Mark Twain and the Emergence of the United States
Taylor Hagood
Lifelong Learning Society Distinguished Professor in Arts and Humanities, 2013-2014

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Mark Twain has long been adored by both popular readers and critics, even as he and his writing have been controversial. To understand Mark Twain is, in part, to understand the vital transition of the United States from a new nation to an emerging superpower. This lecture series will highlight the fascinating life and writing of this famous man who became by turns a journalist, speaker, and entrepreneur while creating some of the most enduring fiction in American literature. At the same time, this lecture series will consider the transitions that were occurring in the United States during Twain's career and his own role in Local Color writing, Gilded Age economics, and early-United States imperialism. Lectures will include Twain’s biography, the events surrounding his life and career, and discussions of the plots and significance of some of his major works. 
1. The Life and Times of Mark Twain
2. The Early Local Colorist
3. Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn
4. Life on the Mississippi
BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION:  Dr. Taylor Hagood is the 2013-2014 Lifelong Learning Society (LLS) Distinguished Professor of Arts and Letters, and he is also Associate Professor of American Literature at Florida Atlantic University. His Ph.D. was conferred in United States Literature and Culture from the University of Mississippi, where he was the Frances Bell McCool Fellow in Faulkner Studies, Hagood has authored two books: Faulkner's Imperialism: Space, Place and the Materiality of Myth and Secrecy, Magic and  The One-Act Plays of Harlem Renaissance Women Writers. In 2009-2010, he was a Fulbright Professor in the Amerika Institut at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, Germany, and he was awarded the 2010-2011 Scholar of the Year Award at the Assistant Professor level.

Time: 11:00 am - 12:45 pm
Date: Mondays, March 17, 24, 31; April 7
Location: Barry and Florence Friedberg Auditorium, Boca Raton Campus
Fees: $34 member / $54 non-member