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Steinbeck at Stanford

Speaker: Gavin Jones, Rehmus Family Professor in the Humanities, Stanford University

John Steinbeck attended Stanford University, off and on, from the Fall of 1919 to the Spring of 1925, when he left without completing his degree. According to an article in Stanford magazine, the relationship between Stanford and Steinbeck is “puzzling, mutually unappreciative, even debilitating.” In his talk, Professor Gavin Jones argues that nothing could be farther from the truth. It was at Stanford that Steinbeck honed his craft in creative writing classes, learned to fuse the arts and sciences in experimental ways, and developed a number of friendships that would shape his literary career. We will discover how Steinbeck’s interest in race and poverty, in marine biology and ecology, and in the fate of humankind on a precarious planet were all inspired by his time on the Farm.

This event is co-sponsored by Stanford Libraries.