Reviewing Mark Twain Among The Indians with John Bird, Susan K. Harris, & Ann Ryan

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Mark Twain: Among the Indians

The American Vandal Podcast returns for its fifth season, a three-episode arc centered around the 2019 book by Kerry Driscoll, Mark Twain Among The Indians & Other Indigenous Peoples (University of California Press).

This is our first series hosted and co-produced by somebody other than Center For Mark Twain Studies resident scholar and American Vandal executive producer, Matt Seybold. Not to worry, Seybold will still be a fixture of both the hosting and production team. But, going forward, he hopes to feature a range of exciting voices in Twain Studies, broadly conceived. In this case, that exciting voice emanates from Mika Turim-Nygren. A 2021 Quarry Farm Fellow, a Park Church lecturer, presenter at the upcoming quadrennial conference, and participant in our inaugural emerging scholars workshop, Turim-Nygren is doing original research on indigeneity and cultural appropriation in 19th-century U.S. literature, making her an ideal reader and interlocutor for Driscoll’s field-shaping book.

In this premiere episode, Turim-Nygren discusses the effects of Driscoll’s work on Twain Studies with three other established scholars.

John Bird is Professor Emeritus of English at Winthrop University, as well as a past president of the Mark Twain Circle of America and an editor emeritus of The Mark Twain Annual. He also co-edits the Mark Twain & His Circle Series for University of Missouri Press. His own books include Mark Twain & Metaphor (2011), Mark Twain In Context (Cambridge, 2019), and (with Judith Yaross Lee) Seeing Mad: Essays on Mad Magazine’s Humor & Legacy (U. Missouri, 2021). He is currently working on 1884: A Literary Year in Mark Twain’s America.

Susan K. Harris is Professor Emerita at The University of Kansas, as well as a past president of the Mark Twain Circle of America. Her most recent book, Mark Twain, The World, & Me (U. Alabama, 2020), won the Elizabeth Agee Prize in American Literature. Other books include The Courtship of Olivia Langdon & Mark Twain (Cambridge, 1997) and God’s Arbiters: Americans & The Philippines, 1898-1902 (Oxford, 2011). She was one of the first guests on The American Vandal Podcast.

Ann Ryan is Professor of English at Le Moyne College, as well as a past president of the Mark Twain Circle of America and an editor emeritus of The Mark Twain Annual. She is co-editor of Cosmopolitan Twain (U. Missouri, 2011) and is working on The Ghosts of Mark Twain.

Mika Turim-Nygren is a graduate of University of Illinois – Chicago with a Ph.D. in English and former American Literature faculty at Bard High School Early College who now runs an Academic Editing Services consultancy. She was a Quarry Farm Fellow in 2021 and is the author of “Twain’s Modernism: The Death of Speech in Huckleberry Finn as the Birth of a New Aesthetic” (J19, Spring 2020).

Music for The American Vandal Podcast is provided by Steve Webb, Caretaker of Quarry Farm.

Episode Bibliography (in order of appearance):

Kerry Driscoll, Mark Twain among the Indians and Other Indigenous Peoples (University of California Press, 2018)

Ann Ryan, Mark Twain among the Indians and Other Indigenous Peoples by Kerry Driscoll (review), The Mark Twain Annual 17, no. 1 (2019): 173-177

Mark Twain, “The Noble Red Man” (original The Galaxy, 1870)

The Mark Twain House and Museum, Hartford, Connecticut

Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum, Hannibal, Missouri

James Fenimore Cooper, The Last of the Mohicans (H.C. Carey & I. Lea, 1826)

Mark Twain, Following the Equator (American Publishing Company, 1897)

Mark Twain, Innocents Abroad (American Publishing Company, 1869)

Philip J. Deloria, Playing Indian (Yale University Press, 1998)

Eric Lott, Black Mirror: The Cultural Contradictions of American Racism (Harvard University Press, 2017)

Eric Lott, Love & Theft: Blackface Minstrelsy and the American Working Class (Oxford University Press, 1993)

Mary Beth Norton, In the Devil’s Snare: The Salem Witchcraft Crisis of 1692 (Penguin Random House, 2002)

Mark Twain, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884)

Mark Twain, Roughing It (American Publishing Company, 1872)

Mark Twain, “Petrified Man” commentary (1862) (original story rprtd. in Driscoll, Mark Twain among the Indians, 163-165)

Ann Ryan, Mark Twain and Money: Language, Capital, and Culture (University of Alabama Press, 2017)

Mark Twain, The Tragedy of Pudd’nhead Wilson (American Publishing Company, 1894)

Susan Harris, Mark Twain, the World, and Me: “Following the Equator,” Then and Now (University of Alabama Press, 2020)

John Bird, “Mark Twain” (including review of Mark Twain Among the Indians), American Literary Scholarship 2018, no. 1 (69-84)

Amitov Ghosh, The Nutmeg’s Curse: Parables for a Planet in Crisis (The University of Chicago Press, 2021)

Jonathan Arac, Huck Finn as Idol and Target: The Functions of Criticism in Our Time (The University of Wisconsin Press, 1997)

Mark Twain, Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer Among the Indians (unpublished)

Article calling for “native” American humor, The North American Review, Vol. xv, New Series Vol. vi, No.1 (July, 1822), 279. 

Walter Blair, Native American Humor (1800-1900) (Chandler Publishing Company, 1937)

Susan Harris, “President’s Column,” Mark Twain Circular 35, No. 2 (Winter 2021)