A number of factors contributed to our decision to launch a Center for Mark Twain Studies podcast this year, but nothing was more impactful than the experience we gained in late 2019 when we co-produced an episode with the team from the C19: America in the 19th Century Podcast.
C19 has generously given us permission to republish “The Gospel of Revolt: Mark Twain in Elmira” as a bonus episode in the aftermath of the first season of The American Vandal. To learn more about this episode, please check out this post from when it originally aired. You can also learn much more about Mark Twain in Elmira here.
C19 provided a great opportunity for us, both to promote the history and mission of the Center for Mark Twain Studies and to practice audio production with experienced podcasters. If you are a scholar or scholarly organization, we strongly encourage you to consider submitting a proposal to C19. They are looking for new episodes to release in 2021.
Read the Call For Proposals at C19Society.org/Podcast
Doug Guerra, Chair of C19’s Podcast Subcommittee, also passes along the following:
All ideas for episodes that might interest our community are welcome–the focused medium of sound is especially suited to recreating the kinds of proximate associational feelings that are often missing from our lives these days. Unlike a Zoom meeting, audio can more easily reach people on the move, attaching the enunciated thought of one or many spaces on the production side to the unruliness of listener spaces outside of office and screen environments. We urge folks submitting proposals to think in particular about how an episode might highlight space, place, voice, or embodiment in its arc.
On the subject of space, I am especially struck by the issues that the pandemic has created for the kind of site-specific research that many of us do. Archives that were already difficult to visit are now closed to many who would do work there. Or, even when access is available, the travel funds that would facilitate visits have been frozen. With this in mind, we especially invite episodes that explore and introduce listeners to archival collections and resources, particularly those that highlight the work of BIPOC in the U.S. – whether in the collection itself, or in partnerships between archivists and scholars of color within the episode. (You might listen to Jillian Spivey Caddell’s recent episode centering around the John W. Jones Museum or Matt Seybold’s episode on the Center for Mark Twain Studies at Quarry Farm – both in Elmira, NY – for examples of how to think narrative, locality, sound, and archives in powerful ways through a podcast.)
We look forward to hearing your ideas in the coming months! Please do get in touch if you’d like to workshop a pitch in advance of submitting a formal proposal. [[email protected]]
Please check out C19Society.org/Podcast for more information about proposing an episode, or simply to listen to all the great episode from their first three seasons.