American Literature Association

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The American Literature Association (ALA) is "a coalition of societies devoted to the study of American authors".[1] It has some 110 affiliated societies, mostly concerned with the work of a particular author (e.g. the Emily Dickinson International Society or the Thoreau Society), some thematic such as the Society of Early Americanists.[2] It was founded in 1989.[3]

It holds an annual conference, alternating between east coast and west coast venues, attracting about 850 delegates.[3] Some societies choose to have one of their own main meetings as part of the ALA conference,[4] and many sessions of the conference are sponsored by member societies.[5] There are no plenary sessions at the conference, but seven or eight simultaneous events in each time slot.[3]

The ALA has an Executive Board and a "Council of American Authors Societies", which represents the member organizations. The Executive Director is Alfred Bendixen, who has held this post since the association's beginnings in 1989.[3]


  1. ^ "(Home page)". American Literature Association. Retrieved 17 January 2014. 
  2. ^ "Directory of Affiliated Societies". ALA. Retrieved 17 January 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d "About". ALA. Retrieved 17 January 2014. 
  4. ^ "(Home page)". Poe Studies Association. Retrieved 17 January 2014. The PSA meets at the yearly conferences of the Modern Language Association in December and the American Literature Association in May. 
  5. ^ "Call for Papers: American Literature Association Conference: Two Panels Sponsored by the Melville Society". The Melville Society. 2013. Retrieved 17 January 2014. 

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