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John Steinbeck and the Environment: Complete Video

ArtsWest Great Writers of the West Symposium
May 18, 2017

Presentations from the ArtsWest symposium at Stanford University: The world seemed on the brink of catastrophe when John Steinbeck published The Grapes of Wrath in 1939. Today we are confronted with our own cataclysmic moment in time. Steinbeck’s compassionate explorations of inequality, poverty-induced human migration, and environmental degradation yield insights we are at pains to grasp. As perhaps no other novelist before or since, Steinbeck had a fundamental ecological awareness. He shows us that people are not separate from the land on which we tread, and in fact share a common fate.

The symposium was organized by the Bill Lane Center for the American West's ArtsWest program, in association with the Stanford University Libraries and the Stanford American Studies Program.

Read a recap of the symposium: ‘The Ecology of Humans:’ Scholars Discuss Steinbeck’s Environmental Legacy

Held May 10, 2017 at Stanford University

Select a Speaker

  •   Introduction, Bruce E. Cain, Bill Lane Center for the American West (0:00) cue video    
  •   “Living Steinbeck,” Valentin Lopez, Amah Mutsun Tribal Band (3:31) cue video    
  •   “The Ecology of Humans,” William Souder (13:55) cue video    
  •   “‘We Ain't Foreign:’ Race, Land, and Nation in Steinbeck‘s Grapes of Wrath,” Sarah Wald, University of Oregon (33:17) cue video    
  •   “Animal, Vegetable, Mineral,” Gavin Jones, Stanford University (57:25) cue video    
  •   “The Sea of Cortez and the ‘Toto Picture,’” Mary Ellen Hannibal (1:15:46) cue video    
  •   “Steinbeck’s Holism,” Susan Shillinglaw, National Steinbeck Center (1:41:49) cue video