectual and artistic engagement with a range of relevant texts, while extending ongoing experimentations in western literature and transcending the boundaries of literary genres and temporal contexts. This theme also seeks to provide a fertile ground for playful intellectual inquiry, reflecting the vibrant enthusiasm for diverse and forward-thinking speculative futures and artistic forms, which are central to current discussions about the West and the direction of western literature, art, film, and popular culture.

~Billy J. Stratton, 2024 President • http://www.westernlit.org/wla-conference-2024


Venue: The Hilton Resort of El Conquistador

Room rates:  $199 for a single or double, $224 for a triple, $249 for a quad, and $199 for a suite.