2024 Quarry Farm Symposium – “Gilded Ages”

2024 Quarry Farm Symposium on “Gilded Ages: Humor, Literature, and Society”

Oct 11 and Oct 12, 2024

Elmira, New York

“The Condition of the Laboring Man at Pullman” Chicago Labor (July 7, 1894)

The Center for Mark Twain Studies is hosting its annual Quarry Farm Symposium during the Fall 2024 semester, from October 11 to October 12.  The theme for the Symposium is “Gilded Ages: Humor, Literature, and Society.”

The annual symposium gathers scholars from various fields each year around a theme related to Mark Twain Studies or the nineteenth century more broadly and is held at the historic Quarry Farm site in Elmira, New York. The organizers of the symposium are comprised of CMTS staff members, specifically Joseph Lemak (Director) and Matt Seybold (Scholar-in-residence).

The symposium will focus on a wide range of subjects related to numerous aspects related to the Gilded Age, including literary humor; political cartoons; social satire; periodical humor; visual arts; contemporary representations of the Gilded Age; gender, race, class and Gilded Age Humor; nationalism and transnationalism; and Mark Twain.

The keynote address will be delivered by Nathan Wolff. Nate Wolff is Associate Professor of English and Director of Graduate Studies at Tufts University. He is the author of Not Quite Hope and Other Political Emotions in the Gilded Age (Oxford University Press, 2019), which uses readings of Mark Twain’s The Gilded Age and The American Claimant to frame a literary prehistory of today’s emotional politics: the cynicism and exhaustion of democratic life in an age of inequality and corruption. He is currently working on a new book, Disentangled: Nineteenth-Century U.S. Literature’s Political Ecologies, contesting the influence of New Materialist ecocriticism on Americanist literary studies. Two pieces from this project—the first on Twain and Charles Chesnutt, the second on Frank Norris and W.E.B. Du Bois—have been published in American Literary History. His writing has appeared in other venues including English Literary HistoryJ19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century AmericanistsLeviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies, and The Washington Post. A second new project, tentatively titled Dirty Jobs, looks to nineteenth-century literature for lessons about the formation of, and alternatives to, the American work ethic. 

If you have any questions, please contact Joseph Lemak ([email protected])