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LIT 120 — John Steinbeck for Our Time (CANCELLED)

Quarter: Summer
Day(s): Mondays
Course Format: On-campus
Duration: 8 weeks
Date(s): Jun 25—Aug 13
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm
Drop Deadline: Jul 8
Unit: 1
Tuition: $395
Instructor(s): Joyce Moser
Status: Cancelled
7:00—8:50 pm
Jun 25—Aug 13
8 weeks
Drop By
Jul 8
1 Unit
Joyce Moser
This course is an exploration of John Steinbeck—novelist, journalist, ecologist, war reporter, screenwriter, Nobel Prize winner, and Stanford dropout. Unlike Hemingway, Chandler, and E.E. Cummings, Steinbeck was fortunately born too late for World War I, and lucky to grow up learning about the wildlife and natural beauty of the Salinas Valley and the tide pools of Pacific Grove. Those two places are the inspirations for his later works and the characters who populate them. During this course, we will engage with Of Mice and Men, both the novel and the film; excerpts from The Sea of Cortez, the scientific journey through Baja California that is now a bible to marine scientists; the great short story “The Chrysanthemums”; Cannery Row, a novel drawn from Steinbeck’s empathy for the lost souls who lived there, his friendship with Ed Ricketts, and the source of some of his most beautiful writing; East of Eden, an extraordinary work that grew out of Steinbeck’s ugly divorce, biblical myths, and family history; and Travels with Charley in Search of America, his irresistible trip with his dog across the United States in the 1960s, before he won the Nobel Prize. By the end of the course, students will come away with greater appreciation for this varied and adventurous American writer.

Joyce Moser, Associate Director, Undergraduate Advising and Research

Joyce Moser has taught at Stanford since 1988. Her research interests center on American literature from 1870 to 1940, particularly California writing, detective fiction, and Jewish American literature. She received a PhD in English and humanities from Stanford.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Steinbeck, East of Eden (ISBN 978-0142000656)
(Required) Steinbeck, Cannery Row (ISBN 978-0142000687)
(Required) Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men (ISBN 978-0142000670)
(Required) Steinbeck, Travels with Charley In Search of America (ISBN 978-0142000700)