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Crowe Academy

Hanover College’s Crowe Academy
presents seminar on Mark Twain


Author Cox to give keynote address

By Ruth Wright
Staff Writer

(June 2003) – “The Current of Mark Twain’s Mississippi” will be the subject of James M. Cox’s keynote address on Friday, June 20, at Hanover College’s 2003 Crowe Academy.
Cox, an author and retired college professor, will discuss life on the Mississippi River as reflected in Twain’s literary classics, “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” and “Life on the Mississippi.”

Mark Twain Book

"Mark Twain: Life
on the Mississippi"

“What I hope to do is get a sense of that river – Mark Twain’s river. I’ll be speaking of both the current of the river and the current of the prose,” said Cox.
A Virginia native, he received a bachelor’s degree in 1948 and a master’s degree in 1949 from the University of Michigan, and a doctorate in 1955 from Indiana University. An American literature expert, he taught for two years at Emory & Henry College, for six years at Indiana University, and for 24 years at Dartmouth College, from which he retired in 1990.
As a doctoral student at IU, Cox developed a scholarly interest in Twain (a.k.a. Samuel Clemens, 1835-1910) but said his initial fascination with the legendary American author was forged when he read all of Twain’s works as a child. Cox wrote his doctoral thesis on Twain. He also wrote the book, “Mark Twain: The Fate of Humor,” and several articles, including “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court: The Machinery of Self-Preservation,” and “Pudd’nhead Wilson: The End of Mark Twain’s American Dream.”
In his lecture at Hanover, Cox will also examine Twain’s notoriety as a humorist, the difficulties he had and whether the role was one he relished. “I want to show a little how Mark Twain developed the nature of his humor. Humor is a very tough subject,” said Cox.
Cox, who now lives in Virginia in the house where he was born and raised, recalled traveling through the Madison area on his way to Virginia to visit relatives during his tenure at IU. He particularly remembered crossing the Ohio River there. “It’s one of the nicest places to cross (the Ohio),” he said.
Cox will join several featured speakers at Hanover College’s Crowe Academy to discuss this year’s topic, “Life on the River.” Lectures and discussion groups will focus on the history of and America’s fascination with the Ohio and Mississippi rivers.
Since 1999, the academy, named after Hanover College Founder John Finley Crowe, has been a part of the Center for Free Inquiry, whose mission is to bring the college’s intellectual and cultural offerings to a wider constituency. The academy consists of two and a half days of lectures, seminars, discussions and activities centered around a selected topic.
Other featured speakers will include Hanover College professors Ken Bevis, Ted Eden and Darrin Rubino; college chaplain Michelle Bartel; cruise lecturer and education coordinator for the Belle of Louisville and the Spirit of Jefferson Kadie Engstrom; and author Judith Moffett.
Registration begins at 1 p.m. Friday, June 20, in the Campus Center lobby. The cost of the event is $300 per person, which includes on-campus lodging, course materials, speakers, a cruise aboard the Spirit of Jefferson riverboat and all meals.
The cost for commuters is $225 per person; the cruise only is $50 per person. Registration deadline is June 1 for those who plan to stay on campus. Commuters can register through June 15 as space allows.

For more information call (812) 866-6848 or visit: http://cfi.hanover.edu/.

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