The Trouble Begins at Eight Lecture Series Concludes May 18

May 18 2016
Category: Twain

The final lecture in the spring portion of The Trouble Begins at Eight Lecture Series was presented by Dr. Matthew Seybold, at 7:00 p.m., on Wednesday, May 18 in the Cowles Hall. The lecture was free and open to the public.

Samuel Clemens lived through five major U.S. economic crises, one of which forced him into bankruptcy at the height of his popularity. But, in contradiction to much of his own advice, he never lost his taste for speculation or ceased to be fascinated by high finance. He was a voracious, but skeptical reader of political economy, and he presciently depicted market forces, several of which had not yet been identified by his contemporaries. Dr. Seybold’s talk casts Twain as an economic theorist and historian whose perspective remains highly relevant to the 2008 financial crisis and the ensuing recession.


Matt Seybold joined the faculty at Elmira College in 2015 as Assistant Professor of American Literature and Mark Twain Studies. He received his Ph.D. from University of California, Irvine in 2012, after which he spent two years teaching at University of Alabama. The primary focus of his research is the intersection of print culture and economic rhetoric in the United State. He is co-editor of the forthcoming Routledge Companion to Literature & Economics. In 2013, he won the T.S. Eliot Society’s Fathman Young Scholar Award and in 2014 was a Lillian Gary Taylor Fellow in American Literature at the University of Virginia. Recent publications can be found in Mark Twain Annual, Mark Twain Journal, Western Humanities Review, Reception, and T.S. Eliot Studies Annual.


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.