International Steinbeck Conference

"John Steinbeck in the 21st Century: Reading, Teaching, Translating"

San José State University, March 22-24, 2023

Sponsored by the Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies, the International Society of Steinbeck Scholars, and Steinbeck Review.

Keynote Address

Ron Rash

Conference Director

Daniel Rivers, Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies, San José State University

Conference Steering Committee

Cecilia Donohue, Independent Scholar 
Barbara A. Heavilin, Professor Emeritus, Taylor University
Brian Railsback, Western Carolina University
Danica Čerče, University of Ljubljana
Carter Davis Johnson, University of Kentucky

Call for Papers  |  Registration  |  Accommodations  |  Student Assistance  |  Post-Conference Tour of Monterey/Salinas  |  Previous Conferences 

Call for Papers

Even as John Steinbeck’s diverse body of work has played an essential role in identifying and interpreting the major issues of the past century, his narratives and insights remain radically relevant to our present moment, as communities across the world navigate unprecedented social, political, economic, medical, and ecological challenges. Since Steinbeck’s significance is best communicated to contemporary audiences through the practices of reading, teaching, and translation, the 2023 conference will focus on how these forms of engagement help us better understand and share Steinbeck’s relevance to our contemporary world.

The International Steinbeck Society invites abstract proposals from varied disciplines and critical frameworks, including but not limited to literary/cultural studies, comparative literature, media studies, secondary and postsecondary education, psychology, political science, sociology, ecology, and marine biology. Potential topics include comparative studies of Steinbeck and post-Steinbeck writers, issues in translating Steinbeck’s works into other languages, stage/film/video adaptations, and approaches to teaching Steinbeck in contemporary classrooms.

We are also pleased to invite undergraduate students to participate in a poster session focused on sharing their analysis of, and approaches to, the author’s works, context, and enduring relevance. Undergraduates who are interested in attending the conference are encouraged to speak with their professors about possibilities for funding that may be available through their university. Professors who are interested in integrating an assignment related to the conference into their classroom are encouraged to direct any questions about the poster session to

For traditional presentations, please email your abstract of up to 300 words, as well as a short bio (up to 200 words) to with the subject line “Steinbeck Conference 2023 Submission, [last name].” If you are interested in submitting a pre-constituted panel, workshop, or roundtable session, please note your panel title, format, and the names of your co-presenters in your submission.

If you are interested in soliciting participants for a pre-constituted panel, workshop, or roudtable session, please send your topic and request to the Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies @, with the subject line “Panel CFP Steinbeck Conference 2023.” We will then share your topic and call for participants with the Center’s mailing list. To ensure an accessible conference experience, this event will accommodate digital/hybrid paper presentations, and will livestream its plenary talks for access by registered attendees.

Notices of acceptance to the conference will be sent out on a rolling basis in order to support scholars who are seeking funding from their home institution. And the final deadline for proposals is 11:59PM (midnight) on January 15, 2022.


Please register via our secure cashnet portal. The cost of registration is $100 for sudents and contingent (adjunct/part-time) faculty, and $150 for regular registration. The conference is from March 22 - 24, 2023 at San Jose State University, on the 5th floor of the Martin Luther King Jr. Library.


We have secured a group room rate at Hotel Clariana. Hotel Clariana is located in downtown San Jose, and is a 6 minute walk from the Martin Luther King Jr. Library. To book your room, please email and tell Tina Phan that you are attending the Steinbeck Center Conference at San Jose State University, and she will assist you with your booking. Please note, the Steinbeck Center will not cover any costs associated with the booking.

Student Assistance


Previous Conferences

2019 Conference – Steinbeck and the Twenty-First Century: Identity, Influence, and Impact [pdf]

2016 Conference – Steinbeck as an International Writer [pdf]

2013 Conference – Steinbeck and the Politics of Crisis [pdf]

2002 Conference – Steinbeck's Americas [pdf]