2020 Quarry Farm Fellowships

Writing Desk in the Quarry Farm Parlor

The Center for Mark Twain Studies offers ten Quarry Farm fellowships for 2020 to any scholar working in the field of Mark Twain Studies at any career stage, giving Fellows the opportunity to work on academic or creative projects at Quarry Farm, the family home of Twain’s sister- and brother-in-law, Susan and Theodore Crane. Twain and his family lived at Quarry Farm for over twenty summers. During this time, in an octagonal study located about one hundred yards from the main house, Mark Twain wrote the majority of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, and many other major works. Fellows are consistently struck by the beauty and quiet of the home and its surroundings, an environment inspiring in its own right and especially conducive to writing and research.

Reflecting the mission of the Center for Mark Twain Studies, Quarry Farm Fellowships foster and support scholarship and creative works related to Mark Twain, including, but not limited to, his literature, life, family, associations, influences, reception, and significance. The fellowship selection process aims to assist scholars and artists in producing work of highest distinction and cultivate a diverse community of scholars across backgrounds, specializations, and ranks.

Mark Twain was interested in a myriad of different subjects. The Quarry Farm Fellowships reflect Twain’s insatiable curiosity. Not only are scholars in the field of literature and history encouraged to apply, but applicants from any academic or creative field are eligible for fellowships. While projects focusing on a critical analysis of Twain’s literary corpus are common, projects emerging from cultural studies, media studies, gender studies, environmental science, political science, economics, and the creative arts are also most welcome.

 Mark Twain with John Lewis sitting on the porch at Quarry Farm, East Hill, Elmira, New York. John Lewis, a friend of the Clemens and Crane families was a pig farmer with land near Quarry Farm, 1903.

Fellows will be assured of their privacy since they will be the sole occupants of main house during their stay.  Immediate family members may accompany Quarry Farm Fellows, but this must be pre-arranged with the Director. Fellows have access to a fully equipped kitchen and shared laundry. Linens are provided. The pantry and refrigerator will be stocked with supplies upon the Fellow’s arrival. A full-time Caretaker is on the premises in an apartment adjacent to, but separate from the main house, and is available to assist Fellows throughout their residency.

In addition, Fellows are welcome to use the Mark Twain Archive located in the Gannett-Tripp Library on Elmira College’s nearby campus. The Archive houses an exhaustive assemblage of biography, criticism, and reference sources; microfilm of material related to Elmira from the collections of the Mark Twain Project, the Mark Twain House, Vassar College, and the Huntington Library; and a library of photographs. The Archive also holds the association volumes from Quarry Farm, containing Mark Twain’s marginalia, the Antenne Collection of books from Mark Twain’s personal library, and the John S. Tuckey Collection of more than two hundred and fifty scholarly titles. The Collection is updated continuously.

In addition, scholars can take advantage of the Cornell University Library systems and the Chemung County Historical Society. Both are nearby and contain many books, archival collections relating to Clemens, Langdon, and the Beecher families, and resources documenting the progressive history of upstate New York, including collections on abolition, slavery, and woman’s suffrage.

Requirements

  1. Fellowships require fellows to be in residence for a majority of their fellowship.
  2. Fellows are expected to work on their proposed scholarly or creative projects while they are in residency.
  3. Fellows must provide a short summary (maximum 500 words) of what they accomplished during their residency and an evaluation of the resources they used at Quarry Farm and in the Archives within 30 days of leaving Quarry Farm.
  4. CMTS encourages Quarry Farm Fellows, especially those who plan to apply for future residencies, to provide updates on the progress of their research, including publications, exhibitions, performances, and scholarly presentations. Such updates assist CMTS in fulfilling its mission of service to Mark Twain Studies, as well as helping us assess the fellowship process.

Application Process

Applications must be submitted to [email protected] or to Dr. Joseph Lemak, the Director of the Center for Mark Twain Studies, at [email protected]. Applications for 2020 will be accepted until November 30, 2019.  Applicants are notified when applications are received, and are notified of the fellowship competition outcome by January 31, 2020.


Application Content

  1. Contact and biographical information about the applicant
  2. A curriculum vitae of no more than 10 pages
  3. A cover letter of no more than 1500 words describing the research project, its scholarly significance, progress to date, and the candidate’s professional background relevant to the
  4. One letter of reference from an official “sponsor.” This person should directly know the candidate and the candidate’s work (preferably the primary advisor for a graduate student or a mentor figure for early career scholars). Sponsors who wish to submit their letter of reference via email should send them to [email protected] or [email protected].   Reference letters must be received at the Center by the application deadline. Consideration of letters received after that date cannot be guaranteed.

Application Criteria

Fellows will be chosen by a nine person selection committee after an initial screening process by the staff of the Center for Mark Twain Studies. Applications will be judged based on the following factors:

  1. The project’s potential value to Mark Twain Studies and associated fields.
  2. The clarity, relevance, and current status of the specific project being proposed.

2020 Quarry Farm Fellowship Selection Committee

  • Nathaniel Ball, Archivist of the Mark Twain Archive, Elmira College (ex officio)
  • Ben Click, Editor of Mark Twain Annual (ex officio)
  • Kerry Driscoll, Professor Emerita, University of St. Joseph
  • Alan Gribben, Editor of Mark Twain Journal (ex officio)
  • Lawrence Howe, Professor of English, Roosevelt University
  • Joseph Lemak, Director of the Center for Mark Twain Studies, Elmira College (ex officio)
  • Terry Oggel, Professor of English, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Matt Seybold, Professor of American Literature, Elmira College (ex officio)
  • One senior scholars from the 2019 Class of Quarry Farm Fellows