The 2020 Park Church Summer Lecture Series, hosted by the Center for Mark Twain Studies at Elmira College, continues on July 22 with an online lecture. All lectures in the Series are available for free to the public on marktwainstudies.org.
On July 22, Jocelyn A. Chadwick, life-long English teacher and international scholar, will present “Why We Who Have Dedicated Our Lives to Mark Twain Studies Must Now Interleave His Life, His Works, and His Time with a 21st Century Lens for Teachers and Students.” According to Chadwick, scholars were, and are still, being trained and taught to focus their work and research inside of themselves for dissemination among like-minded colleagues. Essentially, they are experts talking to experts, sharing ideas and discoveries… They are also teachers. Why should they even consider rethinking “how they do business?” This lecture explores four key relevant areas that those who study Mark Twain Studies must rethink, reimagine, and, yes, learn anew how to teach and share the texts—primary/secondary and the personal narratives—if Mark Twain’s Studies are to survive within this century: Generation Z, DisruptTexts, Virtual Learning and Using Primary/Secondary Resources, and Relevance to Us. The very survival of Mark Twain Studies within the elementary-high school classrooms throughout this country—the United States of America—stands on a precarious and fracturing precipice. Scholars no longer can afford to stand aloof, observing and commenting solely in articles. The audience who must, must, read the articles are classrooms teachers. And scholars, too, must transitionally extend the conversation well-beyond the article-page to conversations where they listen to teachers and students, exploring, discovering, and learning with them.
Chadwick, formerly a full-time professor at Harvard Graduate School of Education, now lectures occasionally and conducts seminars there. She has published numerous articles and books with one in progress, Writing for Life: Using Literature to Teach Writing, she was invited to the White House as panel member for the series, Celebrating America’s Authors. Current projects include PBS American Masters, PBS The Great American Read, a new book series for the Folger Shakespeare Library, recurring blogs for Larry Ferlazzo in Education Week, consultant for Center for Mark Twain Studies, and Pearson/Savvas, Expert Advice Contributor for NBC TODAY Parenting Team.