Speaker and Consultant

NEH Lecturer: I lectured on Twain’s Huck Finn and its racial considerations, colonial women and their influence on feminist and civil rights issues, and nineteenth-century American feminist, Margaret Fuller. 1988-1990

Workshop Director: “So What Are We Worth? A Literary Historical Journey Through African-American Literature and Newspapers,” sponsored by The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture, the African American Museum and the Dallas Public Library (a series of 15 public lectures) October 1995-July 1996

The White House Salute to American Authors: 29 November 2001. First Lady Laura Bush invited three Twain scholars to discuss with fellow scholars and area high school students and teachers Twain’s works and themes. The three scholars were Shelley Fisher Fishkin, Justin Kaplan and myself. This salute was the first in the series held in the East Room and was broadcast nationally.

Expert Consultant for Puyallup School District and ensuing court case in Tacoma, WA for English teachers and the district, regarding challenged texts: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Contender and Of Mice and Men from Summer 2001 and completed in the Fall of 2002— December. This consultation also included recommendations to the district about its overall multicultural curriculum, as well as other works included in the standing curriculum that needed more research and preparation before presenting to a class.

Featured Speaker: Stanford University for its “Teacher’s Institute: A Pedagogical Colloquium” Presented by the Center for the Support of Excellence in Teaching, American Studies Program, English Department, and Continuing Studies: 19-20 May 2010

The Big Read: NEA’s Creating a Nation of Readers” for Shrewsbury Library: May 2013

Featured Keynote: WNET PBS-American Masters Premier: Lorraine Hansberry Sighted Eyes, Feeling Heart-January 2018

NCSS Webinar Series-2015 and 2016: Using New-Old Tools: African-American Periodical and Literature in Social Studies

Center for Mark Twain Studies—Curriculum Review and Recommendations—Elmira schools-K-HS-2017-present


Folger Shakespeare Library—2018-Present


KDFW Channel 4, Insights, fall 1992 (Dallas-Ft. Worth)

PBS Connecticut, summer 1995

 ABC Evening News with Peter Jennings, August 1995

Dateline NBC, February 1997

 National Public Radio, March 1998

WGBH Born To Trouble, fall 2000

The Merrow Report, spring 2001

Ken Burns Documentary Life of Mark Twain January 2002


BBC UK World Service-The Forum: One of four Mark Twain scholars for program: American Writer Mark Twain, July, 2018

MPR News: “Duluth teachers, district grapple with how to move on from “Mockingbird”
4 February 2019

Oregon Public Broadcasting: American Passages: A Literary Survey—Spring 2002. I was specifically requested to comment on the section of the documentary: Vernacular America: Twain, Charles Chestnut and Kate Chopin. Airdate Fall 2002.

NBC News Education—Fall 2013-Present: Expert Content Consultant for English language arts

The New York Times: “Celebrating James Baldwin, as Many Classrooms Ignore Him,” 24 April 2014


Secondary Schools (MS/HS) throughout  the United States


External Evaluator—Secondary English (6-12) Belmont Schools, Belmont, MA, November 2016

Governor’s  Commonwealth

Seneca Middle School, Virginia

Capital Prep Magnet School, Hartford, CT

Ballard MS, Macon, GA

Lift for Life Academy, MO

Presented Papers:

Modern Language Association

American Literature Assoc

Colorado Language Association of  Teachers

Texas Council of Teachers of English

Virginia Association of Teachers of English

Mark Twain House–Hartford, CT

International Conference on The State of Mark Twain Studies

American Association of Publishers (AAP)

Georgia State University

American Studies Association

Penn State Rhetoric Conference