2021 Quarry Farm Symposium “150th Anniversary of ROUGHING IT”


The Mark Twain Annual and the Center for Mark Twain Studies are commemorating the sesquicentennial of Roughing It. The Annual will publish a special issue devoted to Mark Twain and the West in 2022. The Center for Mark Twain Studies is holding a Quarry Farm Symposium in honor of Twain’s famous book in 2021. Both the publication and the symposium will examine Twain’s relationship to all aspects of the American West.

This broad scope allows for critical examinations of Twain’s work as:

  • Western regionalist writing
  • Twain and indigenous peoples
  • Twain and immigrant populations
  • Commentary on the American frontier
  • Twain and domestic travel
  • Twain’s Western journalism
  • The West as a shaping force on his development as an artist
  • The circle of writers Twain encountered out West and their continued relationship
  • Twain and contemporary Western writers

While Twain and the West has been the subject of numerous studies since the early twentieth century, the special issue and associated symposium seek to explore what in recent years has become somewhat forgotten territory in Twain’s fictive and nonfictive writings.

The symposium will begin on Friday, October 1, 2021 with a dinner in Cowles Hall, less than 100 yards away from the historic Mark Twain Study, followed by the keynote address. The symposium will continue throughout the next day with presentations and discussions in the tranquil atmosphere of Quarry Farm, where breakfast, lunch, a cocktail hour, and dinner will also be served. Registrants will be invited back to Quarry Farm on Sunday morning to enjoy the autumnal breakfast and casual discussions.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the symposium will be limited to presenters and selected graduate students.

Attention Graduate Students: CMTS will waive all registrations fees and provide free lodging for a select number of graduate students. If you are interested in this opportunity, contact Joseph Lemak at [email protected].


Includes abstracts, images, and academic bios