Grapes of Wrath Symposium

Sasha Abramsky

As our upcoming production of The Grapes of Wrath celebrates the 75th anniversary of the publication of Steinbeck’s novel, we will be hosting a symposium on Friday, March 7, to explore the work directly as well as the larger social, cultural and historical issues it raises.

Participating UC Davis scholars and historians include Sasha Abramsky, author of “The American Way of Poverty: How the Other Half Still Lives” (one of the New York Times 100 Most Notable Books of 2013), who is a freelance journalist and part-time lecturer in the University Writing Program and research affiliate with UCD’s Center for Poverty Research.

Eric Rauchway, Professor of History is discussing the Great Depression as a background context, Matthew Stratton, Assistant Professor of English, will be talking about changes between the play and the novel, and W. Scott McLean, lecturer in Comparative Literature, will be talking about how some of Steinbeck’s issue influenced later song writers. Kathy Olmsted, Professor of History, is talking about labor politics in the 1930s in relation to Steinbeck.

The symposium, open to the public and free-of-charge, will be held in Lab A, Wright Hall.

10:30-12 noon   The New Dust Bowl — U.S.SW, and Rural Poverty Policies                                                                                                    

Sasha Abramsky, author, journalist, University Writing Program lecturer and Center for Poverty Research affiliate  

Marianne Page, Professor of Economics and Deputy Director of the Center for Poverty Research                                                  

1:30-3 p.m.  Cultural Aspects of The Grapes of Wrath: Song and Novel       

Eric Rauchway, Professor of History                                                           Matthew Stratton, Assistant Professor of English                                            W. Scott McLean, Lecturer in Comparative Literature

3:15-4:30 p.m.  Current Rural Poverty with 1930s Comparison

Law Professor Lisa Pruitt

Philip Martin, Professor in UC Comparative Immigration & Integration Program and Editor, Migration News and Rural Migration News

4:30-5:45 p.m.  1930’s Labor History                                                               

Kathy Olmsted, Professor of History

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