Category Archives: The Study

Blog posts for The Study


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…


For more than sixty years Hal Holbrook did a thing that Samuel Clemens did for only about thirty: he took Mark Twain to the stage. I suppose the transformation was more profound on Holbrook’s part than on Clemens’s because, you could argue, in many ways Clemens was Mark Twain and Holbrook absolutely wasn’t. But without getting all ontological here, maybe we can agree that Holbrook and Clemens shared in this moment or process of transformation an intimacy with Mark Twain Read more…


Editor’s Note: This is the second of several posts from members of the Mark Twain Studies community responding to Hal Holbrook’s announcement earlier this week that he would be retiring Mark Twain Tonight! after a nearly 60-year run. What follows is a paper by Mark Dawidziak delivered at CMTS’s quadrennial conference in 2009. Dawidziak is pictured above with Holbrook and Shelley Fisher Fishkin, who yesterday wrote her own appreciation for her longtime friend and colleague. You may prefer to listen to Dawidziak’s presentation, Read more…


In literally thousands of extraordinary performances of his groundbreaking show, “Mark Twain Tonight!,” Hal Holbrook has brought Mark Twain alive for millions of people in the U.S. and around the world for over 60 years. To prepare for his first solo performance as Mark Twain, he researched reviews of Twain’s lecture tours and combed through little-known Twain texts in the Mark Twain Papers at Berkeley. The spectacularly innovative off-Broadway show that he developed ran twenty-two weeks in New York and then Read more…


The quadrennial conference  co-sponsored by the American Humor Studies Association and the Mark Twain Circle of America will be held at Roosevelt University in Chicago from July 12-15, 2018. Please check out the Call for Papers at the conference website for complete information about submissions, registration, accommodations, etc. For the first time in 2018, the Center for Mark Twain Studies is offering a $500 grant to support travel and registration for a graduate student or emerging scholar presenting at the conference. The Read more…


Editor’s Note: CMTS is proud to partner with the Mark Twain Forum, which has long been a leading venue for reviews of new publications in Mark Twain Studies. Visit their extensive archive. Follow the link at the bottom of the page to read the complete review. A portion of Amazon purchases made via links from Mark Twain Forum Book Reviews is donated to the Mark Twain Project.  The Introspective Art of Mark Twain. Douglas Anderson. Bloomsbury, 2017. Pp. 278. Hardcover. $120.00. ISBN Read more…


Yesterday, Los Angeles Review of Books published a piece I’ve been working on intermittently since the Amazon-Whole Foods merger was announced in mid-June. Please check it out. One of the implicit theses of the essay is that Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is to President Trump what Standard Oil’s John D. Rockefeller was to President Roosevelt. Vice President Pence endorsed at least one half of the analogy, as he explicitly compared his running mate to Roosevelt a couple weeks ago. While Pence characterizes Read more…


Editor’s Note: CMTS is proud to partner with the Mark Twain Forum, which has long been a leading venue for reviews of new publications in Mark Twain Studies. Visit their extensive archive. Follow the link at the bottom of the page to read the complete review. A portion of Amazon purchases made via links from Mark Twain Forum Book Reviews is donated to the Mark Twain Project.  The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine. By Mark Twain and Philip Stead. Illustrations by Erin Stead. Read more…


Editor’s Note: Earlier this month, Jennifer L. Lieberman, Assistant Professor of English at University of North Florida, was part of the “Twain, Technology, & Industry” panel at the 8th International Conference on the State of Mark Twain Studies. Her first book, Power Lines, was published by MIT Press in July. A cultural history of electricity in the U.S. from 1882 to 1952, Power Lines provides an important prologue to 21st-century debates about the social, ethical, and conceptual consequences of technological innovation and scientific progress. Currently available in hardcover Read more…


Editor’s Note: David Ketterer is an Honorary Research Fellow at University of Liverpool and an Emeritus Professor of English at Concordia University. He has an extensive record of scholarship on American Literature and Science Fiction, notably New Worlds for Old: The Apocalyptic Imagination, Science Fiction, & American Literature (1974) and The Science Fiction of Mark Twain (1984). His most recent book, a literary biography of John Wyndham, is scheduled for publication in 2018. He has also edited several editions of Wyndham’s works. In anticipation of the August 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…

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