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[Past Event] Steinbeck and the "Sea of Cortez"

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Course Description:

Join us as we deep dive into the book that was John Steinbeck's favorite, "Sea of Cortez" (1941), whose narrative was re-released as "The Log from the Sea of Cortez" (1951). Together we will explore a unique text that captures Steinbeck and marine biologist Edward F. Ricketts's trip to the Sea of Cortez to collect marine invertebrates as well as their philosophical musings on history, cultures, science, and ecology. We'll consider the friendship between a scientist and a writer and the book's connection to today's world, where the intersection of science and the arts is increasingly vital. We will also examine the work as a groundbreaking ecological study, comparing it to other early ecological texts.

In addition, we'll discuss restoration of the purse seiner chartered for their journey—the "Western Flyer"—its history as a fishing vessel and its future as an educational platform. Participants should acquire "The Log from the Sea of Cortez" prior to the first session.


Tuition: $55.00

Additional Fees: $0.00

Register Myself


Wednesdays, Aug. 28; Sept. 4, 18, 25; Oct. 2
*10:00am - noon* (5 sessions)


CSUMB at Ryan Ranch, 8 Upper Ragsdale Drive, Monterey


Susan Shillinglaw, Ph.D., is a professor of English at San Jose State University and the former director of the National Steinbeck Center. She has published extensively on John Steinbeck.