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[Past Event] Steinbeck's Legacy: The Steinbeck Award | Livestream Zoom

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Course Description:

What is the Steinbeck Award? Since 1996, San Jose State’s Center for Steinbeck Studies has been giving the “John Steinbeck Award: ‘In the Souls of the People’” to writers, artists and activists whose work embodies Steinbeck’s commitment to social engagement, the environment and marginalized voices. “In the souls of the people” comes from Chapter 25 of "The Grapes of Wrath," the most incendiary chapter in the book, expressing the writer’s dismay at social injustice.

In this course, we will consider the impact of figures who have received the award, several during Dr. Susan Shillinglaw's tenure as Director: Bruce Springsteen (1996), John Sayles (1998), Arthur Miller (1999), and Joan Baez (2003). Works we’ll discuss include Steinbeck’s "The Harvest Gypsies"; the album "The Ghost of Tom Joad"; two films, "Matewan" and "Lone Star"; one play, "Death of a Salesman"; and selected songs by Joan Baez. We’ll look at why each artist’s social engagement remains urgent and timely.


Tuition: $50.00

Additional Fees: $0.00

Register for this Class


Thursdays, Feb. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 *10:00 a.m. - noon* (5 sessions)


This course will be offered via Livestream Zoom and will NOT be recorded or available for later viewing.


Susan Shillinglaw, Ph.D., is Professor of English Emerita, San José State University, and served as Director of the Center for Steinbeck Studies at SJSU for 18 years.