Lecture Description

Simon’s lecture looks at the legacy of Steinbeck’s fiction, the Great Depression, and the Dust Bowl. In particular, it explores how a succession of musicians and artists from Woody Guthrie to Bruce Springsteen to Steve Earle to Rage Against the Machine use the fictional experiences on the road and in the labor camps of the enduring Steinbeck character — the scrappy everyman, Joad — to comment on their present and the problems on their own times. As a bigger take-away, my talk suggests that Joad and the Dust Bowl are part in a greater, though not always recognized, American political tradition of community and cooperation. This talk is suitable for wider public audiences with its focus on popular figures and sounds.


Print Culture Social and Cultural

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