Scholarly Career


 Professor Emeritus

Auburn University at Montgomery

E-mail address:


University of California, Berkeley, Ph.D., 1974, English

University of Oregon, Eugene, M.A., 1966, English

University of Kansas, Lawrence, B.A., 1964, English


  • Professor Emeritus, Department of English and Philosophy, Auburn University at Montgomery, 2019-present
  • Professor, Department of English and Philosophy, Auburn University at Montgomery, 1991-2019.
  • Department Head, Department of English and Philosophy, Auburn University at Montgomery, 1991-2010.
  • Professor, Department of English, University of Texas at Austin, 1988-1991
  • Associate Professor, Department of English, University of Texas at Austin, 1980-88
  • Assistant Professor, Department of English, University of Texas at Austin, 1974-80



  • Recipient, Eugene Current-Garcia Award, Monroeville Literary Festival and the Association of College English Teachers of Alabama, 2021
  • AUM Professional Improvement Leave (sabbatical), Fall 2017
  • AUM Inaugural Excellence Through Diversity Award, 2015
  • Dr. Guinevera A. Nance Alumni Professor, Auburn University Montgomery, 2006-09
  • AUM Alumni Faculty Service Award (conferred for distinguished scholarship, teaching, and service), 2005
  • AUM Faculty Research Grant, 2001-02
  • Distinguished Research Professor, Auburn University Montgomery, 1998-2001
  • Henry Nash Smith Fellow, Center for Mark Twain Studies, Elmira College, 1997-99
  • AUM Professional Improvement Leave (sabbatical), Spring 1997, Spring 2012
  • AUM Faculty Research Grant, 1996-97
  • AUM Faculty Research Grant, 1995-96
  • Lifetime Honorary Member (inducted May 1995), Mark Twain Circle of America (scholarly society)
  • Who’s Who in America
  • Dictionary of International Biography
  • Directory of American Scholars
  • International Men of Achievement
  • Who’s Who in American Education
  • Who’s Who in the South and Southwest
  • Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers
  • Contemporary Authors
  • Dedicatee, Everett Emerson, Mark Twain:  A Literary Life (2000)
  • Dedicatee, Today’s Moral Issues: Classic and Contemporary Perspectives, ed. Daniel Bonevac (1992)
  • Certificate of Award for “Lasting Contributions to Mark Twain Studies,” Center for Mark Twain Studies, Elmira College, April 11, 1990
  • Chancellor’s Council Research Grant, 1989-90
  • Katherine Ross Richards Centennial Teaching Fellowship, 1988-89
  • Jervis Langdon, Jr. Research Fellowship-in-Residence, Center for Mark Twain Studies at Quarry Farm, Elmira College, Summer 1987
  • President’s Associates Teaching Excellence Award, University of Texas at Austin, 1983
  • Finalist, Harry H. Ransom Award for Teaching Excellence, 1982
  • University Research Institute Faculty Research Assignment, Fall 1982
  • University Research Institute Summer Research Grant, 1980
  • University Research Institute Research Assistance Grant, 1975
  • Benjamin P. Wall Memorial Scholarship in English and the Classics, 1972-73

Books Authored:

  • Mark Twain’s Literary Resources: A Reconstruction of His Library and Reading, 2 vols. Volume Two. Foreword by Thomas A. Tenney. Illus. Montgomery, AL: NewSouth Books (2021). 1,089 pp.
  • Mark Twain’s Literary Resources: A Reconstruction of His Library and Reading, 2 vols. Volume One. Foreword by R. Kent Rasmussen. Illus. Montgomery, AL: NewSouth Books (2019). 291 pp.                             “A lively summary of key discoveries. . . . Detailed and convincing guidance as to how and why this reconstruction matters. . . . The cultural literacy [Mark Twain] acquired was prodigious, and Alan Gribben’s project makes that fact irrefutably clear” (Mark Twain Annual); “Scrupulously researched” (Publishers Weekly); “Gribben’s astonishing accomplishment is one of the handful in Mark Twain studies that will stand as a foundational reference work for generations” (Mark Twain Forum).
  • Harry Huntt Ransom: Intellect in Motion.  Austin, TX: U of Texas P, 2008.  356 pp.                                  “Doesn’t shy away from Ransom’s flaws” (Austin American-Statesman); “Enlightening, well-researched” (Dallas Morning News); “The first full-length biography of Harry Huntt Ransom. . . . A well-researched account” (Libraries & The Cultural Record); “One of the strengths of this biography is that . . . it does not shy away from noting his areas of weakness. . . . Managed to wholly capture the academic luminary with balance, dimension of personality, and depth of content” (RBM: A Journal of Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Cultural Heritage, American Library Association).
  • Mark Twain’s Library: A Reconstruction, 2 vols. Boston: G.K. Hall and Company, 1980.        “Invaluable”—American Literature; “One of the indispensable reference works” (American Literary Realism); “A phenomenal job on a monumental task” (Analytical and Enumerative Bibliography); “A highly usable monument of research” (American Literary Scholarship). Out of print. However, a greatly enlarged and extensively revised edition in two volumes is now available.

Books Edited:

  • Mark Twain’s Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn: The NewSouth Edition, ed. Alan Gribben.  Montgomery, AL: NewSouth Books, 2011.“Passionate in his conviction that Adventures of Huckleberry Finn belongs in the classroom”—Mark Twain Forum, 2011.
  •  Mark Twain on the Move: A Travel Reader, ed. Alan Gribben and Jeffrey A. Melton. Tuscaloosa, AL: U Alabama P, 2009.  “An exciting new way of thinking about this somewhat forgotten dimension of Twain’s art. . . . Fills a very real and long-standing gap in the way that Mark Twain is taught and studied. . . . A truly substantive contribution to Mark Twain studies”–Mark Twain Annual, 2010.
  • Co-editor, Overland with Mark Twain: James B. Pond’s Photographs and Journal of the North American Lecture Tour of 1895.  Ed. Alan Gribben and Nick Karanovich. Quarry Farm Volumes.  General Editor, Darryl Baskin.  Elmira, NY:  Center  for Mark Twain Studies at Quarry Farm, Elmira College, 1992.  “Gribben’s fine introduction is useful for both the specialist and the general reader”—Choice.
  • Henry Nash Smith, How True Are Dreams?: The Theme of Fantasy in Mark Twain’s Later Work.  Ed. and foreword by Alan Gribben.  Quarry Farm Papers Series,  No. 1. Elmira, N.Y.: Elmira College Center for Mark Twain Studies, 1989.
  • Mark Twain’s Rubaiyat.  Intro. by Alan Gribben.  Textual note by Kevin B. Mac Donnell. Austin, Texas: Jenkins Publishing Co., 1983.  Limited edition of 600  numbered copies.

Selected Articles, Chapters, and Forewords:

  • “Tom Sawyer: A Classic Overshadowed by Its Successor,” Critical Insights: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, ed. R. Kent Rasmussen. Ipswich, Massachusetts: Salem Press/EBSCO, 2022. 20-35.
  • “Living in Mark Twain’s Mind: A Fifty-Year Puzzle,” Critical Insights: Patriotism, ed. Robert C. Evans. Ipswich, Massachusetts: Salem Press/EBSCO/Grey House Publishing, 2021. 144-159.
  • “Reading,” Mark Twain in Context, ed. John Bird. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 2020. 14-23.
  • “Silent Censorship and Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” Critical Insights: Censored & Banned Literature, ed. Robert C. Evans. Ipswich, Massachusetts: Salem Press/Ebsco, 2019. xiii-xxvii.
  • Co-author, “Playing at Work and Working at Play in Mark Twain’s Writings,” Children’s Play in Literature: Investigating the Strengths and the Subversions of the Playing Child, ed. Joyce E. Kelley. New York: Routledge, 2019. 45-63.
  • “Tom Sawyer, Tom Canty, and Huckleberry Finn: The Boy Book and Mark Twain,” Mark Twain Journal 55.1-2 (Spring/Fall 2017): 127-144.
  • “Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer Expelled: Censorship and the Classroom,” Critical Insights: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, ed. R. Kent Rasmussen (Ipswich, MA: Salem Press, 2017): 65-80.
  • “Mark Twain’s Lifelong Reading,” Mark Twain and Youth: Studies in His Life and Writings, ed. Kevin Mac Donnell and R. Kent Rasmussen (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2016): 30-43.
  • “‘Bond Slave to FitzGerald’s Omar’: Mark Twain and The Rubaiyat,” Sufism and American Literary Masters, ed. Mehdi Aminrazavi (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 2014): 245-262.
  • “Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer Go Back to School,” Independent Publisher 29, no. 5 (May 2011). Finn and Tom Sawyer Go Back to School.
  • “Mark Twain’s Critical Reception,” Critical Insights: Mark Twain, ed. R. Kent Rasmussen (Pasadena, CA: Salem Press, 2010): 66-88.
  • “Trouble on the Raft: Defending an ‘Other’ Huck Finn,” Publishers Weekly, 27 February 2011.
  •  “Mark Twain” chapters, American Literary Scholarship, An Annual: 1995-2008, 2010, ed. David J. Nordloh and Gary Scharnhorst (Durham: Duke U P, 1996-2009, 2011).  A yearly review of all books and articles published about Mark Twain.
  • “Foreword,” Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.  National Endowment for the Arts “Big Read” Edition (Montgomery, AL: NewSouth Books, 2009):   9-17.
  • “Mark Twain’s Postmodern Tale Found in a Jug,” Centenary Reflections on Mark Twain’s No. 44, The Mysterious Stranger, ed. Joseph Csicsila and Chad Rohman  (Columbia: U of Missouri P, 2009): 236-249.
  • “Boy Books, Bad Boy Books, and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, ed. Beverly Lyon Clark.  Norton Critical Edition Series.  (New York:  W. W. Norton, 2007): 290-306.
  • “The State of Mark Twain Studies,” Chapter 35, A Companion to Mark Twain, ed. Peter Messent and Louis J. Budd (Oxford:  Blackwell Publishing, 2005): 533-554.
  • “Mark Twain’s Travel Trunk: An Impromptu Notebook,” Mark Twain Journal 42, no. 2 (Fall 2004): 15-18.
  • “Books from the Library of Samuel L. Clemens,” Sotheby’s Sale Catalog for the Mark Twain Collection of Nick Karanovich, New York City, June 19, 2003, pp. 154-221.
  • “‘If I’d a Knowed What a Trouble It Was to Quote a Book’: Literary References in Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn,” CD-ROM, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Buffalo, NY: State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo and Erie County Library, and the Mark Twain Foundation, 2002): 1-9.
  • “Works Related to Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” CD-ROM, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Buffalo, NY: State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo and Erie County Library, and the Mark Twain Foundation, 2002): 10-68.
  •  “Samuel Langhorne Clemens” entry, Encyclopedia of American Literature, ed. Steven R. Serafin (New York:  Continuum, 1999):  198-205.
  • “The Achievements of Dr. Louis J. Budd,” foreword to Mark Twain:  The Ecstasy of Humor.  Quarry Farm Series, No. 6  (Elmira, N. Y.: Elmira College Center for Mark Twain Studies, 1995):  1-4.
  • “Mark Twain’s ‘Ladies,’“ Mississippi Quarterly 46 (Fall 1993):  667-672.
  • “‘I Kind of Love Small Game’:  Mark Twain’s Library of Literary Hogwash,” in Mark Twain’s Humor:  Critical Essays, ed. David E. E. Sloane (New York: Garland Pub. Co., 1993):  295-312.
  • “Tribute to Darryl Baskin,” Mark Twain Circular 7 (April-June 1993):  1-2.
  • “Age:  A Rubaiyat,” “Robert Browning,” “Henry Clemens,” “Mark Twain Conferences,” “Mark Twain’s Reading,” “Trends in Mark Twain Scholarship,” “John S. Tuckey” entries, Mark Twain Encyclopedia, ed. J. R. LeMaster and James D. Wilson (New York: Garland Pub.Co., 1993).
  • “Mark Twain” entry, Facts on File Bibliography of American Fiction, 1866-1918, ed. Matthew J. Bruccoli and Judith S. Baughman. New York and Oxford: Facts on File, 1992.  1: 121-131.
  • “Louisa May Alcott,” “Kate Chopin,” “James Fenimore Cooper,” “Stephen Crane,” “John W. De Forest, “Harold Frederic,” “Joel Chandler Harris,” “Bret Harte,” “William Dean Howells,” “Frank Norris,” “Wallace Stegner,” “Mark Twain” entries, World Book Encyclopedia  (Chicago:  World Book Co., 1991).
  • “Mark Twain” entry, Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, ed. Charles Reagan Wilson and William Ferris (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1989):  877-878.
  • “Manipulating a Genre: Huckleberry Finn as Boy Book,” South Central Review 5 (Winter 1988):  15-21.
  • “Samuel L. Clemens” entry, American Short-Story Writers Before 1880, Dictionary of Literary Biography Series. Detroit: Gale Research, 1988. 74:  54-83.
  • “A Porch with a View:  Living at Mark Twain’s Quarry Farm,” Alcalde Magazine 76  (November/December 1987), 12-15. Revised version reprinted in Cornerstone (Literary Landmarks Association): 2 (1988):   2-3.
  • “Private Libraries of American Authors: Dispersal, Custody, and Description,” Journal of Library History 21 (Spring 1986): 300-314.  Collected in Libraries, Books & Culture, ed. Donald G. Davis, Jr. (Austin, Texas: Graduate School of Library and Information, 1986): 300-314.
  • “Foreword,” in Beverly R. David’s Mark Twain and His Illustrators, 2 vols. (Troy, N.Y.: Whitson Publishing Co., 1986). 1:  vii-x.
  • “‘That Pair of Spiritual Derelicts’: The Poe-Twain Relationship,” Poe Studies 18 (December 1985):  17-21.
  • “Those Other Thematic Patterns in Mark Twain’s Writings,” Studies in American Fiction 13 (Autumn 1985):  185-200.
  • “‘The Heart Is Insatiable’: A Selection from Edith Wharton’s Letters to Morton Fullerton, 1907-1915,” The Library Chronicle (University of Texas at Austin) n.s. No.31 (1985):  7-71.
  • “The Importance of Mark Twain,” American Quarterly 37 (Spring 1985): 30-49. Special American Humor issue, ed. Arthur P. Dudden.  (Reprinted by United States Information Agency for distribution in Latin America, 1985).  Revised version collected in American Humor, ed. Arthur P. Dudden (New York: Oxford University Press, 1987):  24-49.
  • “‘I Did Wish Tom Sawyer Was There’: Boy-Book Elements in Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn,”  in One Hundred Years of “Huckleberry Finn”: The Boy, His Book, and American Culture, ed. Robert Sattelmeyer and J. Donald Crowley (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1985):  149-170.
  • “Autobiography as Property: Mark Twain and His Legend,” in The Mythologizing of Mark Twain, ed. Sara de Saussure Davis and Philip D. Beidler (University, Alabama: University of Alabama Press, 1984):  39-55.
  • “Susy Clemens’ Shakespeare: An Addition to the Twain Library Books in the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center,” The Library Chronicle (University of Texas at Austin) n.s. No. 27  (1984):  94-103.
  • “‘When Other Amusements Fail’: Mark Twain and the Occult,” in The Haunted Dusk: American Supernatural Fiction, 1820-1920, ed. Howard Kerr, John W.Crowley, and Charles L. Crow (Athens:  University of Georgia Press, 1983):  169-189.
  • “Mark Twain, Business Man: The Margins of Profit, “ Studies in American Humor n.s 1 (June 1982):  24-43.
  • “Reconstructing Mark Twain’s Library,” A B Bookman’s Weekly 66 (August 11, 1980), 755-773; reprinted in A B Bookman’s Yearbook, Part I (1980), ed. Jacob Chernofsky (Clifton, NJ:  AB Bookman’s Weekly; 1982):  3-11.
  • “Removing Mark Twain’s Mask: A Decade of Criticism and Scholarship,” Part I, ESQ 26, 2nd quarter (1980): 100-108; Part II, ESQ 26, 3rd quarter (1980):  149-171.
  • “‘Stolen from Books, Tho’ Credit Given’: Mark Twain’s Use of Literary Sources,” Mosaic 12 (Summer 1979):  149-155.
  • “Mark Twain’s Library Books in the Humanities Research Center,” The Library Chronicle (University of Texas at Austin) 11 (1979):  11 -26.
  • “‘A Splendor of Stars & Suns’: Twain as a Reader of Browning’s Poems,” Browning Institute Studies 6 (1978):  87-103.
  • “‘The Master Hand of Old Malory’: Mark Twain’s Acquaintance with Le Morte D’Arthur,” English Language Notes 16 (September 1978):  32-40.
  • “Mark Twain Reads Longstreet’s Georgia Scenes,” in Gyascutus: Studies in Antebellum Southern Humorous and Sporting Writing,” ed. James L.W. West III (Atlantic Highlands, Humanities Press, 1978):  103-111.
  • “‘I Detest Novels, Poetry & Theology’: Origin of a Fiction Concerning Mark Twain’s Reading,” Tennessee Studies in Literature 22 (1977):  154-161.
  • “‘I Kind of Love Small Game’: Mark Twain’s Library of Literary Hogwash,” American Literary Realism 9 (Winter 1976):  64-76.
  • “‘Good Books & a Sleepy Conscience’: Mark Twain’s Reading Habits,” American Literary Realism 9 (Autumn 1976):  294-306.
  • “How Tom Sawyer Played Robin Hood ‘by the Book,’” English Language Notes 13 (March 1976):  201-204.
  • “‘It Is Unsatisfactory to Read to One’s Self’: Mark Twain’s Informal Readings,” Quarterly Journal of Speech 62 (February 1976):  49-56.
  • “The Formation of Samuel L. Clemens’ Library,” Studies in American Humor 2 (January 1976):  171-182.
  • “Anatole France and Mark Twain’s Satan,” American Literature 47 (January 1976): 634-635.
  • “The Dispersal of Samuel L. Clemens’ Library Books,” Resources for American Literary Study 5 (Autumn 1975):  147-165.
  • “Mark Twain, Phrenology and the ‘Temperaments’: A Study of Pseudoscientific Influence,” American Quarterly 24 (March 1972):  45-68.