AAALS hosts an annual conference where members present their scholarly work on the subject of Australian and New Zealand literature and culture. The conference affords an opportunity for intellectual and social engagement with likeminded individuals from around the globe. In addition to the presentation of scholarly work, the conference features a keynote speaker and a reading by an Australian or New Zealand writer. Some particularly notable Australasian writers who have read at the AAALS conference include Alexis Wright, Kim Scott, Peter Carey, Thomas Keneally, Kate Grenville, David Malouf, Nicholas Jose, Frank Moorhouse, Janette Turner Hospital, Mudrooroo, John Tranter, Lily Brett, John Kinsella, Geoffrey Dutton, Jeanine Leane, Fay Zwicky, Philip Hodgins, Alf Taylor, and Kevin Hart.

The AAALS 2023 annual conference will be held in Phoenix, Arizona, from Thursday, April 13, through Saturday, April 15. The call for papers will be published here as soon as it is available.

The following is a list of past conference locations, with links to the relevant conference programs:

Modern Language Association (MLA) convention

The 2023 Modern Language Association (MLA) convention (#mla23) will take place in San Francisco, California, from 5 to 8 January. The presidential theme for the convention is “Working Conditions.” The AAALS session title is “Working Conditions in Australasian Literature.” The session will feature rigorous consideration of working conditions in and surrounding Australasian literary and cultural production, including Indigenous writing. It will consider, among other things, the work of writing or teaching literature, or the representation of work within literature.

The Wertheim Prize

The Wertheim Prize is awarded each year at the AAALS conference for the best paper by a graduate student. Al Wertheim was the first AAALS member to bring his graduate students to an AAALS conference. The following is a list of recent winners:

  • 2022 – Bowen Du, University of California, Davis
  • 2021 – Rachel Fetherston, Deakin University, and J. E. Steinberg, University of Cambridge
  • 2020 – Naish Gawen, Monash University
  • 2019 – Hemopereki Hoani Simon, University of Wollongong
  • 2018 – Matilda Grogan, Monash University
  • 2017 – Barbara Hoffmann, University of Miami
  • 2016 – Lydia Saleh Rofail, University of Sydney, and Lydia Marie Heberling, University of Washington
  • 2015 – Belinda Burns, University of Queensland
  • 2014 – Matthew Israel Byrge, Middle Tennessee State University
  • 2013 – Shinjini Chattopadhyay, Jadavpur University
  • 2012 – Marcia van Zeller, Curtin University
  • 2011 – Megan Terry, The University of Texas at Tyler
  • 2010 – Sarah Otto Marxhausen, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Michael R. Griffiths, Rice University
  • 2009 – Esther Prokopienko, College of Saint Rose
  • 2008 – Terra Walston, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • 2007 – Hilary Emmett, Cornell University
  • 2006 – Sean Scarisbrick, University of Buffalo
  • 2005 – Kevin Birmingham, Harvard University, and Nathanael O’Reilly, Western Michigan University
  • 2004 – Per Henningsgaard, Vassar College