2019 Mark Twain Summer Institute for Teachers

The Center for Mark Twain Studies collaborating the Elmira College Office of Continuing Education & Graduate Studies, Teacher Education Department and the Greater Southern Tier Teacher Center to offer the 2019 Summer Institute for Teachers on Wednesday, July 17 and Thursday, July 18).  This two-day institute is held in the Kolker lecture Hall on the Elmira College campus and at Quarry Farm.

The theme this year is “Mark Twain and Generation Z.”

Join Jocelyn Chadwick and Matt Seybold at the Center for Mark Twain Studies Summer Institute for Teachers. This summer the aim is to explore, discover, and reflect on how Mark Twain reads and speaks to this generation of students – Generation Z. In addition, we will examine how we can leverage and realign what Mark Twain/ Samuel Clemens wrote that elucidates our students’ here and now from a “safe-literary distance” of both his nonfiction and fiction.

This summer’s Institute is interactive, focusing on how to use Mark Twain’s time and his writings, as well as that of his contemporaries, to address Standards’ targets and create an engaged and inquiry-driven classroom K-12. We will rely on both primary and secondary texts, and we will hear from classroom teachers and students from around the country who rely on Mark Twain year on year—some with no controversy and others who are enmeshed in controversy.

Participants in the Summer Institute will have the option to extend the work begun in the summer and take a 6-week course in the Fall 2019 term with Dr. Matt Seybold through the Elmira College Office of Continuing Education and Graduate Studies.

Elmira College is the perfect place to “talk Twain,” since it is the home of the international Center for Mark Twain Studies. The Center has stewardship of Quarry Farm, the summer home of Olivia Langdon Clemens’ family and site of her sister Susan Crane’s home. Quarry Farm also includes the original location of the Study as well as the landmark home where Clemens wrote and first read many of his major writings to his family while on the porch at “the Farm.”

Meet our Faculty

Jocelyn Chadwick is a Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and past president of the National Council for Teachers of English (NCTE). Dr. Chadwick also serves as a consultant for school districts around the country and assists English departments with curricula to reflect diversity and cross-curricular content. She has recently served as a consultant for NBC News Education’s Common Core Project for Parents, ParentToolkit. Her many publications include The Jim Dilemma: Reading Race in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1998), Common Core: Paradigmatic Shift (2015), and Teaching Literature on the Context of Literacy Construction (2015).

Matt Seybold is the lead curriculum organizer of the CMTS Summer Institute for Teachers and Assistant Professor of American Literature & Mark Twain Studies at Elmira College, as well as editor of MarkTwainStudies.org. He is co-editor of the Routledge Companion to Literature & Economics (2018). Recent publications can be found in Aeon Magazine, American Studies, boundary 2, Henry James Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, Mark Twain Annual, Reception, and T.S. Eliot Studies Annual.

Institute Schedule

Wednesday, July 17 at Kolker Lecture Hall on the Elmira College Campus

8:15 – 8:55 Registration and Light Breakfast

9:00 – 10:00 Session #1 – “Starting with the Basics” – Let’s begin with one central inquiry: of all the writers whom we teach, why is Mark Twain still so problematic and yet so relevant? Also, we will explore what we don’t know about Mark Twain that our students would want to know. The session will focus on past and present social issues, social media, and Twain’s contemporaries.

10:00 – 10:15 Mid-morning Break

10:15 – 12:00 Session #2 – Attendees will discuss and explore topics from Session #1, considering which topics most reflect and would interest current students.

12:00 – 1:00 Luncheon Buffet

12:30 – 2:00 Session #3 – “Cross-Curricular Relevance” – This session will occur in 20 minute intervals, comprising lecture, authentic classroom teachers’ voices, and participants’ interaction. Topics will include Social Studies, Mathematics/Science, and Humanities.

2:00 – 2:15 Mid-afternoon Break

2:15 – 3:30 Session #4 – Participants will continue work from Session #3 and discuss which topics would be most successful in current classrooms

Closing Visit to the Study, the Exhibit, and historic Cowles Hall

Thursday, July 18 AT QUARRY FARM

8:15 – 8:55 Arrival at Quarry Farm and light breakfast

9:00 – 10:00 Session #1 – “Using Mark Twain’s Fiction as Vehicle to Foment Critical Reading, Writing, and Inquiry” – The session will explore how Mark Twain’s poetry can be leveraged to complement standing curricula and facilitate assessment preparation.

10:00 – 10:15 Mid-morning Break

10:15 – 12:00 Session #2 – A continuation of Session #1, exploring Twain’s short stories and novels in the current classroom setting

12:00 – 1:00 Lunch and Tour of the Grounds of Quarry Farm

1:00 – 2:20 Session #3 “Practicum: How Do We Make What We Have Learned Work in Our Classrooms?” – This session will explore artifacts (student work, students’ voices, and teachers’ voices) from current classes from around the country.

2:20 – 2:30 Mid-afternoon Break

1:45 – 3:00 Session #4 – “Practicum: How Do We Make What We Have Learned Work in Our Classrooms?” – This session will explore artifacts (student work, students’ voices, and teachers’ voices) from current classes from around the country.