Elmira 2022: The Ninth International Conference on the State of Mark Twain Studies


Campus Map

Growth: The Most Rigorous Law of Our Being

“What is the most rigorous law of our being? Growth.”

Mark Twain, from “Consistency,” a paper read in Hartford in 1887 (RPT CTSS1, 909).

Thursday, August 4 to Saturday, August 6, 2022

 Established in 1989, the Center for Mark Twain Studies “International Conference on the State of Mark Twain Studies” is the oldest and largest gathering devoted to all things Twain. During times so turbulent and uncertain as to require that that the quadrennial conference on the State of Mark Twain Studies be postponed by a year, the theme of change and growth “speaks to our condition,” as the Quakers say. 

The conference will be held from Thursday, August 4 to Saturday, August 6, 2022 on the campus of Elmira College in Elmira, New York. An important focus of the conference will be scholarly discussion of the study of Mark Twain and how the field might grow and change in response to changing conditions in the world, in the academy, and in the field of Mark Twain Studies. 

In addition to scholarly presentations, the conference will have events that provide contexts for Mark Twain and his life in Elmira, and will also feature a keynote by Jimmy Santiago Baca, an award-winning writer for whom Twain has been an important influence. Mr. Baca’s keynote is tentatively titled A Sense of Twain.” (Photos of Jimmy Santiago Baca courtesy of Lonnie J. Anderson)

David Bianculli (left) and Mark Dawidziak

Conference attendees will also have the opportunity to attend a special multi-media presentation by two nationally-known and respected television critics David Bianculli (NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross, Rowan University, and www.TVWorthWatching.com) and Mark Dawidziak (recently retired from Cleveland’s Plain Dealer and Kent State University). They will be examining a number of portrayals of Mark Twain on both the big and small screen with humor and wit in “All The Twain’s Meet: The Film and TV Portrayals.”

Important Dates and Deadlines

  • Paper and panel proposal deadline – Friday, February 11, 2022
  • Decisions deadline – Friday, March 11, 2022
  • Conference registration begins – Monday, March 14, 2022
  • Conference registration deadline – Friday, July 15, 2022
  • Elmira 2022 Conference – Thursday, August 4 to Saturday, August 6, 2022


  • All Elmira College employees and all Elmira College students (commuter and residential) must be fully vaccinated. At this time, all students and employees are strongly encouraged to receive a booster as soon as eligible.
  • On September 6, 2021 New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced that the coronavirus has been designated a “highly contagious communicable disease that presents risk of harm to the public health.”  This designation requires NYS employers to enact the NYS HERO Act, meaning NYS employers, including Elmira College, must implement workplace safety plans to help prevent infection. This plan applies to all employees.
  • On Thursday, February 10, 2022, New York State updated the HERO Act to remove the requirement for indoor face coverings. Per this new guidance, indoor face coverings on campus are recommended, but not required under the Policy. New York State and the State Department of Health continue to strongly recommend face coverings in all public indoor settings as an added layer of protection, even when not required. 
  • At this time, and following current CDC guidance, wearing a mask outdoors is optional for everyone, but strongly encouraged when in crowded outdoor settings and for outdoor activities where you may have close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated.
  • A reminder that people are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine. 
  • Conference attendees are encouraged to provide their own face coverings, however any person who needs a mask/face covering will be provided one upon request.  CMTS will have face coverings readily available for anyone who is in need.
  • All conference attendees and Elmira College employees are encouraged to seek medical attention/screening if exhibiting any COVID-like symptoms, and should remain in their room or at home, as appropriate, if they are not feeling well. Conference attendees experiencing any symptoms suspected to be COVID-19 related need to consult the Clarke Health Center and/or their personal physician.
  • Outdoor dining options are available for those who require it.  Furthermore, the Campus Center Dining Area is spacious.  Please feel free to spread out.


Conference and Housing Fees

The registration fee for Elmira 2022 – including all breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks, special receptions, and programs is:

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


  • CMTS will refund 100% of your registration and lodging fees if requested 7 days before Elmira 2022. (Thursday, July 28 is the last day to request and receive a refund)
  • Please be aware that Meier Hall is a dormitory, not a professional hotel setting. Most rooms come with two beds and share a common bathroom. The rooms in Meier Hall are clean, air-conditioned, but simple and austere. Past Elmira quadrennial conference attendees have affectionally called this option “Mark Twain Summer Camp.”
  • Meier Hall rooms are charged by the room, not the number of people in them. It is up to the discretion of each attendee if they want to share their room with another person. As a result, two people sharing a room only need to reserve one room, however each person must register for the conference separately.
  • Elmira College will provide bedding and a pillow for each bed.
  • Conference attendees staying in Meier Hall are encouraged to bring comfort items and a light blanket since the August nights might get chilly.
  • Conference attendees are not required to lodge at Elmira College. There are many other hotel options in the Elmira, Horseheads, and Corning areas.



Published a Twain-related book since the 2017 Elmira Conference?  Want to show it off this year?

The Mark Twain Circle is organizing a book display of recent scholarship in Mark Twain Studies. MTC invite authors to bring one, “Display-Only,” copy of a recent Twain-related publication for examination by conference goers and to participate in a cooperative book display during conference hours. 

The plan is that each participant will not only provide a display copy of their book but also help staff the table, which will be situated near conference rooms.  The books will be available only during the hours when panels are in session; by late afternoon they will be packed up and stored in a safe place.

If you wish to participate, please be prepared to

  1. donate at least one morning or afternoon to staffing the table
  2. bring one copy of your publication, clearly marked “Display Only”
  3. bring multiple copies of a flyer listing the publication information for your book and where it can be purchased
  4. take your books home with you when you leave

Interested parties should contact Susan K. Harris, Past President, Mark Twain Circle ([email protected]).

*NB: due to the informality of this event, we cannot guarantee that your book will not “walk.”   Please don’t bring your last copy!

Conference Co-Chairs

  • Shelley Fisher Fishkin, Stanford University
  • Tracy Wuster, University of Texas at Austin

Conference Planning Committee

  • John Bird, Winthrop University, emeritus
  • Jocelyn Chadwick, National Council of Teachers of English
  • Ben Click, St. Mary’s College of Maryland
  • Susan K. Harris, University of Kansas, emerita
  • Tsuyoshi Ishihara, University of Tokyo
  • Ronald Jenn, University of Lille
  • Holger Kersten, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg
  • Selina Lai-Henderson, Duke Kunshan University
  • Judith Yaross Lee, Ohio University, emerita
  • Joseph Lemak, Center for Mark Twain Studies, Elmira College
  • James S. Leonard, The Citadel
  • Linda A. Morris, University of California, Davis, emerita
  • Matt Seybold, Center for Mark Twain Studies, Elmira College
  • Seema Sharma, University of Mumbai
Center for Mark Twain Studies