The Mark Twain Circle of America

Building a Model of Huck and Jim’s Raft

Peter G. Beidler’s recent book, Rafts and Rivercraft in Huckleberry Finn (University of Missouri Press, 2018), will change the way you read the novel. Here is an article about some of his research.

Mark Your Calendars for the Third Clemens Conference

Mark Your Calendars

The Clemens Conference 2019 Hannibal, Missouri

The Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum will host The Clemens Conference July 25-27, 2019 in Hannibal, Missouri. This is the third Clemens Conference and will be held on the campus of Hannibal-LaGrange University. A call for papers will be posted later. Preference will be given for papers focusing on Hannibal, Missouri or the Mississippi River, although any Mark Twain topic will be considered. Further details will be shared as they are finalized. Contact Henry Sweets with any questions.

Henry Sweets, Executive Director Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum
120 North Main Street Hannibal MO 63401
573-221-9010 extension 405

Deadline for Hotel Registration

If you are planning on attending the joint conference of the Mark Twain Circle and American Humor Studies Association, “Humor in America” (Chicago, July 12-14), note that the deadline for conference hotel registration ends on June 11. Here is the link to the hotel information:

New Officers of the Mark Twain Circle

At the American Literature Association annual conference in May in San Francisco, new officers were elected. Lawrence Howe of Roosevelt University was elected president, and Sharon D. McCoy of the University of Georgia was elected vice president. Many thanks to Kerry Driscoll of the University of Saint Joseph for her service as president.

The 2018 Mark Twain Annual will be the last for editor Chad Rohman of Dominican University. We welcome the fourth editor of the journal, Ben Click, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, who will edit the 2019 edition.

SAMLA 2018 CFP Deadline Extended

CFP: Mark Twain and Social Activism
SAMLA 90 Conference
November 2-4, 2018

Even a casual reader of Mark Twain’s writing will notice the author’s status as a trenchant social critic. Works such as Puddn’head Wilson, “King Leopold’s Soliloquy,” “The War Prayer,” and, indeed, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn have long been established among the most important anti-racist, anti-imperialist, and pro-democratic texts of the later twentieth century. What is less understood is Twain’s relationship to actual political action and activism. How did he position himself in relation to the period’s reformers, revolutionaries, and other activists? Did he participate directly or indirectly in activist movements? Or did his participation begin and end with his writings?

This panel looks to explore these questions by inviting papers that discuss Twain’s relationship to reform, revolution, and activism. We welcome essays about all stages of Twain’s career and the vast array of social causes that he took on during his lifetime.

Please email an abstract (of no more than 350 words) and a brief biographical note to Alex Beringer ( no later than June 17th 2018.

Passing of Lawrence Berkove

I am sorry to send the news that noted Mark Twain scholar Lawrence Berkove died yesterday. Larry Berkove was a friend, model, and mentor for many in the Mark Twain world, as well as a former president of the Mark Twain Circle of America. Larry leaves behind a legacy of impeccable scholarship. Condolences can be sent to his wife:
Gail Berkove
17020 Margate
Southfield, MI 48076

This tribute to Larry Berkove from the Mark Twain Journal was written by Joseph Csiscila, Larry’s student, collaborator, and friend:


The Huck Finn Controversy in Duluth

Jocelyn Chadwick offers her informed opinion on the controversy over removing Huckleberry Finn from reading lists in Duluth, MN.