After months of negotiations this spring, the editorial offices of the Mark Twain Journal will move from their previous home at Auburn University to the Baylor campus. The move comes in the wake of Dr. Joe B. Fulton, professor of English at Baylor and one of the country’s foremost Twain scholars, receiving the title “Legacy Scholar” by the publication. Fulton also became a member of the Journal’s editorial board and serves as publisher and editor-in-chief.
“The first issue of the Journal to carry the Baylor name on the masthead will appear this fall,” Dr. Kevin Gardner, chair and professor of English, said. “The editorial offices of the Mark Twain Journal will be housed in the ground floor of the Carroll Science Building. The space is being remodeled and furnished with funds earned for the Department of English by sales of tickets to the Waco performance of Hal Holbrook’s one-man show Mark Twain Tonight! in 2016.”
The Mark Twain Journal is a biannual periodical founded in 1936 by Cyril Clemens, who served as editor from 1936 to 1982. It is one of the oldest American journals devoted to a single author, and Fulton is its fourth editor.
“The Mark Twain Journal will extend our reach and influence in ways that might not be obvious. Our readership extends beyond the academy to reach fans of Mark Twain, and I hope they will become fans of Baylor, too.”
“Baylor is a natural home for the Mark Twain Journal as we have had a long history of fostering Twain scholars,” Gardner said. “These have included Dr. Dixon Wecter, AB ’25, a Rhodes Scholar who did his undergraduate work at Baylor before earning his doctorate and becoming the first professional editor of the Mark Twain Papers; Dr. E. Hudson Long, BA ’31, MA ’31, co-author of The New Mark Twain Handbook; longtime English professor Dr. J.R. LeMaster, co-author of The New Mark Twain Handbook and co-editor of the Mark Twain Encyclopedia; and Dr. Fulton.”
For his part, Fulton has published five books on Twain, the most recent being Mark Twain Under Fire: Reception and Reputation, Criticism and Controversy, 1851-2018. He said he’s excited about what having the Mark Twain Journal produced on the Baylor campus will mean, both for the University and for the English department.
“Having Baylor’s name on the title page for every issue will be a great step toward R1 [research] status,” Fulton said. “The Mark Twain Journal will extend our reach and influence in ways that might not be obvious. Our readership extends beyond the academy to reach fans of Mark Twain, and I hope they will become fans of Baylor, too.”
Fulton said having the Journal offices on campus will also benefit Baylor students.
“We are already talking in the English department about how we can involve students, both graduate and undergraduate, in the production of the Journal,” he said.