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Jack London: Apostle of the American West

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Note: This event is currently at capacity. Registered attendees will be admitted according to the space available on a first-come, first-served basis.

A Centennial Celebration, Symposium, and Exhibition at Stanford

Jack London (January 12, 1876- November 22, 1916) was a prolific turn of the century author and journalist best known for his adventure novels set in the great American West. His novels, including The Call of the Wild, White Fang, and Martin Eden, placed London among the most celebrated western authors of his time. London was also a leading journalist and an outspoken socialist. He authored about 300 short stories, novels, poems, and articles during his brief 40 years of life.

The symposium will mark the 100th anniversary of his death in 1916 with panel presentations representing three aspects of his life and career:

  • His unique biography;
  • The history and culture during the turn of the century era in the American West;
  • And, capturing the vibrant scholarship and criticism surrounding the man, his legend, life, and creative writings.

London had a deep connection to Stanford even though he briefly attended UC Berkeley. He lectured often at the University about literature, socialism and social justice; was romantically and intellectually involved with a Stanford graduate student (Anna Strunsky Walling, 1877-1964) who remained lifetime friends and colleagues; and the University Press published his letters in 1988 (3 volume set) and London’s complete stories in 1993, to name a few examples.

Exhibition of Objects and Documents

This event will also feature a curated pop-up exhibit made possible by a loan from the private collections of Sarah and Darius Anderson of Sonoma. This special exhibit considers the cult of celebrity surrounding Jack London in the twentieth century, and the hold that he continues to have on the Western imagination. 

Confirmed panelists:

Jeanne C. Reesman, University of Texas at San Antonio, Professor of English
Sara (Sue) Hodson, Huntington Library, Curator of the Jack London Papers
·   Both Reesman and Hodson will be presenting on Jack London and his photojournalism.

Donna M. Campbell, Washington State University, Professor of English
·   Campbell will be presenting on Jack London’s literary influences on the American imagination and his relationship to other western fiction writers.

Peter Blodgett, Huntington Library, Chief Curator of Western Manuscripts
·   Blodgett will be presenting on the history of the late 19th and early 20th centuries in California and the historical and cultural events that shaped Jack London’s literary themes and lifestyle.

Moderated by Professor Bruce Cain, Spence and Cleone Eccles Family Director Bill Lane Center for the American West.

This event is part of the ArtsWest: Great Writers of the West series, a program of the Bill Lane Center for the American West.

September 19th
4:15-6:45 pm

Event Location:
Stanford Faculty Club, Gold Room 
439 Lagunita Drive
Stanford, CA 94305

Parking is free after 4pm at the Stanford Faculty Club's parking lot located at 439 Lagunita Drive on campus.

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