Joe B. Fulton’s ‘Trouble Begins’ Lecture Now Available

The fall 2021-2022 The Trouble Begins Lecture Series presented by the Center for Mark Twain Studies continued last night at Quarry Farm with the lecture “Sick of War or just the War Stories? Reading the Harper’s Weekly Civil War Stories with Mark Twain.” The lecture was given by noted Twain scholar, Joe B. Fulton of Baylor University.

Fulton focuses on Twain’s popular Civil War story, “Lucretia Smith’s Soldier.” According to Fulton, when put in context with other war stories of the day, it is obvious that Twain was, in fact, sick of war stories and believed they contributed to our tolerance for war. 

Joe B. Fulton is an author and professor of English at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, where he has been honored as a “Baylor University Class of 1945 Centennial Professor.” Dr. Fulton has published five books on Mark Twain. He has also contributed to Trouble Begins lectures in the past:

  • Joe B. Fulton, “‘The Noblest and Best Man after Washington’: The Role of President Abraham Lincoln in Mark Twain’s Reconstruction” (June 6, 2012 – Quarry Farm Barn)
  • Joe B. Fulton, “The Reverend Mark Twain: ‘This Career of Sparkling Holiness, Usefulness, and Health-Giving Theological Travel” (May 30, 2007 – Quarry Farm Barn)

The Trouble Begins Lecture Series will continue on Wednesdays throughout October. Some are in-person presentations while others will be online presentations. Learn more at

October The Trouble Begins Lecture Series Schedule: 

  • Wed., Oct. 20: Online presentation, “Complementary Genius: The Sardonic Humor of Kurt Vonnegut and Mark Twain,” by Richard Coronado, South Texas College.
  • Wed., Oct. 27: In-person presentation at 7 p.m. at Quarry Farm. Entitled, “[T]ie some buttons on their tails, and let on they’re rattlesnakes”: Twain’s Anti-sentimentality and Contemporary African American Satire” and presented by Sheri Marie-Harrison, University of Missouri. 

About The Trouble Begins Lecture Series

In 1984, the Elmira College Center for Mark Twain Studies initiated a lecture series, The Trouble Begins at Eight lecture series. The title came from the handbill advertising Mark Twain’s October 2, 1866 lecture presented at Maguire’s Academy of Music in San Francisco. The first lectures were presented in 1985. By invitation, Mark Twain scholars present lectures in the fall and spring of each year, in the Barn at Quarry Farm or at Peterson Chapel in Cowles Hall on Elmira College’s campus. All lectures are free and open to the public.