Mark Twain’s America with Dr. Maria Seger

Mark Twain’s America with Dr. Maria Seger


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Can't make this time? A video recording will be sent to all participants after the seminar.

Join Dr. Maria Seger for an investigation of the writing, life, and times of the man who William Dean Howells called the Abraham Lincoln of American literature: the incomparable Mark Twain.

At once the nation’s most celebrated humorist and its most biting critic, Twain probed the best and the worst of American culture in its own popular vernacular. Set against the backdrops of slavery, the Civil War, Jim Crow, westward and global imperialism, and the Gilded Age, Twain’s bestselling works drew on his experiences growing up in Missouri and traveling the American West and Europe. Along with his best-known novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884)—which Ernest Hemingway called the source of “all modern American literature”—this conversation will also cover some of Twain’s lesser-known gems, including The Tragedy of Puddn’head Wilson (1894) and select short fiction and non-fiction.

Led by an expert on nineteenth-century US literature and culture, Dr. Maria Seger, this conversation will introduce participants to Twain’s work and life in their critical and historical contexts. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of how Twain’s own travels across America and the world sparked his literary imagination.

In advance of our conversation, a list of Mark Twain’s most notable book-length worksis accessible here.

This seminar has been designed to be enjoyed as both a single event – or as part of a series of conversations. For details about Dr. Seger's upcoming talks, please click here.

Maria Seger is an assistant professor of English at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where she researches and teaches US, Black, and ethnic literatures and cultures and critical race and ethnic studies. Her work appears in Callaloo, Nineteenth-Century Literature, and Studies in American Naturalism, and her edited collection, Reading Confederate Monuments, is under contract with the University Press of Mississippi. She earned her PhD from the University of Connecticut in 2016.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 8 reviews
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Sandra S -- Boston (Saugus, US)
Highlights in the Life of a Celebrated American Author

Dr Seger related a fast-paced, enlightening overview of the life of this beloved author. Her enthusiastic manner of presenting kept me engaged as did the fascinating facts about Mark Twain which I never knew. It was most interesting to hear about his development and focus as an author in light of concurrent historical happenings of the time. I did not know that he held so many different jobs and traveled so widely. Descriptions of the content of some major works was most helpful; gave me ideas for some future reading which I would not have considered. Enjoyed this seminar and learned a lot. The presenter's passion for her topic was evident.

S
S.S. (Oxford, US)
Mark Twain

I am a huge fan of Mark Twain and have read just about every thing he has written. I thought Dr. Seger did a good job of giving incite into Twain's feelings about /America, /and the world as well as his depression in later life. I shall sign up for more of her seminars.

L
L.M. (Louisville, US)
Mark Twain’s.America Very Enjoyable!!

Dr. Seger did an excellent job. She made the program so very interesting!! The time flew by. I didn’t know what to expect & learning more about Mark Twain & the experience was totally enjoyable. Dr. Seger is an excellent presenter.

C
C.F. (Santa Monica, US)
A wonderful exploration of Twain in a new era.

This was a wonderful tour. While having learned a lot about Mark Twain many years ago as a young person, it was quite interesting and informative to revisit his work in light of current day social issues around racism and life in the United States. Dr. Seger is quite interesting and enthusiastic in her presentation, and I enjoyed it very much.

S
Susan G (Wilmette, US)
Outstanding

A fantastic seminar ... well presented and organized, thought-provoking and insightful. Maria gave us a wonderful overview of Mark Twain's life and writings. Very worthwhile!

Customer Reviews

Based on 8 reviews
100%
(8)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
S
Sandra S -- Boston (Saugus, US)
Highlights in the Life of a Celebrated American Author

Dr Seger related a fast-paced, enlightening overview of the life of this beloved author. Her enthusiastic manner of presenting kept me engaged as did the fascinating facts about Mark Twain which I never knew. It was most interesting to hear about his development and focus as an author in light of concurrent historical happenings of the time. I did not know that he held so many different jobs and traveled so widely. Descriptions of the content of some major works was most helpful; gave me ideas for some future reading which I would not have considered. Enjoyed this seminar and learned a lot. The presenter's passion for her topic was evident.

S
S.S. (Oxford, US)
Mark Twain

I am a huge fan of Mark Twain and have read just about every thing he has written. I thought Dr. Seger did a good job of giving incite into Twain's feelings about /America, /and the world as well as his depression in later life. I shall sign up for more of her seminars.

L
L.M. (Louisville, US)
Mark Twain’s.America Very Enjoyable!!

Dr. Seger did an excellent job. She made the program so very interesting!! The time flew by. I didn’t know what to expect & learning more about Mark Twain & the experience was totally enjoyable. Dr. Seger is an excellent presenter.

C
C.F. (Santa Monica, US)
A wonderful exploration of Twain in a new era.

This was a wonderful tour. While having learned a lot about Mark Twain many years ago as a young person, it was quite interesting and informative to revisit his work in light of current day social issues around racism and life in the United States. Dr. Seger is quite interesting and enthusiastic in her presentation, and I enjoyed it very much.

S
Susan G (Wilmette, US)
Outstanding

A fantastic seminar ... well presented and organized, thought-provoking and insightful. Maria gave us a wonderful overview of Mark Twain's life and writings. Very worthwhile!