2016 International Steinbeck Conference

"John Steinbeck as an International Writer"

May 4-6, 2016, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Library, San José State University


Full Program/Lineup (PDF)

Topics and Speakers

Paper Proposal Form



Student Assistance

Steinbeck Festival in Monterey/Salinas


Topics and Speakers

Steinbeck as an International Writer

In a 1946 letter, John Steinbeck described arriving in Denmark to find “thirty cameramen with flashlights…I didn’t know anyone treated writers like this.” He later observed that Denmark was the only country in the world to keep all his books in print. Meanwhile, on the other side of the globe, the John Steinbeck Society of Japan boasts one of the strongest memberships of any foreign author society dedicated to an American author, with annual conferences and a peer-edited scholarly journal. If any 20th-century American author can be considered an “international” writer, it is Steinbeck.

The International Society of Steinbeck Scholars (formerly the John Steinbeck Society of America) invites conference papers that examine Steinbeck as an international/translational writer. Contributions are welcome from a wide variety of theoretical applications, such as Steinbeck’s connections to world literature and world thought—for example, Classical Greek and Roman, Eastern, and twentieth-century Russian. How has Steinbeck adapted not only themes but also aesthetic choices and narrative strategies? Other topics are welcome as well: deep ecology, power and subjugation, the concept of democracy and America, ethics and philosophy, gender studies.

Those wishing to present proposals for presentation can submit them online from September 2015 to February 2016. Presenters will be asked to sign a release so that papers may be considered for publication in Steinbeck Review. If you are unable to attend the conference in person, virtual registrations are also available which allow you to submit a paper for refereeing and possible publication in this fully refereed academic journal.

Richard Astro (Keynote Speaker)
Provost Emeritus and Professor of English at Drexel University
Author of many works of Steinbeck scholarship including John Steinbeck and Edward F. Ricketts: The Shaping of a Novelist.

Robert DeMott (Banquet Speaker)
Professor Emeritus at Ohio University
Author of Steinbeck's Reading: A Catalogue of Books Owned and Borrowed; Working Days: The Journals of The Grapes of Wrath, 1938–1941; and Steinbeck's Typewriter: Essays on His Art, among many other titles.

Conference Directors
Nicholas P. Taylor, Director, Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies
Tom Barden, Professor Emeritus, University of Toledo
Barbara A. Heavilin, Editor in Chief, Steinbeck Review

Conference Steering Committee
Danica Čerče, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Chuck Etheridge, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
Mimi Gladstein, University of Texas, El Paso
Luchen Li, University of New Hampshire 

Paper Proposals

The period for submitting paper proposals closed on March 15.


Registration for the 3-day conference is $150 (or $100 for students). The registration fee includes continental breakfast all three days, lunch on Wednesday and Thursday, and the banquet dinner on Thursday evening. 

Online Registration Form (select Conference Registrations -> 2016 Steinbeck Conference Registration)



The conference will be held on the campus of San Jose State University in downtown San Jose. Unfortunately, no guest rooms are available on campus for conference attendees, however downtown San Jose features a wide variety of hotels at multiple price points. Here are a few examples:

Fairmont San José - This four-star hotel is located three blocks (0.4 mi / 0.6 km) from campus. The conference has arranged special rates starting at $259/night for a double room.

Four Points by Sheraton San Jose Downtown - This three-star hotel is located three blocks (0.4 mi / 0.6 km) from campus. Rates start at $289/night.

Ramada San Jose Downtown - This two-star hotel is located four blocks (0.6 mi / 1.0 km) from campus. Rates start at $134/night.

Motel 6 San Jose Convention Center - This two-star hotel is located 1.8 miles (3 km) from campus. Rates start at $119/night.


Student Assistance

 Any student whose paper is accepted for presentation at the conference is eligible for a $500 travel stipend. For more information, contact Sabrina Nichols, the Steinbeck Center's Administrative Assistant.


Steinbeck Festival in Monterey/Salinas

Immediately following the conclusion of the conference on Friday morning, all attendees are encouraged to travel to Monterey/Salinas for the weekend-long 2016 Steinbeck Festival sponsored by our sister institution, the National Steinbeck Center. In addition to programming at the downtown Salinas museum, the Steinbeck Festival offers guided tours of locations important to Steinbeck's life and work, such as the Red Pony ranch, "Doc" Ricketts' lab on Cannery Row, and downtown Salinas. Tickets are available online.