The 2018 Mark Twain Lecture Series, hosted by the Chemung County Historical Society and the Center for Mark Twain Studies, continues on Thursday, August 16 at the Chemung Valley Museum (415 East Water St., Elmira).  The lecture begins at 7:00 p.m., and is free and open to the public. “Through the Lens of the Langdons: Capturing Elmira, 1889-1891” Nathaniel Ball, Elmira College George Eastman’s invention of the Kodak Series 540 in 1888, whose slogan simply stated, “you push a button, we do Read more…


EDITOR’S NOTE: For the first time, in 2018, we welcomed undergraduates interested in American Literature and Mark Twain to apply for a modified Quarry Farm Fellowship, which included a short stay at Quarry Farm to support a research or writing project. Our first recipients were Mona Beydoun and Samantha DeRosia. Samantha graduated from Eastern Michigan University this past year, while Mona will begin her senior year at EMU in the Fall. The project they are collaborating on involves Band of Robbers, a 2015 Read more…


The 2018 Mark Twain Lecture Series, hosted by the Chemung County Historical Society and the Center for Mark Twain Studies, begins on Thursday, August 9 at the Chemung Valley Museum (415 East Water St., Elmira).  The lecture begins at 7:00 p.m., and is free and open to the public. “‘Well, ain’t you innocent!’: Mark Twain’s Attack on the American Adam” M.M. Dawley, Boston University The trope of the innocent, who reveals cultural absurdities through his seemingly foolish observations, dates back to Read more…


The 2018 Humor in America Conference at Roosevelt University in Chicago included the world premiere of “Waiting For Susy,” a one-act play by Bruce Michelson. “Waiting for Susy” is set in Rouen in September of 1894, at a moment when Twain and his family were living in France, trying to save money and preparing for the global lecture tour which would begin the next summer. During the same year, Monet finished his famous Rouen Cathedral series and was, similarly, preparing to relocate Read more…


CALL FOR PAPERS SPECIAL ISSUE: MARK TWAIN AND THE NATURAL WORLD   The Mark Twain Annual is seeking article-length submissions that examine aspects of Twain’s work that comment on the relation between human beings and the natural world. This broad scope allows for critical examinations of Twain’s writing about the natural world in any number of ways: as nature writing; as a form of environmentalism; as commentary on animal welfare, technology and science, and travel; and as a forerunner to Read more…


The quadrennial Humor in America conference, co-sponsored by the American Humor Studies Association and the Mark Twain Circle of America, took place earlier this month on the campus of Roosevelt University in Chicago. The Center for Mark Twain Studies was also pleased to offer an award to supplement travel costs to the conference for five graduate students and emerging scholars. Among the three days of panels and plenaries, many of which touched on the work of Twain and his contemporaries, was Read more…


Hunan Normal University, a higher education institution serving over 30,000 students in Changsha, China, recently launched The Journal of Foreign Languages and Cultures, a peer-reviewed, open-access academic journal targeted at a broadly interdisciplinary and international audience. Each issue of the journal will be published in both English and Mandarin, and the editorial board includes scholars from nine countries on three continents. Among the fifteen articles in the opening issue, there are analyses of Chinese novelist, Zhongshu Qian, and Trinidadian critic, C. L. R. Read more…


The seed of what eventually became Mark Twain among the Indians and Other Indigenous Peoples, published last month by the University of California Press, was planted—quite by coincidence—long ago in Elmira. The year was 1986 and I was a freshly-minted Ph.D. (with a specialization in modern American poetry), hired on as an assistant professor at Elmira College. One day, out of the blue, I got a phone call from Dr. Herb Wisbey, a member of the College’s History Department and—as Read more…


The 2018 Park Church Lecture Series, hosted by the Center for Mark Twain Studies, concludes Wednesday, July 11 in the historic and cultural landmark, The Park Church, 208 W. Gray Street, Elmira.  The lecture begins at 7:00 p.m., and is free and open to the public. “Mark Twain and The Native Other” Kerry Driscoll, University of St. Joseph In his 1899 essay “Concerning the Jews,” Twain states: I am quite sure that (bar one) I have no race prejudices, and I think Read more…


“His outlook upon the world and its affairs was as wide as the horizon, and his speech was of a dignity and eloquence proper to it. He dealt in no commonplaces, for he had not commonplace thoughts. He was a kindly man, and most lovable. He was not a petty politician, but a great and magnanimous statesman. He did not serve his country alone, but China as well. He held the balances even. He wrought for justice and humanity. All Read more…


Here is the story of a 15′ x 11’6” Mahal Carpet once belonging to the Langdon family, how it came to me, and how it was restored through the generosity of Charlotte and Leo Landhuis. In 1988, I was cleaning and restoring carpets for Elmira College. A former employee of the College was volunteering at Quarry Farm and asked if I would offer any advice on the rugs and carpets in the main house.  Among the rugs that I reviewed Read more…


During the 2017-2018 academic year, The Center for Mark Twain Studies sponsored a creative writing contest for area students in grades 2-6, encouraging students to explore Mark Twain’s legacy and the importance of the Langdon family in Elmira and the Twin Tiers. While staying at Quarry Farm, Mark Twain encouraged his children to create and tell their own stories based off the tiles adorning the parlor fireplace. The 24 tiles around the fireplace depict fables written by ancient Greek storyteller, Read more…

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