Author Archives: Joe Lemak


The Center for Mark Twain Studies is pleased to present the 2018 Class of Quarry Farm Fellows!  The application for the 2019 Quarry Farm Fellowships can be found by clicking here.   Courtney Bates, University of Findlay Sponsor: Tracy Wuster, University of Texas Austin Courtney Bates is an Assistant Professor of English and Director of the Writing Center at The University of Findlay.  She is currently working on a book project on Twain’s correspondence with his readers, which expands her Read more…


As we usher in the the new year and look back on the previous one, the staff of CMTS try to balance our traditional ways of communicating with you, while also keeping up with the dizzying advances in technology.  We will continue to publish our “Dear Friends” newsletter and make sure to mail it to all those who have graciously supported our mission to promote Mark Twain Studies and preserve Quarry Farm as a scholar’s retreat.  If you ever want to join Read more…


If you wish to donate, click the “Donate” button on the upper right corner of the main page. Dear Friends, Thanks to your past support of the Center for Mark Twain Studies, we’ve been able to achieve important goals for the Mark Twain Studies academic community on an international and local level. Please know that none of these achievements would have been possible without the support of our “Dear Friends,” members just like you. That’s why we are asking you Read more…


The fall portion of the 2017-2018 The Trouble Begins Lecture Series, presented by the Center for Mark Twain Studies, concludes Wednesday, November 1 at 7:00 p.m., in Peterson Chapel, Cowles Hall on the Elmira College campus. The lecture will be followed by a book sale and author signing. Author and professor of English, Harold K. Bush will present the final fall lecture, “Collecting Mark Twain: Obsessions over the Great Authors and The Hemingway Files.”  According to Bush, obsession is frequently an overlooked Read more…


The fall portion of the 2017-2018 The Trouble Begins Lecture Series, presented by the Center for Mark Twain Studies, continues Wednesday, October 18 at 7:00 p.m. in the Barn at Quarry Farm. The lecture, “Mark Twain and the Narrative Magic of Medieval Literacy Spunk-Water Stumps” will be presented by Liam Purdon from Doane University. While much instructive scholarship has been published treating Mark Twain’s interest in and use of Malory’s Le Morte D’Arthur as predecessor text for A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, his Read more…


The fall portion of the 2017-2018 The Trouble Begins Lecture Series, presented by the Center for Mark Twain Studies, continues Wednesday, October 11 at 7:00 p.m. in the Barn at Quarry Farm, with a lecture that explores the “boy-inventor publishing explosion” of the late 1800s. The lecture, “Mark Twain and the Inventor Fiction Boom: Technology Meets American Conceit, 1876-1910” will be presented by Nathaniel Williams, from the University of California, Davis. In Tom Sawyer Abroad (1894), Mark Twain sends his most famous characters – Read more…


On Wednesday, October 4, The Trouble Begins Lecture Series presented by the Center for Mark Twain Studies is going to the dogs (and cats). The first lecture, which begins at 7:00 p.m. in Cowles Hall at Elmira College, focuses on Twain’s portrayal of animal voices and early interest in animal rights. The lecture titled, “‘That heart-breaking bitch’: Aileen Mavourneen & the Transatlantic Anti-Vivisection Movement” will be presented by Emily E. VanDette, associate professor of English with the State University of New York at Fredonia. Read more…


The Center for Mark Twain Studies is sponsoring two competitions: The 25th Annual Mark Twain Writing Contest & The 2nd Annual “Portraying Mark Twain” Art Competition. Both contests are open to all Elmira College students.  The Mark Twain Writing Contest solicits excellent student writing related to Mark Twain, his life, works, and times. Academic essays and creative writing are both strongly encouraged. All submissions should be typed, double-spaced, and formatted according to MLA style. A submission length of 1000-1500 words is Read more…


The fall portion of the 2017-2018 The Trouble Begins Lecture Series presented by the Center for Mark Twain Studies features four lectures, with the first event set for Wednesday, October 4 in Cowles Hall at Elmira College.  All four lectures begin at 7:00 p.m., and are free and open to the public. In 1985, the Elmira College Center for Mark Twain Studies inaugurated The Trouble Begins lecture series. The title comes from a handbill advertising Mark Twain’s October 2, 1866 lecture presented at Maguire’s Academy of Music in San Read more…


At the 8th International Conference on the State of Mark Twain Studies, the Center for Mark Twain Studies at Elmira College presented the John Tuckey Award to Shelley Fisher Fishkin. The Tuckey Award was established in 1991 and is given every four years “in recognition of lifetime achievements and contributions to Mark Twain Studies.” Dr. Fishkin is part of the faculty at Stanford University, where she is the Joseph S. Atha Professor of Humanities and Director of American Studies, as Read more…


The Henry Nash Smith Award is given to a Twain scholar who has demonstrated exemplary service to the Center for Mark Twain Studies.  During Elmira 2017: The Eighth International Conference on the State of Mark Twain Studies, the Henry Nash Smith Award was given to Dr. Barbara Snedecor. Dr. Snedecor earned her PhD while working full-time at Elmira College as a Writing Lecturer, Associate Director of the Writing Program, ESL Director, and then Director for the Center for Mark Twain Read more…


The CMTS staff is looking forward to welcoming everyone attending Elmira 2017: the Eighth International Conference on the State of Mark Twain Studies. While the conference has garnered a reputation for stimulating conversations and erudite papers, it is also known for producing a pretty good time.  In this “spirit,” CMTS has partnered with Finger Lakes Distilling and is offering a limited edition, single barrel bourbon whiskey for purchase on Friday night and Saturday night.  A number of their other fine Read more…

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