Alan Wald, “Red Steinbeck: The Counter-History of a Literary Classic”

Thursday, April 4 @ 4pm, Austin 217

History is the error we are eternally revising. Few decades cry out as urgently for literary reconstruction as the 1930s and its aftermath. How does one recover a forgotten frame of mind when authors such as John Steinbeck, nowadays depicted as a liberal individualist, had a complicated but genuine relationship with Communist political commitment? What overlooked archives can help explain the alchemy behind the anti-capitalist, anti-fascist radicalism and creative imagination that produced works such as such as The Grapes of Wrath? What are the methods required to redeem the presence of this past?

Alan Wald is Professor Emeritus at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

This talk is sponsored by American Studies and the Department of English.