The 35th annual Steinbeck Festival takes place May 6 – 8, 2016 at the National Steinbeck Center. The theme is “From Salinas to Sea of Cortez: Steinbeck on Land and Sea,” honoring the 75th anniversary of Sea of Cortez, published in 1941. This year’s festival features 30 minute “Jon” talks followed by panel discussions.
On Saturday, the Festival features the first annual Steinbeck Home/Beer Fest from 12-5, sponsored by the Steinbeck Rotary. Beer tasting dinner at the Steinbeck House Friday night is a Rotary fundraiser–Saturday night a NSC fundraiser, 5:30-8 both nights! This is a triple play for Steinbeck in Salinas.
PRELIMINARY SCHEDULE (schedule subject to change)
Friday, May 6: Steinbeck on Land
“Salinas had a destiny beyond other towns. The rich black land was one thing, but the high gray fog and coolish to cold weather which gave it a lousy climate created the greatest lettuce in the world, several crops a year and at a time when no other lettuce in the United States matured. The town named itself The Salad Bowl of the World…” JS
8:30-9:30: Early risers historic walking tour, East of Eden on Main Street.
9:00: Susan Shillinglaw, “Steinbeck and the Land: Ecological Reflections,” Director of the NSC and Professor at San Jose State University.
9:30: William Souder, “Why Steinbeck, Why Now? A Biographer New on the Scene Explains his Thinking,” William Souder discusses his new Steinbeck biography, to be published by Norton in 2019.
10:15-11:00: Breakout session: Susan Shillinglaw and William Souder on Steinbeck
11:15: Film: Greg Zeigler, “Steinbeck Country,” California leg of Travels with Charley.
11:45-12:45: Historic walking tour, East of Eden on Main Street
11:45-1:15: Taco lunch at NSC patio (included in 3-day Festival pass)
1:00: FILM: Eric Palmer “Japanese Flower Growers,” He will be joined by Ann Jordan. Eric Palmer is a local filmmaker and Anna Jordan teaches Japanese langauge classes at Los Gatos High School. This presentation is organized by the Salinas Valley JACL.
1:45: Jean Vengua: “Filipino Newspapers and the Juan Steinbeck Poetry Society.” Dr. Vengua is co-chair of the Asian Cultural Experience in Salinas.
2:15-3:00: Panel discussion on Asian communities in Salinas: Eric Palmer, Anna Jordan, and Jean Vengua
3:00: Sergio Chavez, “The Occupational Careers of Ex-Braceros in the Tijuana-San Diego Borderlands,” Sergio Chavez is an Assistant Professor in Sociology at Rice University and author of Border Lives, Oxford UP (2016).
3:30 Film: Ignacio Ornelas Rodriguez, “Searching for the Braceros Legacy: A New American Encounter for a Place in History.” Ignacio Ornelas Rodriguez works at Stanford University Special Collections and University Archives.
4:00: Photographs: Daniel Ruanova, “The Bracero Art Project, Photographs from the Ernesto Galarza Collection at Stanford University.”
4:00-4:45: Panel discussion on Braceros: Sergio Chavez, Ignacio Rodriguez, and Daniel Ruanova.
4:00-6:30: Sunset Red Pony Ranch tour
5:00-6:00: Travels with Charley documentary by Lee Mendelson.
5:00-6:00: Historic walking tour, East of Eden on Main Street
7:00: Banquet, Songs from Cannery Row and surprise evening event, TBA
Saturday, May 7: Steinbeck and the Sea
“Nights at anchor in the Gulf are quiet and strange. The water is smooth, almost solid, and the dew is so heavy that the decks are soaked. The little waves rasp on the shell beaches with a hissing sound, and all about in the darkness the fishes jump and splash. (SOC)
9:00: Robert DeMott, “Of Fish and Men: Steinbeck, Fishing and Me,” Robert DeMott is the Edwin and Ruth Kennedy Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English, Ohio University.
9:30: John Gregg “Restoring the Western Flyer,” John Gregg is President of Gregg Drilling and Testing
10:00: Katie Rodger “Ed Ricketts, ‘Wave Shock,’ and the Ecology of a Science Writer” Lecturer, University of California, Davis
10:30: Mary Ellen Hannibal “Annus Mirabilis: When Steinbeck, Ricketts, and Campbell were Young,” Mary Ellen Hannibal is author of the forthcoming book, Citizen Scientists: Searching for Heroes and Hope in an age of Extinction (The Experiment/Workman Publishing, 2016).
11:00-12:00: Panel discussion on Ed Ricketts, Citizen Science and the Western Flyer
12:00 Archives Tour with Lisa Josephs
12:00-2:00: Purchase lunch on Main! Enjoy the Steinbeck Home Beer Fest
12:30: “Craft Beer 101”
1:00: William Gilly “Retracing Sea of Cortez, 2004.” William Gilly is a Professor of Biology at Stanford University.
2:00: Harold Augenbraum: “Translating Culture: Mexican America and Steinbeck’s Pearl.” Harold Augenbraum co-directed the 2002 Steinbeck Centennial; he just finished a twelve-year tenure as Executive Director of the National Book Foundation, presenter of the National Book Awards. In the fall of this year, he will be a Visiting Fellow at Yale University.
3:00: David Dennis, “Surfboards from 11th Street, PG floorboards,” Complete with props and surfboards, David Dennis, co-founder of Ventana Surfboards & Supplies, will be discussing the intersection of the Steinbeck Pacific Grove cottage, local history, sustainable business, and surfing.
4:00: Historic Walking Tour, West of Main Street and First Mayor’s House with Carol Robles.
4:00 Archives Tour with Lisa Josephs
6:00 : Fund raising dinner at the Steinbeck House, benefiting the NSC, limited seating for 50.
Sunday, May 8: Teaching Steinbeck, Experiencing Steinbeck Country
8:30-1:30: Ag Tour, Vearl Gish. Meet in front of Steinbeck Center at 8:15.
10:00-11:30: “The Search for Common Ground: Place and Identity in the classroom,” Chad Redwing, Jenni Abbott, Eva Mo, Flora Carter and Bill Anelli from Modesto Community College, recipients of an NEH grant, “Common Ground in the Central Valley.”
11:30-12:15: Pete Barraza, “Teaching Jazz and Cannery Row” Pete Barazza teaches English at Santa Monica High School and was founder of the California Literature class, which toured CA each year.
12:15-1:00: “Mothers and children in Japanese Internment in the classroom” Brown bag discussion
1:00-1:30: Sharing curriculum on the NSC Website
2:00-4:00: Tours of Ricketts’s Lab (meet at the Lab on Cannery Row for 1 hour tours at 2:00 or 3:00)
1:30: Whale watching tour with marine scientist. Meet at Monterey wharf–details follow.
Please reserve a hotel room by April 15:
Holiday Inn Express
195 Kern St., Salinas, CA 93901
Reserve by April 15 for a rate of $99.00 per night (+taxes) for either a standard king or standard 2 queens. (Mention “Steinbeck Festival 16” for discounted rates.) Conference guests can upgrade to king suite for an additional $10.00, a 2 queen suite for an additional $20.00.
anquet, Songs from Cannery Row and surprise evening event, TBA