Quadrennial Conference


Since 1989, the Center for Mark Twain Studies has hosted quadrennial conferences devoted to advancing and exploring the State of Mark Twain Studies. The Conference takes place on the Elmira College campus and at Quarry Farm. Several hundred scholars and enthusiasts from around the globe gather to study and celebrate the life of Sam Clemens and the literature of Mark Twain.


Elmira 2017, the Eighth International Conference on the State of Mark Twain Studies, will convene at Elmira College this August 3rd through 5th, 2017. The Conference will commemorate the 150th anniversary of Sam Clemens’ participation in the famous Quaker City Tour to Europe and the Middle East. In addition, the Conference acknowledges the sweeping and ongoing importance of Mark Twain’s satirical writings with its theme: The Assault of Laughter.

More than 50 scholarly papers will be presented over three days prepared by Mark Twain scholars from around the world. Ben Tarnoff, author of The Bohemians: Mark Twain and the San Francisco Writers Who Reinvented American Literature, will give the keynote address. Aaron and Adam Nee, co-authors, co-directors, and actors, within the movie “Band of Robbers” will give a screening of their film with a Q&A to follow. “Band of Robbers” re-imagines the characters Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn in contemporary times.


A current Twain scholarship book sale, special whiskey and spirit tastings from Finger Lakes Distillery, special dinners, and a Closing Picnic at Quarry Farm will round out the 2017 conference.


Make sure to check out the conference program “Odds and Ends” section to help with your arrival, your stay at Elmira College, and your departure.