The III International Conference on “The American Literary West,” organized by the REWEST research group (UPV/EHU, University of the Basque Country, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain) will address the literary representation of the American West, centering on the different meanings, connotations, and implications of the term “border” in our present century when used in connection with this peculiar region. We invite papers exploring theoretical and practical aspects of the West as a pluralistic literary space, with a special attention to twenty-first century western texts that renew and revise the traditional imaginary of western American literature. The symposium will privilege transnational and interdisciplinary approaches aiming to understand properly a genre whose iconography has moved well beyond both national limits and literary borders. Of particular interest will be the complex relationships between literature and a series of socio-political, economic, and cultural even! ts that h ave taken place in the present century, as illustrated by 9/11 and its aftermath, the economic recession, globalization, immigration, feminism, interculturality or the contemporary environmental crisis. Similarly, we will also examine the transnational characteristics of the American West, discussing the literary representation of the American West beyond US borders. The conference will also extend the analysis of western iconography to other artistic manifestations beyond writing, exploring the cultural transfers between literature and other cultural phenomena. Certainly, the long-lasting cultural transfers and intertextual links between western writing and western movies will be a major issue in this conference. However, this forum will also address other cultural and artistic manifestations that interact, overlap, and interrelate with western writing in complex, often dialogic ways, as exemplified by television, music, photography, art, digital art, video-games, the inte! rnet, spo rts, comics and graphic novels, or translation.

We welcome presentation abstracts on these and related questions. Possible topics include but are not limited to:

-        the influence of the cultural myths of the Old West and the western in the present century
-        the West as an exceptional region as opposed to the West as an inherent part of American culture
-        motion vs. roots in the American West
-        the impact of urbanization and technology
-        the interaction between identity and the western landscape
-        changing interpretations of sense of place in the American West
-        migrations and diasporas in the West
-        minority western narratives
-        environmental literature of the American West
-        voices of protest
-        reimagining women in the West
-        western masculinities
-        bordercrossing
-        western mythologies
-        the American West in popular culture
-        science fiction and the West
-        Western American Music or Music and Western images
-        The West in the Web
-        Digital West
-        Western images in comics and graphic novels
-        Sports and the West

Please send 300 word abstracts (also a short bio and five key words, not included in the 300 words limit) to the following email address: [log in to unmask] by April 30, 2014. Papers may be presented in English, Spanish or Basque, though the official language of the conference will be English.

Confirmed plenary speakers:

-        Krista Comer (Rice University, Texas)
-        Susan Kollin (Montana State University)
-        Kirmen Uribe (Writer): Bilbao-New York-Bilbao, Mussche….
-        Willy Vlautin (Writer): The Motel Life, Northline, Lean on Pete, The Free…
-        Special interactive performance by David Fenimore (University of Nevada, Reno)
-        Plenary round table “The Global Literary West” with Jose Aranda (Rice University, Texas), Neil Campbell (University of Derby, UK) and Alan Weltzien (University of Montana, Western)

The Organizing Committee


III International Conference on “The American Literary West”