WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., June 23, 2017 — Like the proverbial boys of summer, the Sport Literature Association (SLA) gathers every summer for action as they look at sports and literature. This June, the group visited the Hilltop for its 34th annual conference. Professor Jeremy Larance, who is chairman of the Department of Humanities, coordinated the visit.
“We are pleased to welcome the members of the Sport Literature Association to campus. We have members from as far away as Australia and from five different countries, presenting papers and creative work this week. It is a great chance to share and learn,” said Dr. Larance, who has been a member since 2010.
The president of the group, Cory Willard of the University of Nebraska also was in attendance. Larance previously served as president in 2013, and also served as the nonfiction editor of the organization’s journal, Aethlon, for several years.
Panel discussions were scheduled to take place from Wednesday through Saturday, June 21 – 24 and topics included everything from baseball and football to fishing and lacrosse. Most were held in the R. Emmett Boyle Conference Center.
In attendance were professors, creative writers, historians and journalists, according to Larance. Papers and readings were in the area of sport literature: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama or film.
Scholarly and critical submissions for the conference were selected over the past months and “celebrate[s] the intersection of literature with the world of play, games, and sport.”
The SLA is an international organization devoted to the study of sport in literature and culture. Initiated in the 1980s, the organization now has several hundred members around the world and sponsors an annual conference in a different North American location each summer. Next summer the conference is scheduled to take place in Kansas, the following year in Paris.
The SLA is an affiliate of the American Literature Association and publishes Aethlon, designed to celebrate the intersection of literature with the world of play, games, and sport. Subscription to the journal is included with membership in the SLA.
WLU’s College of Liberal Arts houses the departments of Humanities, Social and Behavior Sciences, Social Work and Criminology. Majors offered include criminal justice, English education, graphic narrative, history, literature, psychology, social studies education, social work and writing and rhetoric.