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 continue to 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 the second episode, Turim-Nygren speaks with Driscoll herself about the potential the book has to debunk myths and conventions in both Twain Studies and U.S. literary studies more broadly.
Kerry Driscoll is currently an Editor at The Mark Twain Project in the Bancroft Library at UC-Berkeley, as well as Professor Emerita at University of St. Joseph. In addition to Mark Twain Among The Indians, she has authored numerous essays on Twain and other U.S. authors in journals like American Literary Realism, William Carlos Williams Review, and Mark Twain Annual, where she is on the Editorial Board and formerly served as Book Reviews Editor. Driscoll was formerly faculty at Elmira College and has maintained a strong relationship with CMTS since the 1980s. She has been a Quarry Farm Fellow, a five-time (!!!) Trouble Begins lecturer, co-director of our Summer Teachers Institute, and, most recently, part of our sesquicentennial celebration of Roughing It. She has also previously appeared on The American Vandal Podcast, discussing her essay “Mark Twain’s Music Box.”
Mika Turim-Nygren is a graduate of University of Illinois – Chicago with a Ph.D. in English who currenty runs an Academic Editing Services consultancy. In the Fall, she will become a Master Instructor at Howard University. 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)
Mark Twain, “The Noble Red Man” (original The Galaxy, 1870)
James Fenimore Cooper, The Last of the Mohicans (1826)
Mark Twain, “Fenimore Cooper’s Literary Offenses” (1895)
Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1889)
Dan DeQuille, The Big Bonanza: A History of the Comstock Silver Lode & Mines (American Publishing Company, 1876)
Mark Twain, Roughing It (American Publishing Company, 1872)
Andrew Hoffman, Inventing Mark Twain: The Lives of Samuel Langhorne Clemens (Phoenix, 1997)
Orion Clemens, “The Reformed Savage” (1892) (rprtd. in Driscoll, Mark Twain among the Indians, 158-159)
Mark Twain, letter to Glover Cleveland (1886) (rprtd. in Driscoll, Mark Twain among the Indians, 402-403)
Mark Twain, “Petrified Man” commentary (1862) (original story rprtd. in Driscoll, Mark Twain among the Indians, 163-165)
Francis Parkman, The Jesuits in North America in the Seventeenth Century (Little, Brown, and Co, 1867)
Richard Irving Dodge, Our Wild Indians: Thirty-Three Years’ Personal Experience (A.D. Worthington, 1883)
De Benneville Randolph Keim, Sheridan’s Troopers on the Borders: A Winter Campaign on the Plains (Routledge and Sons, 1825)
Mark Twain, Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer Among the Indians (unpublished)