The Trouble Begins Archives

In 1985, the Elmira College Center for Mark Twain Studies inaugurated The Trouble Begins at Eight 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 Francisco.

The lectures are now held in the Fall and Spring of each year, in the barn at Quarry Farm or at Peterson Chapel in Cowles Hall on Elmira College’s campus.  

twain-park-church
Mark Twain in front of the Park Church, Elmira, New York, 1907

In 2016, CMTS expanded the series, creating the Park Church Summer Lectures Series, located in the Park Church.  Founded in 1846 by a group of abolitionists, The Park Church has been a strong presence in Elmira’s history and some of its congregation were close friends and family members to Mark Twain. Known for its striking architectural features, The Park Church contained Elmira’s first public library and has a long history of charitable service to the Elmira community.

All of these lectures are free and open to the public.

Downloadable Lectures  MORE TO COME!

2017

Spring Trouble Begins Lectures – Series Program

  • Joseph Csicsila, “‘These Hideous Times:’ Mark Twain’s Bankruptcy and the Panic of 1893” (April 26, 2017 – Cowles Hall – Elmira College Campus)
  • Hoi Na Kung, “The Mechanical Woman in Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court” (May 24, 2017 – Quarry Farm Barn)

Summer Park Church Lectures – Series Program

  • Molly Ball, “Twain and The Hawaiian Nation” (June 14, 2017 – Park Church)
  • Sarah Ingle, ““Conjuring the Superstitions of a Nation: Magic, Memory and Huckleberry Finn” (June 21, 2017 – Park Church)
  • John Pascal, “Artemus Ward: The Man Who Made Lincoln Laugh.” (June 28, 2017 – The Park Church)

Chemung County Historical Society Twain Lectures

  • Mark Dawidziak, “Mark Twain and Rod Serling: Moralists in Disguise” (July 13, 2017 – Chemung Valley History Museum)

Elmira 2017: The Eighth International Conference on the State of Mark Twain Studies Conference Program and Abstracts Book

  • Ronald Jenn, “Mark Twain and Joan of Arc” documentary (August 4, 2017 – Tripp Lecture Hall – Elmira College Campus)
  • Bruce Michelson, “Mark Twain in the Po-Mo Twilight” (August 4, 2017 – Kolker Hall Auditorium – Elmira College Campus)
  • Jarrod Roark, “Providence of the Pistol” (August 4, 2017 – Tripp Lecture Hall – Elmira College Campus)
  • Ben Tarnoff, “Vulgarity from Below Versus Vulgarity from Above: Twain in the Age of Trump” (Keynote Address – August 4, 2017 – Gibson Theater – Elmira College Campus)

2016

Fall Trouble Begins Lectures – Series Program

  • Peter Messent, “You know the secret places of our hearts:’ The Mark Twain-Joe Twichell Letters” (October 19, 2016 – Quarry Farm Barn)
  • Martin Zehr, “Dressing For Success: Mark Twain Fashions an Image to Suit His Disguise” (October 26, 2016 – Quarry Farm Barn)
  • Judith Yaross Lee, “Mark Twain’s Brand: Comic Performance and the Modern American Self (November 2, 2016 – Cowles Hall – Elmira College Campus)

Chemung County Historical Society Twain Lectures

  • Matthew Seybold, “The Making of Chimerica: Globalization, Economics, and Mark Twain’s ‘Fable of the Yellow Terror” (September 29, 2016 – Chemung Valley History Museum)

2015

Fall Trouble Begins Lectures – Series Program

  • Jeanne Campbell Reesman, “Mark Twain vs. God: The Story of A Relationship” (September 30, 2015 – Quarry Farm Barn)
  • Susan K. Harris, “Searching For The Ornithorhynchus: Mark Twain and Animal Conservation” (October 7, 2015 – Quarry Farm Barn)
  • Andrew Levy, “Fraternizing With the Enemy: Revisiting Mark Twain’s Writings For, and About, Children” (November 30, 2015 – Cowles Hall – Elmira College Campus)

2014

Spring Trouble Begins Lectures – Series Program

  • Paula Harrington, “The French Face of Twain” (May 14, 2014 – Quarry Farm Barn)
  • Harriet Elinor Smith, “The Autobiography of Mark Twain: Did He Speak His ‘Whole, Frank Mind?” (May 21, 2014 – Quarry Farm Barn)
  • Martin Zehr, “Mark Twain’s Chinese Connection: Empathy, Politics, and Race” (June 4, 2014 – Quarry Farm Barn)

Fall Trouble Begins Lectures – Series Program

  • Harry Wonham, “Mark Twain and Money” (September 17, 2014 – Quarry Farm Barn)
  • Chad Rohman, “John Woolman, Quaker Saint. Mark Twain, Quaker Son?” (September 24, 2014 – Quarry Farm Barn)
  • Kerry Driscoll, “Mark Twain, The Maori, and The Mystery of Livy’s Jade Pendant” (October 1, 2014 – Quarry Farm Barn)
  • Benjamin Griffin, “Mark Twain At Home: An Edition and Its Challenges” (November 30, 2014 – Cowles Hall – Elmira College Campus)

2013

Spring 2013 Trouble Begins Lectures – Series Program

  • Donald Tiffany Bliss, “Mark Twain on the State of American Politics Today” (May 8, 2013 – Quarry Farm Barn)
  • R. Kent Rasmussen, “Dear Mark Twain: Letters from His Readers” (May 15, 2013 – Quarry Farm Barn)

Fall Trouble Begins Lectures – Series Program

  • Ann Ryan, “The Ghosts of Mark Twain” (September 25, 2013 – Quarry Farm Barn)
  • Steve Courtney, “The Loveliest Home That Ever Was’: The Story of the Mark Twain House in Hartford” (October 2, 2013 – Quarry Farm Barn)
  • Tom Reigstad, “Scribblin’ For A Livin’: Mark Twain’s Pivotal Period in Buffalo (November 30, 2013 – Hamilton Hall – Elmira College Campus)

2012

Spring Trouble Begins Lectures – Series Program

  • Victor Fischer, “Editing Tales from Inside the Mark Twain Project” (May 23, 2012 – Quarry Farm Barn)
  • Susan K. Harris, “Mark Twain and the Philippine-American War: “Hogwash” and “Pious Hypocrisy” (May 30, 2012 – Quarry Farm Barn)
  • Joe B. Fulton, ““The Noblest and Best Man after Washington”: The Role of President Abraham Lincoln in Mark Twain’s Reconstruction” (June 6, 2012 – Quarry Farm Barn)

Fall Trouble Begins Lectures – Series Program

  • Hilary Iris Lowe, “Mark Twain’s Homes and Haunts: Mark Twain Museums and Public History” (October 3, 2012 – Quarry Farm Barn)
  • Lawrence Howe, “Mark Twain and America’s Ownership Society” (October 17, 2012 – Quarry Farm Barn)
  • Philip McFarland, “Mark Twain and America’s ‘Worst President'” (November 30, 2012 – Cowles Hall – Elmira College Campus)

2011

Spring Trouble Begins Lectures – Series Program

  • Sharon McCoy, “Anything But Inoffensive: Mark Twain, the San Francisco Minstrels, and the Unsettling Legacy of Blackface Minstrelsy” (May 11, 2011 – Quarry Farm Barn)
  • Randall Knoper, “Mark Twain and the Brain” (May 18, 2011 – Quarry Farm Barn)
  • Henry Wonham, “Work and Play in Mark Twain” (May 25, 2011 – Quarry Farm Barn)

Fall Trouble Begins Lectures – Series Program

  • Barbara E. Snedecor, “…the quietest of all places…” (September 21, 2011 – Quarry Farm Barn)
  • Michael Pratt, “Mark Twain’s Nature in Roughing It, Naturally” (September 28, 2011 – Quarry Farm Barn)
  • David Foster, “Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc: Mark Twain’s Best Book?” (October 5, 2011 – Quarry Farm Barn)
  • Cindy Lovell, “Mark Twain: Words & Music” (November 30, 2011 – Hamilton Hall – Elmira College  Campus)

2010

Spring Trouble Begins Lectures – Series Program

  • Judith Yaross Lee, “Comic Imperialism and Connecticut Yankee” (April 28, 2010 – Quarry Farm Barn)
  • Lance Heidig, “Mark Twain’s Cornell: Venturing Far Above Cayuga’s Waters with Sam Clemens” (May 5, 2010 – Quarry Farm Barn)
  • Alex Effgen, “Mark Twain Illustrated and Impersonated” (May 26, 2010 – Quarry Farm Barn)

Fall Trouble Begins Lectures – Series Program

  • Michael Shelden, “Mark Twain: Man in White – The Grand Adventure of His Final Years” (September 22, 2010 – Quarry Farm Barn)
  • Jerome Loving, “Mark Twain on the Eve of Huckleberry Finn” (September 29, 2010 – Quarry Farm Barn)
  • Lawrence I. Berkove and Joseph Csicsila, “The Faith of a Heretic: Mark Twain’s Religious Thinking in His Literary Works” (October 6, 2010 – Quarry Farm Barn)
  • Laura Skandera Trombley, “Which One Do You Want? The Binary Mark Twain” (November 29, 2010 – Hamilton Hall – Elmira College Campus)

2009

Spring Trouble Begins Lectures – Series Program

  • Steve Courtney, “‘This Damned Fool’s Example’: The Rifts Between Mark Twain and Joe Twichell” (May 13, 2009 – Quarry Farm Barn)
  • James E. Caron, “Mark Twain, Unsanctified Newspaper Reporter” (May 20, 2009 – Quarry Farm Barn)
  • M. Thomas Inge, “Hank Morgan on Film: Adaptations of A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (May 27, 2009 – Quarry Farm Barn)

Elmira 2009: The Sixth International Conference on the State of Mark Twain Studies – Conference Program

  • Mark Dawidziak, “‘Mark Twain Tonight!‘, Today, and Tomorrow’: The Impact and Importance of Hal Holbrook’s One Man Show” includes response by Hal Holbrook (August 8, 2009 – Tripp Lecture Hall – Elmira College Campus)

Fall Trouble Begins Lectures – Series Program

  • David Fears, “The Making of Mark Twain Day By Day: Rudyard Kipling Meets Mark Twain” (September 9, 2009 – Quarry Farm Barn)
  • Abraham Kupersmith, “Twain and Freud on Personality and Politics” (September 30, 2009 – Quarry Farm Barn)

2008

Spring Trouble Begins Lectures – Series Program

  • Tom Quirk, “How Mark Twain Changed His Very Own Mind” (May 7, 2008 – Quarry Farm Barn)
  • Peter Krass, “Mark Twain: His Business (Mis)-Adventures” (May 14, 2008 – Quarry Farm Barn)
  • Forrest Robinson, “The Author-Cat: Bad Faith in Clemens’s Life and Work” (May 28, 2008 – Quarry Farm Barn)

Fall Trouble Begins Lectures – Series Program

  • Jeffrey Steinbrink, “Did Quarry Farm Matter?” (October 1, 2008 – Quarry Farm Barn)

2007

Spring Trouble Begins Lectures – Series Program

  • Shelley Fisher Fishkin, “The ‘War-Prayer’ Revisited: A Text for Our Time” (May 3, 2007 – Quarry Farm Barn)
  • Hal Bush, “Mark Twain and Spiritual Crisis” (May 16, 2007 – Quarry Farm Barn)
  • Joe B. Fulton, “The Reverend Mark Twain: ‘This Career of Sparkling Holiness, Usefulness, and Health-Giving Theological Travel” (May 30, 2007 – Quarry Farm Barn)

Fall Trouble Begins Lectures – Series Program

  • Laura Skandera Trombley, “Mark Twain’s Annus Horribilis of 1908″ (September 19, 2007 – Quarry Farm Barn)
  • Terrell Dempsey, “Searching for Jim: Slavery in Sam Clemens’s World” (October 3, 2007 – Quarry Farm Barn)
  • Gary F. Scharnhorst, “Mark Twain’s Interviews: The Final Report” (October 10, 2007 – Quarry Farm Barn)

2006

Spring Trouble Begins Series – Series Program

  • Bruce Michelson, “Mark Twain and the American Media Revolution” (May 10, 2006 – Quarry Farm Barn)
  • Steve Courtney, “How Mark Twain’s Good Friend and Confidant Handled Three Tough Years in the Army of the Potomac” (May 17, 2006 – Quarry Farm Barn)
  • David Caplan, “‘That Grotesque and Laughable Word, Patriotism”:Rethinking Mark Twain on Patriotism” (May 24, 2006 – Quarry Farm Barn)

Fall Trouble Begins Series – Series Program

  • Michael Pratt, “A Fossil Guide to Mark Twain’s Essay ‘Was The World Made for Man?” (September 20, 2006 – Quarry Farm Barn)
  • Philip Ashley Fanning, “Mark Twain, Orion Clemens, and the Mysterious Stranger” (September 27, 2006 – Quarry Farm Barn)
  • Donald Hoffman, “Sailing to Bermuda with Mark Twain” (October 11, 2006 – Quarry Farm Barn)
  • Stephen Railton, “Mark Twain, Virtually” (November 30, 2006 – Tifft Lounge – Elmira College Campus)

2001

Elmira 2001: The Fourth International Conference on the State of Mark Twain Studies – Conference Program

  • Victor Doyno, “Twain Writes with Burning Ink: King Leopold’s Soliloquy” (August 2001 – Gibson Theater – Elmira College Campus)

1991

  • Victor Doyno, “Writing Huck Finn” (September 18, 1991)

1985

Fall Trouble Begins Lecture Series

  • Hamlin Hill, “The Many Faces of Mark Twain” (September 16, 1985 – Quarry Farm Barn)
  • James Cox, “Mark Twain: The Outlaw in Literature” (September 23, 1985 – Quarry Farm Barn)
  • John S. Tuckey, “Mark Twain: The Youth Who Lived on in the Sage” (October 14, 1985)
  • Henry Nash Smith, “How True are Dreams? Fantasy as Refuge or Nightmare in Mark Twain’s Later Work (October 28, 1985 – Quarry Farm Barn)
  • Leo Marx, “Mark Twain, ‘Classic’ American Literature, and the Belief in Progress” (November 11, 1985 – Quarry Farm Barn)

 

Quadrennial Conference and Symposia Programs

Elmira 2017: The Eighth International Conference on the State of Mark Twain Studies

Elmira 2017: Abstracts Book

Elmira 2016: Mark Twain and Youth Symposium

Elmira 2013: The Seventh International Conference on the State of Mark Twain Studies

Elmira 2013: “Mark Twain in the West” Exhibition Booklet

Elmira 2012: Complicating Twain: Biography, Autobiography, and the Personal Scholar Symposium

Elmira 2010: en route: Mark Twain’s Travel Books Symposium

Elmira 2009: The Sixth International Conference on the State of Mark Twain Studies

Elmira 2009: “Mark Twain in the Comics” Exhibition Booklet

Elmira 2008: Mysterious Stranger Symposium

Elmira 2005: The Fifth International Conference on the State of Mark Twain Studies

Elmira 2001: The Fourth International Conference on the State of Mark Twain Studies

Elmira 1997: The State of Mark Twain Studies: Celebrating the Centennial of Following the Equator

Elmira 1993: A Conference: The State of Mark Twain Studies

Elmira 1989: Mark Twain and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court: American Issues, 1889-1989

 

Spring Trouble Begins Lecture Series Programs

Spring 2017

Spring 2016

Spring 2015

Spring 2014

Spring 2013

Spring 2012

Spring 2011

Spring 2010

Spring 2009

Spring 2008

Spring 2007

Spring 2006

Spring 2005

Spring 2004

Spring 2003

 

Summer Park Church Lecture Series Programs

Summer 2017

Summer 2016

 

Fall Trouble Begins Lecture Series Programs

Fall 2017

Fall 2016

Fall 2015

Fall 2014

Fall 2013

Fall 2012

Fall 2011

Fall 2010

Fall 2009

Fall 2008

Fall 2007

Fall 2006

Fall 2005

Fall 2004

(Fall 2003 Missing)

Fall 2002