Calls For Papers

The International Society of Steinbeck Scholars Announces a Conference
"John Steinbeck as an International Writer"

To be held at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Library
San José State University
May 4-6, 2016
(immediately preceding the 2016 Steinbeck Festival in Salinas/Monterey)

Sponsored by the Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies


Keynote Speakers:

Richard Astro
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
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.

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 form 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.

PROPOSAL DEADLINE: February 1, 2016

Travel assistance of up to USD $500 is available for students whose papers are accepted by the conference organizers.

Questions? Contact Nick Taylor at

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