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
Download Final Conference Program (updated 5/1/2019)
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 there are a variety of hotels at multiple price points in the area.
The Westin in downtown San Jose have graciously given us a room block for this event. Make sure to secure your room soon--space is limited. Prices start at $299. Click here to reserve now. Guests can also call their central reservations line available 24/7 at: 1-866-716-8108, and identify themselves with the Steinbeck Center SJSU Room Block. The cut-off date to book a room is April 12, 2019. Located just 0.7 mi / 1.1 km away from campus, the Westin is a historic and upscale 4-star hotel surrounded by the sights and attractions of downtown San Jose.
Other nearby hotels to check out are Hyatt Place (3-star), Four Points by Sheraton (3-star), and Motel 6 (2-star).
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 invited to travel to Monterey/Salinas for a tour of Steinbeck Country led by Susan Shillinglaw, former director of the National Steinbeck Center. In addition to the downtown Salinas museum, Professor Shillinglaw will take attendees to locations important to Steinbeck's life and work, such "Doc" Ricketts' lab on Cannery Row.