John H. Davis

Distinguished Professor of English

Contact Information

(252) 398-6240

I like literature because it offers insights into humanity by heightening and focusing the human condition within artistic structures inviting investigation and discussion that challenge both mind and emotion.

Education

  • PhD, Auburn University
  • MA, Auburn University
  • BA (with Honors), Alabama College (The University of Montevallo)

Courses Taught

  • Honors Composition
  • Survey of British Literature
  • Critical Approaches to Literature
  • Chaucer
  • Eighteenth-Century British Literature
  • British Romantic Literature
  • Novel
  • Survey of American Literature
  • Appreciation of Film
  • American Literary Realism
  • Southern Literature
  • The Short Story
  • Mark Twain

Academic & Scholarly Achievements

  • Honor Society Memberships
    Phi Alpha Theta (History)
    Sigma Tau Delta (English)
    Eta Sigma Phi (Academic)
    Alpha Chi (Academic)
    Alpha Lambda Delta (Academic)

    Professional Memberships (Past and Present)
    Alabama College English Teachers’ Association (ACETA)
    North Carolina-Virginia College English Association (NC-Va CEA)
    Philological Association of the Carolinas (PAC)
    American Literature Association (ALA)
    Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association (PCA/ACA)
    Popular Culture Association in the South/American Popular Association in the South (PCAS/ACAS)
    South Atlantic Modern Language Association (SAMLA)
    Modern Language Association (MLA)
    Emily Dickinson Society
    Mark Twain Forum
    Mark Twain Circle
    Poe Studies Association

    ACAS Representative to PCAS/ACAS 2001-2002

    Program Chair, PCAS/ACAS Annual Conference 2006

    Created PCAS/ACAS Logo (now on association materials, bags, and programs) 2006  

    Awards, Honors, and Distinctions
    Invitations to speak at: First Clemens Conference, The Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum, Hannibal, Missouri, 2011; Twain/Tolstoy Symposium sponsored by The Editorial Institute of Boston University 2010; Elizabeth Sewall Parker Memorial Library Committee. Murfreesboro, North Carolina, 2010; Quadrennial International Conferences on the State of Mark Twain Studies at Elmira College, Elmira, New York 2001, 2005, 2009, 2013; American Literature Association Meetings in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, 1997, & Boston, Massachusetts, 2005; Mark Twain House, Hartford Connecticut, 1992

    Promoted to Distinguished Professor of English 2018 (Only five at this rank at one time)

    Received Certificate from International Headquarters of Sigma Tau Delta for 20 years of “Excellent Service as Sponsor of Alpha Zeta Rho chapter of Sigma Tau Delta” [1997-2017] 2018

    Asked to be keynote speaker at Phi Alpha Theta Induction Ceremonies, 2018, 2004

    Asked by R. Kent Rasmussen, editor, to write essay of my choosing for Critical Insights: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn 2017

    Finalist, McDowell Columns Scholar Prize 2016

    Part of team teaching Literature and Law course 2015

    Chair, College/Community Committee, which developed Films@Chowan (“Old Films, New Ideas”) that presented films, commentary, and discussion, open to the college and wider community, and offered credit to area school teachers, an effort to bring town and gown closer [I co-introduced, wrote/provided introductions to films, and helped lead discussions] 2014-2015, 2015-2016

    Awarded McDowell Columns Scholar Prize 2013
    Honorary membership in Alpha Lambda Delta, awarded 2013
    Certificate, 15 years of “excellent service as Sponsor of Alpha Zeta Rho Chapter,” Sigma Tau Delta, 2012
    Asked by ed., Dr. Rhonda Wilcox, to review submissions to Studies in Popular Culture 2009, 2010, 2011
    Order of Lux Veritas 2006—
    Keynote Speaker, The World of Mark Twain, [1st] Chowan Faculty Interdisciplinary Symposium, 2005
    Asked to create & develop (I also named) The Literary Hit Parade for Sigma Tau Delta website 1999
    Innovator of Film Course at Chowan 1997
    Commencement Speaker (chosen by senior class), Chowan College Commencement 1996
    Carnegie-Mellon Fellow (Chaucer Workshop, Vanderbilt University), spring 1981
    NDEA Graduate Fellowship 1967-1970
    Senior Elite in English (chosen by Alabama College English Faculty) 1966-1967  

    Selected Publications (Essays)

    “Serving Political Pork along the Underground Railroad: Tragedy and Travesty of Train travel in Mark Twain’s ‘Cannibalism in the Cars.’” Mark Twain Journal: The Author and His Era. 56.1 (Spring 2018): 136-163.

    “The Reluctant Author: Huck Finn’s Metafictional Partnership with Mark Twain.” Critical Insights: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Ed. R. Kent Rasmussen. Ipswich, Ma.: Salem Publishing (Grey Home Pub.), 2017. 128-145.

    “Who Wears the Pants?: Sexual Masquerade and Sexual Meaning in ‘An Awful Terrible... Medieval Romance.” The Mark Twain Annual 14 (2016): 104-113.

    “Mark Twain’s Arousal of Curiosity in ‘A Curious Experience.’” American Literary Realism 46.2 (Winter 2014): 176-186.

    “George Kenneth Wolfskill.” “The Faculty and Administrative Staff Emeriti.” The Renaissance of Chowan University: 2003-2013. Ed. M. Christopher White. Virginia Beach, Va.: The Donning Company, 2013. 146.

    “The Scent of a Satire: Validating ‘The Invalid’s Story.’” The Mark Twain Annual 10 (2012): 71-90. 

    “Advent: Waiting for—while Re-Living—the Great Drama.”www.chowan.edu/advent November 28, 2010.

    Literary Hit Parade. Sigma Tau Delta Website.http://www.english.org/hitparade.shtml (1999, updated 2002, 2005, 2008, 2010). [I created this list for the 75th anniversary of Sigma Tau Delta] 

    "Bridging the Gap: The Twin Kingdoms of The Prince and the Pauper." Mark Twain's Geographical Imagination. Ed. Joseph Alvarez. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Pub., 2009. 17-34. 

    “Cowboys and Indians in King Arthur’s Court: Hank Morgan’s Version of Manifest Destiny in Mark Twain’s Connecticut Yankee.” The Mark Twain Annual No. 5 (2007): 83-92.

    Critical Companion to Mark Twain: A Literary Reference to His Life and Work. R. Kent Rasmussen, With Critical Commentary by John H. Davis and Alex Feerst. 2 Vols. New York: Facts on File, 2007:
    19 essays about works by Mark Twain (in order of writing, with original titles):
    “No. 44, The Mysterious Stranger: Free at Last” 359-361.
    “‘A Dog’s Tale’: A Canine Conundrum” 104.
    “‘Jim Baker’s Blue-Jay Yarn’: Framed” 36-37.
    “‘The War Prayer’: Spoken and Unspoken” 552-553.
    “‘A True Story: Repeated Word for Word as I Heard It’: Nobody Knows the Trouble” 547-548.
    “‘The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County’: Ascent and Descent” 287-288. “‘The Facts Concerning the Recent Carnival of Crime in Connecticut’: Conscience-Struck” 124-125.
    “‘The $30,000 Bequest’: Invisible Wealth” 465-466.
    “‘The Private History of a Campaign That Failed’: The Epitome of War” 390-391.
    “The Prince and the Pauper: Two Kingdoms, Two Guides” 374-380.
    “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court: Lost Western World” 75-80.
    “The McWilliams Stories: Domestic Comedy or Domesticated Husband?” 334-336.
    “‘The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg’: Not as a Stranger” 322-327.
    “‘A Horse’s Tale’: No Bull” 172-174.
    “The Tragedy of Pudd’head Wilson: Two Sides of a Dog” 401-409.
    “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: Fleeing Tom” 203-211.
    “Roughing It: Finding a Voice in the Wilderness” 440-444.
    “The American Claimant: In Clemens’ Weather” 24-26.
    “Adam and Eve Diaries: Fortunate Fall into Love” 120-121. 

    “The Bum’s Rush or a Professional Charge.” [Commencement Address, 1996] Chowan Today 41.2 (Summer 1996): 9.

    “Stupid Is as Stupid Does.” [Honors Day Speech] Chowan Today 41.1 (Spring 1996): 5-6. 

    The Mark Twain Encyclopedia. Ed. J.R. LeMaster and James D. Wilson. New York: Garland Publishing, 1993. 13 Entries:
    “Curious Dream: Containing a Moral, A.” 195-196.
    “Curious Experience, A.” 196-197.
    “Dog’s Tale, A.” 223-224.
    “Experience of the McWilliamses with Membranous Croup.” 269-270.
    “Indiantown” 394-395.
    “McWilliamses and the Burglar Alarm, The” 481-483.
    “Mrs. McWilliams and the Lightning.” 525-526.
    “My Boyhood Dreams.” 528-529.
    “Singular Episode, A.” 683-684.
    “Story without an End, A.” 716.
    “Strange Dream, A” 717-718.
    “Which Was It?” 787-788.
    “Which Was the Dream?” 788-789. 

    “American Commitment in Casablanca.” Literature/Film Quarterly 18.4 (1990): 275-276.

    “’Still the Same Old Story’: The Refusal of Time to Go By in Casablanca.” Literature/Film Quarterly 18.2 (1990): 122-127.

    “From Darkness into Light.” Biblical Recorder 29 March 1986: 3.

    “The Dream as Reality: Structure and Meaning in Mark Twain’s ‘The Great Dark.’”Mississippi Quarterly xxxv.4 (Fall 1982): 407-426.  

    Publications (Book Reviews)
    Review of David Ketterer, ed. Tales of Wonder [by Mark Twain]. Lincoln: U Nebraska P, 2003. 12 January 2004 The Mark Twain. Forum.http://www.yorku.ca/twainweb/reviews/TalesOfWonder.html

    Review of Kent Rasmussen. Mark Twain A to Z: The Essential Reference to His Life and Writings. New York: Oxford UP, 1996. 8 June 1997 The Mark Twain. Forum.http://www.yorku.ca/twainweb/reviews/mtazprev.html

    Review of Harold Bloom, ed. Mark Twain (Modern Critical Views). New York: Chelsea House, 1986. 23 August 1996 The Mark Twain. Forum.http://www.yorku.ca/twainweb/reviews/bloom.html  

    Editorial Peer Reviewer of Scholarly Articles for Academic Journal:

    Studies in Popular Culture 34.1 (Fall 2011)  

    Studies in Popular Culture 33.1 (Fall 2010)

    Studies in Popular Culture 32.1 (Fall 2009)

    Scholarship (Paper Presentations):

    “Shades of the Color Line in Charles Waddell Chesnutt’s ‘The Wife of His Youth,” Annual Conference of Popular Culture Association in the South/American Culture Association in the South, New Orleans, Louisiana, October 4-6, 2018.

    “Shades of the Color Line in Charles Waddell Chesnutt’s ‘The Wife of His Youth,’” Seeing Color: Fourteenth Annual Faculty Interdisciplinary Symposium, Vaughan Auditorium, Chowan University, April 16, 2018.

    “That’s the Way It Might Be: History Updated,” Keynote Address, Phi Alpha Theta Induction Ceremony, Vaughan Auditorium, Chowan University, March 28, 2018.

    “Mark Twain in the UK,” Lecture for Study Abroad in United Kingdom, Marks Hall 104, Chowan University, March 22, 2018.

    “The Monster at the End of the Story: Another Look at Stephen Crane’s ‘The Monster,’” Popular Culture Association in the South/American Culture Association in the South. Savannah, Georgia, October 5-7, 2017.

    “Telephone, Television, Tell-a-Story: Mark Twain’s Use of Technology as Plot Device,” Eighth Quadrennial International Conference on the State of Mark Twain Studies: The Assault of Laughter (August 3-5, 2017), Elmira College, Elmira, New York, August 3, 2017.

    “William Faulkner’s ‘Postage Stamp of Native Soil’: A Universe in a County Called Yoknapatawpha.” A Diverse World: Thirteenth Annual Faculty Interdisciplinary Symposium, Robert Marks Hall, Chowan University, April 17, 2017.

    “The Monster at the End of the Story: Another Look at Stephen Crane’s ‘The Monster.’” Popular Culture Association in the South/American Culture Association in the South, Nashville, Tennessee, October 14, 2016. (Accepted for presentation, but Hurricane Matthew flooded airport and prevented attendance, too late to re-schedule flight at another airline or airport)

    "The Monster at the End of the Story: An Examination of Stephen Crane's The Monster," Twelfth Annual Faculty Interdisciplinary Symposium: Monsters and the Monstrous, Chowan University, Murfreesboro, North Carolina, April 18, 2016.

    Essays about films—Film Noir: Murder, My Sweet; Laura; Detour; Born to Kill; Force of Evil; Gun Crazy; Body Heat; Comedies: It Happened One Night; My Man Godfrey; His Girl Friday; Pillow Talk; When Harry Met Sally—written for Eng 161 (Appreciation of Film), devoted to the above genres and given as handouts to students in the course, Chowan University, spring and fall semesters, 2016-2017, 2018-2019. (Others written over the years of the course since 1997 on these genres: Film Noir> The Maltese Falcon, The Big Sleep, Out of the Past, L.A. Confidential; Comedy> The General, Sherlock, Jr., Never Weaken, City Lights, The Music Box, The Helpmates, Duck Soup, The Bank Dick, The Dentist, It’s a Gift, Disorder in the Court, Divot Diggers, The Awful Truth, Holiday, Bringing up Baby)

    “Telephone, Television, Tell-a-Story: Mark Twain’s Use of Technology as Plot Device,” Annual Conference of Popular Culture in the South/American Culture in the South Association (PCAS/ACAS), Wilmington, NC, October 2, 2015.

    “Going Ape over King Kong,” Films@Chowan (introduction, film series sponsored by College/Community Committee), Vaughan Auditorium, Chowan University, September 20, 2015.

    “’More of a Stranger than Fiction’: Evolution of a Western Genre,” Chowan Salon, Vaughan Auditorium, Chowan University, September 9, 2015.

    Essays about films—Westerns: Stagecoach, Destry Rides Again, Tall in the Saddle, Ox-Bow Incident, My Darling Clementine, Seven Men from Now, Ride the High Country, Blazing Saddles; Gangster: The Public Enemy, A Slight Case of Murder, The Roaring Twenties, All Through the Night—written for English 161 (Appreciation of Film), devoted to the genres above and given as handouts to students in the course, Chowan University, spring and fall semesters, 2015-2016, 2017-2018. (Others written over the years of the course since 1997 on these genres: Westerns> Jesse James, Shane, High Noon, The Searchers, High Plains Drifter, Unforgiven, The Wild Bunch; Gangster> Scarface, Little Caesar, The Petrified Forest, G-Men, Angels with Dirty Faces, High Sierra, White Heat, Bonnie and Clyde)

    “Who Wears the Pants?—Sexual Masquerade and Sexual Meaning in ‘An Awful....Terrible Medieval Romance,’” The Second Quadrennial Clemens Conference, Hannibal-LaGrange University and The Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum, Hannibal, Missouri, July 24, 2015.

    “Telephone, Television, Tell-a-Story: Mark Twain’s Use of Technology as Plot Device,” Futures: Past and Present: The Eleventh Annual Faculty Interdisciplinary Symposium, Marks Hall, Chowan University, April 16, 2015.

    “The Popularity of Frank Capra’s Populism,” Films@Chowan (introduction, film series sponsored by College/Community Committee), Vaughan Auditorium, Chowan University, March 29, 2015.

    “Not of this Time, Not of that Place: Poe’s Misty Settings.” Fourth International Conference on Edgar Allan Poe. Roosevelt Hotel, New York, NY, Feb. 26-March 1, 2015. 

    “1930s Depression-Era Films Culminating in Of Mice and Men,” Films@Chowan (introduction, film series sponsored by College/Community Committee), Vaughan Auditorium, Chowan University, February 15, 2015.

    “Westerns, 1939, and Union Pacific,” Film@Chowan (introduction, film series sponsored by College/Community Committee), Vaughan Auditorium, Chowan University, November 15, 2014.

    “Who Wears the Pants?—Sexual Masquerade and Sexual Meaning in ‘An Awful....Terrible Medieval Romance,’” Annual Conference of Popular Culture in the South/American Culture in the South Association, J.W. Marriott Hotel, New Orleans, La., October 2-4, 2014.

     “It’s a Wonderful Year: 1939, Mirabilus Annus of Film,” Film@Chowan (introduction, film series sponsored by College/Community Committee), Vaughan Auditorium, Chowan University, September 25, 2014.  

    “Who Wears the Pants?—Sexual Masquerade and Sexual Meaning in ‘An Awful....Terrible Medieval Romance,’” Thinking Gender: The Tenth Annual Faculty Interdisciplinary Symposium, Marks Hall, Chowan University, April 21, 2014.

    “The Scent of a Satire: Validating ‘The Invalid’s Story,” Chowan Salon, Vaughan Auditorium, Chowan University, February 21, 2014.  

    “Not of this Time, Not of this Place: Poe’s Misty Settings,” Annual Conference of Popular Culture in the South/American Culture in the South Association, Marriott Riverfront Hotel, Savannah, Ga., October 4, 2013.

    “Archetypes as Interpreters of War: From Front Line to Home Front in ‘The Private History of a Campaign that Failed’ and ‘The War Prayer,’” The Seventh Quadrennial International Conference on the State of Mark Twain Studies—One Man, Many Legacies: Observing the Sesquicentennial of the Pen-Name, Elmira College, Elmira, New York, August 2, 2013.

    “Serving Political Pork along the Underground Railroad in Mark Twain’s ‘Cannibalism in the Cars,’” From Field to Table: A Foodways Journey: The Ninth Annual Faculty Interdisciplinary Symposium, Vaughan Auditorium, Chowan University, April 22, 2013.

    “Who Wears the Pants?—Sexual Masquerade and Sexual Meaning in ‘An Awful….Terrible Medieval Romance.’” Annual Conference of the Popular Culture Association in the South/American Culture Association in the South, J.W. Marriott Hotel, New Orleans, La., October 2-4, 2014.

    “The Scent of a Satire: Validating ‘The Invalid’s Story.’” Chowan Salon, Vaughan Auditorium, Chowan University, February 21, 2014.

    “Not of this Time, Not of that Place: Poe’s Misty Settings.” Annual Conference of the Popular Culture Association in the South/American Culture Association in the South, Marriott Riverfront Hotel, Savannah, Ga., October 4, 2013.

    “Archetypes as Interpreters of War: From Front Line to Home Front in ‘The Private History of a Campaign that Failed’ and ‘The War Prayer’” Elmira 2013: The Seventh International Conference on the State of Mark Twain Studies—One Man, Many Legacies: Observing the Sesquicentennial of the Pen-name. Elmira College Center for Mark Twain Studies, Elmira College, Elmira, NY, August 2, 2013.

    “Serving Political Pork along the Underground Railroad in Mark Twain’s ‘Cannibalism in the Cars,’” Ninth Annual Faculty Interdisciplinary Symposium: From Field to Table: A Foodways Journey, Vaughan Auditorium, Chowan University, Monday, April 22, 2013.

    “‘More of a Stranger Than Fiction’: Evolution of a Western Genre [The Stranger in Town].” Annual National Conference of Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association. Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, Washington, D.C. March 30, 2013.

    “Keeping the Faith—Fulfilling the Promise.” Address at Induction ceremony, Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, Vaughan Auditorium, Chowan University, March 3, 2013

    “The Passive and the Aggressive: Melville’s Bartleby and Ahab.” Annual Conference of the Popular Culture Association in the South/American Culture Association in the South, Hutton Hotel, Nashville, Tennessee, September 29, 2012.

    “Taking the Road Not Taken: Exploring Alternate Directions in Fiction and Film.” Chowan Salon Lecture, Vaughan Auditorium, Chowan University, Murfreesboro, North Carolina, December 2, 2011.

    “Scent of a Satire: Validating ‘The Invalid’s Story.’” Mark Twain’s Hannibal: The Clemens Conference. The Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum, Hannibal-LaGrange University, Hannibal, Missouri. August 13, 2011. 

    “Sam Clemens to Mark Twain—175 years and More to Come.” The Chowan Salon Lecture Series. Vaughan Auditorium, Chowan University, Murfreesboro, North Carolina. November 12, 2010.

    “Meet Mark Twain Again… and for the First Time.” Mark Twain: Happy 175th Birthday. Elizabeth Sewall Parker Memorial Library. Murfreesboro, North Carolina. November 4, 2010.

    “In Clemens’ Weather: Mark Twain’s Anti-Climactic Climatizing in The American Claimant.” Annual Conference of Popular Culture Association in the South/American Culture Association in the South. The Marriott Savannah Riverfront Hotel, Savannah, Georgia. October 8, 2010.

    “Travesty and Tragedy of Train Travel in Mark Twain’s ‘Cannibalism in the Cars.’” “The very ink with which all history is written is merely fluid prejudice”: A Symposium at Boston University Observing the Legacies of Mark Twain and Leo Tolstoy on the Centennial of Their Passing.” Sponsor: The Editorial Institute of Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts. August 21, 2010.

    “Not of this Time, Not of that Place: Poe’s Misty Settings.” A Sense of Place: The Sixth Annual Interdisciplinary Symposium. Chowan Academic Forum: A Celebration of the Intellectual and Artistic Life of Chowan University (April 16-21, 2010). Vaughan Auditorium, Chowan University, Murfreesboro, North Carolina. April 19, 2010.

    “Lee Smith: From the South to the World” (Introduction of Lee Smith). The Annual Mary Frances Hobson Lecture and Prize for Distinguished Achievement in Arts and Letters. Turner Auditorium, Chowan University, Murfreesboro, North Carolina. April 12, 2010.

    “’The Game’s Afoot’: Serious Play with Knight Unhorsed and Chivalry at Bay in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.” Annual Conference of Popular Culture Association in the South/American Culture Association in the South. Hilton Wilmington Riverside Hotel, Wilmington, North Carolina. October 1, 2009.

    “Working on the Railroad: Train Travel in Mark Twain’s ‘Cannibalism in the Cars,’” Elmira 2009: The Sixth International Conference on the State of Mark Twain Studies—Observing the Centennial of the Death of Samuel Langhorne Clemens: The Worlds of Mark Twain, held by the Elmira College Center for Mark Twain Studies, Elmira College, Elmira, New York. August 6, 2009.

    "The Tragedy of Roy Earle: 'Mad Dog' as Tragic Hero in High Sierra," First Annual Global Film Conference, The University of North Alabama, Florence, Alabama, March 5-7, 2009.

    “Trying to Tell a Story: Why Tristram Shandy Moves from a Central Intelligence in Print to a Group Endeavor on Film.” Popular Culture Assoc. in the South/American Assoc. in the South (PCAS/ACAS). Jacksonville, Fla., Sept. 27-29, 2007.

    “Cowboys and Indians in King Arthur’s Court: Hank Morgan’s Version of Manifest Destiny in Mark Twain’s Connecticut Yankee.” 5th International Conference on the State of Mark Twain Studies, Elmira College, Elmira, New York, August 4-6, 2005.

    “‘And Did the Sad Hearts Thicken’: Language, Realism, and Technology in Twain’s Satire of Sentimental Fiction,” American Literature Association, Boston, Massachusetts, May 26-29, 2005.

    “‘Discover the Promise’ (?): Discover the Reality. Discover the Joy!” Address at Induction ceremony, Alpha Lambda Delta (National Honor Society for Freshmen), Vaughan Auditorium, Chowan University, Murfreesboro, NC, March 6, 2005.

    “Remarks on Poetry of Chuck Sullivan” (Hobson Literary Honoree), Hobson Literary Award Banquet, Chowan Room, Chowan College, May 3, 2004.

    “‘The Very Ink of History’: Mark Twain, History, and You.” Address at Induction Ceremony, Phi Alpha Theta (History Honor Society), President’s Room (now Chowan Room), Chowan College, Murfreesboro, NC, April 15, 2004.

    “‘And They Returned by Another Way’: Alternate Possibilities in Fiction.” PCAS/ACAS, J. W Marriot Hotel, New Orleans, La. Sept. 23-25, 2004.

    “‘A Knight without Armor [but with Revolvers and Lasso] in a Savage Land’: Mark Twain’s Connecticut Yankee as Science Fiction Cowboy.” PCAS/ACAS. Sea Turtle Inn, Atlantic Beach, Fla. Oct. 2-4, 2003.

    “Going Backward to Go Through: Allusions, Flashbacks, Symbols, and Wartime Censorship in Passage to Marseille.” PCAS/ACAS, Hyatt Hotel, Charlotte, NC, Oct, 3-5, 2002.

    “‘Curiouser and Curiouser’: Mark Twain’s Arousal of Curiosity in a Curiosity Called ‘A Curious Experience’” (Juried Selection). Fourth International Conference on the State of Mark Twain Studies (Sponsor: Center for Mark Twain Studies, Elmira College), Elmira, NY, Aug. 16-18, 2001.

    “Journeying to the Present Through the Past: The Levels of Story in Passage to Marseille.” PCAS/ACAS, Sea Turtle Inn, Atlantic Beach, Fla. Oct. 4-6, 2001.

    “‘Head ‘em off at the Bypass, Boys!’: The Separate Mythical World of B-Westerns.” PCAS/ACAS, Sheraton Downtown, Nashville, Tenn. Oct. 5-7, 2000.

    “Secular Sacrifice: Issues Saving Pvt. Ryan and Other Hollywood Films Raise about This Greatest Love.” PCAS/ACAS, Roanoke Airport Marriott, Roanoke, Va. Oct. 7-9, 1999.

    “A Note about a Number: Mark Twain’s No. 44.” Philological Association of the Carolinas (PAC), Converse College, Spartanburg, SC, March 19-21, 1998.

    “Showdowns and Showoffs: The Myth of the Gunfighter in High Noon and The Fastest Gun Alive.” PCAS/ACAS, Ramada Plaza, Augusta, Ga., Oct. 8-10, 1998.

    “More of a Stranger Than Fiction: Evolution of a Western Genre [The Stranger in Town]” PCAS/ACAS. Adam’s Mark Hotel, Columbia, SC, Oct. 16-18, 1997.

    “Mark Twain’s Jokes on His Readers.” American Literature Association Symposium on the Trickster (Sponsor: American Literature Association). Cal-Neva Lodge, Crystal Bay, Nev. (Incline Village & Lake Tahoe) Oct. 9-11, 1997.

    “Elusive Allusions in High Noon and Lifeboat: Literary, Social, Political, and Historical Influences on Films from Cold and Hot Wars.” PCAS/ACAS, Hyatt Regency, Savannah, Ga., Oct. 17-19, 1996. 

    “The Bum’s Rush or a Professional Charge?: A Commencement Address.” Commencement Exercises, Steps of Columns Building, Chowan College, Murfreesboro, NC, May 11, 1996.

    “Stupid Is as Stupid Does.” Honors Day Convocation, Vaughan Auditorium, Chowan College, May 1, 1996.

    “Here’s Looking at You Again, Kid: Non-Sequel Sequels, the Tumbleweed Effect, and the Bogart Myth.” PCAS/ACAS, Richmond Marriott Hotel, Richmond, Va. Oct. 5-7, 1995.

    “Where the Twain Meet: The Implied Observer Balancing Mark Twain’s Narrative Poses.” PCAS//ACAS, Hilton at University Place, Charlotte, NC. Oct. 20-22, 1994.

    “Mark Twain’s Last Novel: No. 44, The Mysterious Stranger.” Faculty Forum/Lyceum, Vaughan Auditorium, Chowan College, Murfreesboro, NC, Nov. 19, 1994. 

    “Mark Twain and Practical Jokes.” PCAS/ACAS, Regal Maxwell House, Nashville, Tenn., Oct. 14-16, 1993.

    “Mark Twain and Frontier Myth.” Fall Twain Symposium (Sponsor: Mark Twain Memorial), Mark Twain House, Hartford, Ct., Oct. 10-11, 1992.

    “Unexpected Moves by a Knight Named Paladin: Have Gun-Will Travel as a Non-Typical Western.” PCAS/ACAS, Holiday Inn—Waterside, Norfolk, Va., Oct. 3-5, 1991.  

    “‘Still the Same Old Story’: The Refusal of Time to Go By in Casablanca.” PCAS/ACAS, The Madison Hotel, Montgomery, Ala., Oct. 4-6, 1990.  

    “‘Still the Same Old Story’: The Refusal of Time to Go By in Casablanca.” Annual Conference on Literature and Film, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Fla., Feb., 1990.

    “‘Still the Same Old Story’: The Refusal of Time to Go By in Casablanca.” NC-Va CEA Annual Meeting. Gardner-Webb College, spring 1989. 

    “Two Stories, Two Poems, and Poe’s Poetics.” Meeting of North Carolina Baptist Colleges and Universities (Sponsor: North Carolina Baptist Education Commission), Meredith College, Raleigh, NC, 1986.

    Dramatic Reading of Mark Twain’s Adam and Eve’s Diaries. My wife, Sarah (Eve), and I (Adam) performed readings of this work, based on an adaptation by Alex Effgen (Boston University) and further adapted by Sarah Davis, for: High school classes at St. Mary’s School, Raleigh, North Carolina, February 13, 2012.  

    The Albermarle District Meeting of Episcopal Church Women. St. Thomas’ Church, Ahoskie, North Carolina. October 7, 2011. 

    The Mature Patrons’ Program. Sallie Harrell Jenkins Memorial Library. Aulander, North Carolina, December 21, 2010.

    Selected Coursework

    “A Dickens Bicentennial,” Adventures in Ideas: Program in the Humanities and Human Values, (presented by UNC Humanities Program of the College of Arts and Sciences & the General Alumni Association, co-sponsored by the UNC Civic Education Consortium), University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, June 30, 2012. 

    “Shakespeare’s Henry Play: Power, Politics, and the Legacy of War.” Adventures in Ideas: Program in the Humanities and Human Values, UNC Humanities Program of the College of Arts and Sciences and the General Alumni Association, with support from Playmakers Repertory Company. UNC School of Government, University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill, February 17-18, 2012.

    “Mark Twain for a New Century,” Adventures in Ideas: Program in the Humanities and Human Values (presented by the UNC Humanities Program of the College of Arts and Sciences & the General Alumni Association, co-sponsored by the UNC Civic Education Consortium), UNC School of Government, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, June 25, 2011.

    “Comedy on the Stage from Rome to Wilde,” Adventures in Ideas: Program in the Humanities and Human Values (presented by the UNC Humanities Program of the College of Arts and Sciences and the General Alumni Association), The William Friday Center, University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill, March 19-20, 2010.

    “The Classical Southern Novel,” Adventures in Ideas: Program in the Humanities and Human Values (presented by the UNC Humanities Program of the College of Arts and Sciences and the General Alumni Association), The William Friday Center, University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill, July 11, 2009.