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The American Vandal, from The Center for Mark Twain Studies
68 minutes | Jul 1, 2021
Why Trust In Antitrust? with Sanjukta Paul & Marshall Steinbaum
With a series of recent events indicating bipartisan interest in antitrust reform from Congress and the Supreme Court, host Matt Seybold speaks with Law Professor, Sanjukta Paul, and economist, Marshall Steinbaum, about the history of antitrust movements in the United States from Mark Twain's Gilded Age to the New Gilded Age, as well as why they advocate for antitrust as a mechanism for improving worker welfare, reducing inequality, and protecting democracy. For more about this episode, including a complete bibliography, please visit MarkTwainStudies.com/Antitrust
57 minutes | Jun 18, 2021
Generation Z, Mark Twain's Poetry, & Teaching English From East Texas to Harvard with Jocelyn Chadwick
The coordinators of the 2021 Summer Teachers Institute sponsored by the Center For Mark Twain Studies converse about the upcoming event, the state of U.S. education, the resonance of Mark Twain for contemporary students, and much more. For more about the Institute, please visit MarkTwainStudies.com/2021-Summer-Teachers-Institute/
79 minutes | Jun 15, 2021
Teaching With Tension & The Illusion of Postracialism with Philathia Bolton, Cassander Smith, & Lee Bebout
The co-editors of a new collection on "Race, Resistance, & Reality in The Classroom" discuss the "flash point" of 2008 for American education, the recent Critical Race Theory panic, pedagogical strategies for teaching with tension, and Mark Twain's 'Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.' For more information about this episode, visit MarkTwainStudies.com/TeachingWithTension To Register for the 2021 Summer Teachers Institute, visit MarkTwainStudies.com/2021-Summer-Teachers-Institute
59 minutes | May 19, 2021
Mark Twain, Journalism, & the Search for Genus Americanus with Loren Ghiglione, Alyssa Karas, & Dan Tham
The authors of Genus Americanus (2020) join host Matt Seybold to discuss their 2011 road trip. Inspired by Mark Twain, they went looking for American identity through interviews with other journalists, scholars, immigrants, and nomads. What did the find? And how has it shaped their understanding of the decade which followed? For more information, please visit MarkTwainStudies.com/GenusAmericanus
90 minutes | May 4, 2021
Exterminate All The Brutes with Sheri-Marie Harrison, Andrew Hoberek, & Ignacio Sanchez Prado
The recent HBO documentary series, directed by Raoul Peck, offers a grand narrative of European colonialism and American imperialism which is broadly sympathetic with the works of Mark Twain from the final decade of his life. In this episode, a diverse group of scholars discuss Peck's film, as well as where it fits in global cinema, the U.S. media ecosystem, and postcolonial scholarship.
89 minutes | Apr 26, 2021
BONUS EPISODE: Readings for Hal Bush & Hiroko Bush
A beloved member of the Mark Twain Studies community, author, and St. Louis University Professor, Hal Bush, recently suffered a traumatic brain injury which has put him into a coma. In this episode, friends and fellow scholars read to him from a series of his favorite works, mostly by Mark Twain. To learn more about how you can help, please visit MarkTwainStudies.com/HalBush. Special Thanks to St. Louis University for providing theme music for this episode, a composition by Roberto Murguia and Róisín Malone.
51 minutes | Apr 8, 2021
The Suez Canal, #Stuckboat, & The Sinews of War & Trade with Laleh Khalili
Following on the heels of the grounding of the Ever Given in the Suez Canal last month, Matt Seybold speaks with Dr. Laleh Khalili, whose 2020 book, Sinew of War & Trade: Shipping & Capitalism in the Arabian Peninsula, covers the history, present, & potential futures of maritime transport. For a bibliography of this episode, visit MarkTwainStudies.com/SuezCanal
60 minutes | Mar 31, 2021
A Music Box, Minstrel Songs, & Mark Twain's Emo Playlist with Erin Bartram & Kerry Driscoll
This episode brings together three scholars who have been researching and writing about Mark Twain's musical tastes and the role of music education and performance in the Clemens family household. For more information about the guests and a bibliography of works discussed during this episode, please visit MarkTwainStudies.com/TwainMusic
79 minutes | Mar 16, 2021
Unsealing the Archive of T.S. Eliot's Love Letters To Emily Hale with Frances Dickey, Megan Quigley, & John Whittier-Ferguson
Very few embargoed archives are as momentous as Mark Twain's Autobiography, released a century after his death, but the Hale archive, opened last year, is an obvious rival. Emily Hale saved over a thousand letters from the poet and critic, T. S. Eliot, with whom she had a decades-long love affair. In this episode, we talk to three scholars who spent portions of 2020 reading the letters and processing their many surprising revelations. For more about this episode, including a bibliography, please visit MarkTwainStudies.com/EmilyHale
53 minutes | Feb 23, 2021
Project Huckleberry (a.k.a. The Mandalorian) with Emmet Asher-Perrin & Nathaniel Williams
The hit Disney+ & Lucasfilm TV series, The Mandalorian, was produced under the working title of "Project Huckleberry." This allusion the Mark Twain's under-appreciated legacy as an innovator in Science Fiction provides the grounds for a ranging conversation about Star Wars, The Mandalorian, and genre fiction with Emmet Asher-Perrin of Tor.com & Nathaniel Williams of UC-Davis. For more information about this episode, including a bibilography, please visit MarkTwainStudies.com/ProjectHuckleberry
65 minutes | Feb 11, 2021
Robinhood, r/WallStreetBets, Who's Yellen Now, & The GameStop-ification of Finance with Anna Kornbluh, Leigh Claire La Berge, & Michelle Chihara
Three scholars of finance and literature join to talk about the ongoing story of the "Reddit Revolution," members of the r/WallStreetBets forum who organized a run on several stocks, notably GameStop, using the retail trading app, Robinhood. How is this speculative mania interconnected with the 2008 financial crisis, the current economic recession, and the new U.S. Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen? For more about this episode, please visit MarkTwainStudies.com/Robinhood
81 minutes | Jan 15, 2021
The Myths of Reconstruction in The Wake of Insurrection with Brook Thomas
Following the storming of the Capitol Building on January 6th, there has been a resurgent interest in the era of Reconstruction following the American Civil War. Senators, journalists, and even scholars have perpetuated long-standing myths about Reconstruction. Brook Thomas explains and debunks some of these myths, while also arguing that an informed reckoning with the unfinished business of Reconstruction can help us understand and address the political volatility of the present day. For links to some of the works discussed in this episode, visit MarkTwainStudies.com/MythsOfReconstruction
49 minutes | Jan 11, 2021
BONUS EPISODE: Center for Mark Twain Studies 2020 Debrief From Quarry Farm with Joe Lemak & Steve Webb
The staff of the Center for Mark Twain Studies gathers in the library at Quarry Farm to discuss the recently-announced Quarry Farm Fellowships for the coming year, the peculiarities of living and working on the property, and the past and future of CMTS. For more information about applying for Quarry Farm Fellowships, please visit MarkTwainStudies.org.
47 minutes | Dec 23, 2020
BONUS EPISODE: The Gospel of Revolt: Mark Twain in Elmira with Hal Holbrook & Will Holbrook
Did you know that Mark Twain’s father-in-law lobbied for the release of a young woman arrested under the Fugitive Slave Law in 1853? That Twain’s grave lies in a cemetery with numerous conductors and stationmasters on the Underground Railroad? That Twain’s eulogy was given by the first woman ordained in the state of New York? With the help of Oscar-nominated actor, Hal Holbrook, and his grandson, Will Holbrook, Matt Seybold explores the largely forgotten and often surprising political history of the small town where the Center for Mark Twain Studies is located. This episode was originally produced for the official podcast of C19: The Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists. They are currently soliciting proposals for new episodes. For more information, visit C19Society.org/podcast
64 minutes | Dec 18, 2020
DEEP CUTS BOOK CLUB #1: Mark Twain's "Letter From Santa Claus" with Mark Dawidziak, Penne Restad, & Jana Tigchelaar
This episode focuses on a letter Mark Twain composed for his three-year-old daughter on Christmas 1875. After actor Mark Dawidziak reads the letter, Matt Seybold hosts a book club style discussion with Penne Restad and Jana Tigchelaar, two scholars who have done extensive research on the development of Christmas traditions in Nineteenth-Century America. SPOILER WARNING: The discussion (begins around 11:00) includes frank discussions of Santa and therefore may not be appropriate for young children.
66 minutes | Dec 14, 2020
Good Lord Bird & John Brown in Ethan Hawke's America with Jeffrey Insko & Ashley Rattner
James McBride's retelling of John Brown's epochal raid on Harpers Ferry through the eyes of a young black man won the National Book Award in 2013 and was recently adapted into a Showtime miniseries by Ethan Hawke. Two scholars of antebellum abolitionism discuss Good Lord Bird and, more generally, rising popular interest in the events leading up to the American Civil War.
66 minutes | Dec 1, 2020
Dave Chappelle & Killjoy Comedy with Jalylah Burrell, Bambi Haggins, & Maggie Hennefeld
American Humor Studies scholars Jalylah Burrell, Bambi Haggins, and Maggie Hennefeld join host Matt Seybold to discuss the recent work of stand-up comic Dave Chappelle, especially his free half-hour routine, "8:46," released directly to YouTube the month after the murder of George Floyd.
48 minutes | Nov 23, 2020
Mark Twain, James Redpath, & The Vigilante Origins of American Police
Concluding the 2020 Trouble Begins Lecture Series, Matt Seybold interposes the early careers of Mark Twain and James Redpath, both of whom, in the years surrounding the American Civil War, denounced police forces in Charleston and San Francisco for violently oppressing people of color. What does it mean to be a witness?
55 minutes | Nov 11, 2020
The New Black Gothic & Lovecraft Country with Sheri-Marie Harrison
The Gothic has been, since Mark Twain's time, a popular way for artists to reckon with the life and afterlife of American slavery. But only recently has a Gothic tradition emerged which places black protagonists and black perspectives at its center. The recent HBO series, Lovecraft Country, is exemplary of what Sheri-Marie Harrison has dubbed New Black Gothic. In this episode she talks about the show and the artistic movement it is a part of. Show Bibliography: "The New Black Gothic" (LA Review of Books, 2018) https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/new-black-gothic/ "Global Horror: An Introduction" (Post45, 2019) https://post45.org/2019/04/global-horror-an-introduction/ "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead: An Ode To An Audiobook" (Post45, 2020) http://post45.org/2020/08/ill-sleep-when-im-dead-an-ode-to-the-audiobook/ "Marlon James & The Metafiction of the New Black Gothic" (Journal of West Indian Literature, 2018) https://www.jwilonline.org/downloads/vol-26-no-2-november-2018/
57 minutes | Nov 2, 2020
American Humor & Matters of Empire with Judith Yaross Lee
Coming off the 2020 Quarry Farm Symposium which she organized, Judith Yaross Lee talks with Matt Seybold about her ongoing project, the disciplinary history of American Humor Studies, romantic comedies, Amy Kaplan, and much more. To view the program for the 2020 Quarry Farm Symposium, which includes Dr. Lee's essay on "American Humor & Matters of Empire," as well as watch all the presentations, visit MarkTwainStudies.com/2020-Quarry-Farm-Symposium/
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