Elmira 2017, the Eighth International Conference on the State of Mark Twain Studies, will convene at Elmira College this August 3rd through 5th, 2017. The Conference will commemorate the 150th anniversary of Sam Clemens’ participation in the famous Quaker City Tour to Europe and the Middle East. In addition, the Conference acknowledges the sweeping and ongoing importance of Mark Twain’s satirical writings with its theme: The Assault of Laughter.


  • More than 50 scholarly papers will be presented over three days prepared by Mark Twain scholars from around the world.
  • Ben Tarnoff, author of The Bohemians: Mark Twain and the San Francisco Writers Who Reinvented American Literature, will give the keynote address
  • Aaron and Adam Nee, co-authors, co-directors, and actors, within the movie “Band of Robbers” will give a screening of their film with a Q&A to follow. “Band of Robbers” re-imagines the characters Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn in contemporary times.
  • Nathaniel Ball, with help from Kevin MacDonnell and the staff of the Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford, Connecticut, will showcase items related to the Quaker City Tour.
  • Mark Twain collectors will be available for special presentations
  • Finger Lakes Distillery will provide whiskey and spirit tastings
  • A Closing Picnic at Quarry Farm will round out the 2017 conference.












We invite papers on any aspect of Mark Twain’s work and legacy, but have a particular interest in the topics listed below:

MT and Satire

MT: Insult and Invective

MT and Politics—Then and Now

MT as Cultural Icon: Use and Abuse

MT and Home

MT and the Art of Irreverence

MT and Gender

MT: Friends and Enemies

MT and Talk

MT and Grief

MT, Correspondent: Public and Private

MT and Immigration

MT and Violence

MT and Vernacular

MT and Public Discourse

MT and The Seduction of Laughter

MT and Political (In) Correctness

MT Visions and Revisions

MT and His Demons

MT and the Quaker City Cruise

MT and Economics

“Twain’s End”: Reassessments

MT and Education

MT in Theory

The State of MT Biography

MT and Realism

The complete Autobiography

Developed abstracts (700 words) should be sent as an electronic attachment to [email protected] by Monday 6 February 2017. Include a cover letter containing your contact information (name, mailing address, etc.) in the body of the email.  Final papers must be suitable for 20-minute presentation.  Proposals will be reviewed anonymously by members of the conference planning committee.  Abstracts should be sent to [email protected].


Conference Fees: The registration fees for Elmira 2017 – including all breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks, special receptions, and programs, is as follows:

  • Full Conference Registration – $375
  • Daily Rate – $140 per day

Housing Fees: Conference-goers will benefit by an option to stay in Elmira College’s residential halls. The residential halls are organized into singles and doubles. Selection of specific room types will be based on a “first come, first serve” basis.

  • Lodging at EC Meier Hall (with A/C) – $70 per night
  • Other EC Dormitories (without A/C) – $50 per night

Call CMTS at (607)735-1941 or e-mail [email protected] to make your room selection.

Checks can be mailed to:

Center for Mark Twain Studies
Elmira College, 1 Park Place, Elmira, New York 14901.

Please make checks out to “Center for Mark Twain Studies.”
Visa and Mastercard accepted

Monies are available from the Renée B. Fisher Foundation Fund to help international scholars present their work at the the Conference. This grant may be used to support travel and defray conference expenses (registration fees, lodging, etc.). Contact Dr. Joseph Lemak if you are interested in this opportunity ([email protected]).