The Trouble Begins at Eight Lecture Series Begins May 4

April 22 2016
Category: Twain

The spring portion of the 2015-2016 The Trouble Begins at Eight Lecture Series presented by the Center for Mark Twain Studies features four lectures, with the first event set for Wednesday, May 4 in the Barn at Quarry Farm.  All four lectures are free and open to the public.

The first lecture, “Following the Indian Equator: Mark Twain in India,” will be presented by Seema Sharma, Associate Professor of English Literature at the University of Mumbai and Fulbright Postdoctoral Scholar at Stanford University, followed by a brief interview conducted by Susan K. Harris of the University of Kansas.   The presentation explores Mark Twain’s three-month lecture tour across the Indian subcontinent in 1896, how the experience may have influenced his later writings, and how the author is perceived in India.  Doors open at 7:30 p.m. for the 8:00 p.m. performance.  Attendees are invited to enjoy light refreshments preceding the lecture.

On Wednesday, May 11, the series continues with “Grieving Tom Sawyer: Mark Twain, Loss, and the Transformation of a Writer,” presented by Joseph Csicsila, Professor of English Language and Literature at Eastern Michigan University.  In his presentation, Csicsila discusses new evidence that The Adventures of Tom Sawyer may not be a nostalgic look back at Mark Twain’s childhood, but rather about Twain grieving the loss of his 18-month-old son, Langdon Clemens. 

In addition, the May 11 lecture will feature an opportunity to view three Twain-inspired murals by Ithaca artist Wayne D. Stokes, that were recently donated to the Quarry Farm Barn by mural owners, Joe Caparulo and Lynne Rusinko ’90.  The three murals have hung in Cappy’s, an Elmira gift store, since commissioned by Caparulo in the 1980’s.  After the store closed in 2015, the murals were moved to Quarry Farm.  Doors open at 7:00 p.m. for viewing of the murals prior to the 8:00 p.m. lecture.  Attendees are invited to enjoy light refreshments preceding the lecture.

The spring series wraps up Wednesday, May 18 with “The Rhyme of Crisis: Mark Twain on Banks, Bubbles & Bailouts,” presented by Elmira College Assistant Professor of American Literature and Mark Twain Studies, Dr. Matthew Seybold.  Dr. Seybold explores the idea of Twain as an economic theorist and historian whose perspective remains highly relevant to the 2008 financial crisis and the ensuing recession.  This final performance begins at 7:00 p.m., in Cowles Hall at Elmira College.


About The Trouble Begins at Eight Lecture Series

In 1984, the Elmira College Center for Mark Twain Studies initiated a lecture series, The Trouble Begins at Eight. 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.

The lectures are now held annually in the fall and spring of each year. By invitation, Mark Twain scholars present lectures in the Barn at Quarry Farm in Elmira, NY. Each lecture is digitally recorded after the event and made available in MP3 format.