- Message from the President of the International Society of Steinbeck Scholars
Following nomination and election at the "Steinbeck and the Twenty-First Century" conference, held May 1–3, 2019, at the Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies at San José State University, I assumed office as the president of the International Society of Steinbeck Scholars (formerly the John Steinbeck Society of America). Now, when the duty of leadership lies on me, such an occasion seems to be a proper moment to thank the Executive Committee of the Society for granting me this honorable position. Feeling a huge weight of responsibility to preserve and continue the faithful and fruitful work of previous presidents and members of the Society, I will do my best to follow the main orientation outlined by my immediate predecessor, Luchen Li, and Mimi Gladstein before him. I believe that their ideas and approach gave the Society a new openness and brought new vigor to its activities. Therefore, I intend to take the same route and strive for the same objectives. These include engaging scholars of other academic disciplines whose academic interests overlap the Steinbeck scholarship, offering assistance to graduate students interested in Steinbeck's work, seeking possibilities of enriching K–12 curriculum with Steinbeck readings, organizing Steinbeck panels at conferences sponsored by some other professional organizations, and—in cooperation with the Center—organizing the next Steinbeck conference. I will also endeavor to keep and further encourage strong bonds and good cooperation with the John Steinbeck Society of Japan, given that combining of our knowledge and efforts has already proved to be mutually beneficial. To meet these aims and to ensure that the Society will continue to thrive, I humbly request the officers, members and supporters of the Society, the staff of the Center and its current director, Nicholas P. Taylor in particular, for guidance and cooperation. [End Page 135]
Likewise, it is also my wish that the many scholars who have so diligently contributed their work to Steinbeck Review, successfully edited by Barbara A. Heavilin and her editorial board, will continue to enrich the journal with their articles and book reviews, so that it will remain a major milepost in documenting, advancing, and disseminating Steinbeck scholarship. This can be the best reward given to the writer who made a significant contribution to the perception of the problems of his time and whose works continue to reflect, highlight and lobby, in their own mysterious ways, for a rethinking of the world we live in. [End Page 136]
danica ČerČe is President of the International Society of Steinbeck Scholars.