2019 International Steinbeck Conference
"Steinbeck and the Twenty-First Century: Identity, Influence, and Impact"
May 1-3, 2019, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Library, San José State University
Sponsored by the Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies at SJSU, the International Society of Steinbeck Scholars, and Steinbeck Review
Susan Shillinglaw, San José State University
Nicholas P. Taylor, Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies, San José State University
Conference Steering Committee
Cecilia Donohue, Madonna University (Retired)
Barbara A. Heavilin, Professor Emeritus, Taylor University
Kathleen Hicks, Grand Canyon University
John Steinbeck (1902-1968) was a giant of twentieth-century culture, a writer whose work in fiction, nonfiction, drama, and film made him a household name in America and around the world. Eighteen years into the twenty-first century, Steinbeck’s influence appears to be as strong as ever. His novels continue to sell briskly; his plays are performed in repertory and revived on Broadway; and Hollywood buzzes regularly with speculation about remakes of The Grapes of Wrath and East of Eden.
With this conference, the International Society of Steinbeck Scholars seeks to explore how and why Steinbeck remains relevant fifty years after his death. We invite proposals from a wide variety of disciplines, including literary and cultural studies, comparative literature, film and theater, secondary and postsecondary teaching, political science, sociology, ecology, and marine biology. Topics might include comparative studies of Steinbeck and millennial authors, issues surrounding translation of Steinbeck’s work, or analyses of Steinbeck's writings through the lens of key millennial sociopolitical movements such as MeToo and Black Lives Matter. We are also interested in the ways teachers are using Steinbeck’s work to engage students on social issues, contemporary artistic expression, and popular culture.
Registration for the 3-day conference is $150 (or $100 for students). The registration fee includes lunch Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.
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.
List of conference hotels and rates coming soon.
Any student whose paper is accepted for presentation at the conference is eligible for a $500 travel stipend. For more information, contact Janice Zelaya, the Steinbeck Center's Administrative Assistant.
Immediately following the conclusion of the conference on Friday morning, all attendees are encouraged to travel to Monterey/Salinas for the weekend-long 2019 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.