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  • Announcements

The International Society of Steinbeck Scholars Announces
an international conference

John Steinbeck as an International Writer
May 4–6, 2016

At the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Library, San José State University
Sponsored by the Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies

In a 1946 letter, John Steinbeck described arriving in Denmark to find “thirty cameramen with flashlights…! I didn’t know anyone treated writers like this.” He later observed that Denmark was the only country in the world to keep all his books in print. Meanwhile, on the other side of the globe, the John Steinbeck Society of Japan boasts one of the strongest memberships of any foreign author society dedicated to an American author, with annual conferences and a peer-edited scholarly journal. If any twentieth-century American author can be considered an “international” writer, it is Steinbeck.

The International Society of Steinbeck Scholars (formerly the John Steinbeck Society of America) invites conference papers that examine Steinbeck as an international/translational writer. Contributions are welcome from a wide variety of theoretical applications, such as Steinbeck’s connections to world literature and world thought—for example, Classical Greek and Roman, Eastern, and twentieth-century Russian. How has Steinbeck adapted not only themes, but also aesthetic choices and narrative strategies? Other topics are welcome as well: deep ecology, power and subjugation, the concept of democracy and America, ethics and philosophy, gender studies. Those wishing to present proposals for presentation can submit them online from August 2015 to March 2016 at Presenters will be asked to sign a release form so that papers may be considered for publication in Steinbeck Review. [End Page 215] If you are unable to attend the conference in person, virtual registrations are also available which allow you to submit a paper for refereeing and possible publication in this fully refereed academic journal.

Conference Directors
Nicholas P. Taylor, Director, Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies
Tom Barden, Professor Emeritus, University of Toledo
Barbara A. Heavilin, Editor in Chief, Steinbeck Review

Conference Steering Committee
Danica Čerče, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Chuck Etheridge, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
Mimi Gladstein, University of Texas, El Paso
Luchen Li, University of New Hampshire [End Page 216]

Passing of Dr. Yuji Kami

With great sadness, the John Steinbeck Society of Japan reported in June the passing of Dr. Yuji Kami from cancer at 63 years old. Dr. Kami, a professor of American Literature at Soka University, Tokyo, was an active member of the JSSOJ, serving most recently as Director of International Affairs. Dr. Luchen Li, President of the International Society of Steinbeck Scholars, remembers Dr. Kami as “a personable, thoughtful, and friendly colleague, who made great contributions to build on the relationship between the John Steinbeck Society of Japan and the International Society of Steinbeck Scholars; we’ll miss him in the Steinbeck circle.”

As one of Japan’s most widely-respected Steinbeck scholars, Dr. Kami co-translated Travels with Charley: In Search of America and co-authored Sutainbekku wo Yominaosu (Re-reading Steinbeck) and Sutainbekku –Seitan Hyakunen Kinen Ronbunsyu (Steinbeck: A Centennial Collection of Critical Essays). He also published widely in America. His essay tracing the influence of Whitman on Steinbeck appeared in the 2007 volume Steinbeck and His Contemporaries, edited by Stephen K. George and Barbara A. Heavilin. In 2012 he contributed a chapter, “A Paradoxical World in East of Eden: The Theory of Free Will and the Heritage of Puritanism,” to East of Eden: New and Recent Essays, edited by Michael J. Meyer and Henry Veggian. In 2013, Dr. Kami attended the international Steinbeck conference at San José State, where he presented a paper entitled “Steinbeck’s Naturalistic Creed: Focusing on Of Mice and Men.” His most recent article in Steinbeck Review, “Steinbeck’s View of Man and Nature in Travels with Charley: In Search of America” appeared in Vol. 2, No. 1 (Spring 2005).

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Fig. 1.

Dr. Yuji Kami at the 2013 Steinbeck Conference in San José/

Courtesy of the Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies.

[End Page 217]

Steinbeck Research Fund Honors John Ditsky

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