Steinbeck Review Expands Scope, Issues Call for Papers

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Steinbeck Review, recently honored by listing in the international database Scopus, has expanded its purpose to specify that articles submitted for publication not only delight and instruct (à la Horace), but also illuminate issues, including the themes and problems treated in John Steinbeck’s work. This policy change reflects Steinbeck’s concern for truth and enlightenment, as well as for compassion and magnanimity, in books that warned readers of moral decline—and potential demise—in the America that Steinbeck loved. The subject of America and Americans preoccupied the writing of his final decade, and The Winter of Our Discontent, his last novel, acknowledged this didactic purpose: “Readers seeking to identify the fictional people and places here described would do better to inspect their own communities and search their own hearts, for this book is about a large part of America today.”

How to Submit Papers for the Spring 2018 Issue

In addition to more traditional scholarly articles, Steinbeck Review invites the submission of papers for the Spring 2018 issue that reflect John Steinbeck’s continued relevance for our time. All critical and theoretical approaches are welcome, as are essays focused on women’s and gender studies, rhetorical concerns, ecology and the environment, international appeal, and comparative studies. Poetry submitted for publication should deal with themes or places associated with Steinbeck’s life and work. Submit papers before January 15, 2018 through the journal’s automated online submission and peer review system at the Pennsylvania State University Press.

Barbara A. Heavilin About Barbara A. Heavilin

Barbara A. Heavilin, Professor Emeritus of English at Taylor University, is the editor in chief of Steinbeck Review, co-editor of The Quaker Presence in America, and the author of books and essays of literary criticism on John Steinbeck. A recipient of the Pruis Award for outstanding contributions to John Steinbeck studies, she has also written articles about Margaret Fell Fox, William Wordsworth, and James Thurber, among others. Her most recent book, Critical Insights: Of Mice and Men, will be released by Grey House Publishing in 2017. Her newest project is a book about John Steinbeck's epic trilogy.


  1. Let’s hope that professor Heavlin’s call for delightful, instructive and critical papers will elicit her publication’s first serious, substantive and honest academic assessment of the fiction and fibs that Steinbeck and his editors at The Viking Press slyly slipped into “Travels With Charley,” and then sold and marketed to the world as an honest work of nonfiction. A good place for an aspiring grad student to start is “Dogging Steinbeck,” my deliberately non-academic, meticulously journalistic and proudly footnote-free “expose” of the heavy fictional content of “Travels” — plus what an ex-libertarian newspaper columnist (me) thinks about the great man’s partisan Cold War-liberal politics, his laudable individualism and his not-always perfect search for the truth, literary and otherwise. (I’ll be happy to share the disturbing stuff I learned when I read the first draft of “Travels” at the Morgan Library and carefully retraced his 10,000-mile 1960 road trip in 2010. An accurate-as-humanly-possible timeline/travel-line of Steinbeck’s high-speed circumnavigation of America, including many photos of the grand hotels and fine homes he stayed at, can be found for free at

    • For more, read Bill’s comment on Carl Trueman’s recent post about the church-going episode in ‘Travels with Charley.’ I added this to the discussion: Travels with Charley is now read as a work of creative nonfiction in which Steinbeck made up characters, episodes, and encounters to illustrate a point. To my knowledge, the ‘John Knox Presbyterian church’ he says he visited in Vermont hasn’t been identified, but his maternal grandparents were poor Scots-Irish immigrants and there’s a story in Salinas about his Grandfather Hamilton, a main character in East of Eden, falling asleep and out of the pew of the local Presbyterian church, some years before Steinbeck was born. A nominal Episcopalian, Steinbeck confided to his physician shortly before he died that he didn’t believe in an afterlife. But he knew his Bible and he understood sin. I think that’s the point he’s making by contrast in Travels with Charley, a book with a dark view of an America gone wrong that has taken on a second life with editors and writers since the election of Donald Trump. See for examples of Steinbeck’s writing on religion and the book’s continued relevance to issues like the one raised by Carl Trueman.

  2. Delighted to hear …both instructive and inspirational.

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