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2021 Thoreau Country Conservation Alliance Graduate Student Fellowship

The Thoreau Society is pleased to announce the third annual Thoreau Country Conservation Alliance (TCCA) Graduate Student Fellowship. The fellowship is named in honor of the TCCA, which was formed in the 1980s with leadership from Thoreau Society members. TCCA advocated for the protection of Walden Woods from development. The TCCA Graduate Student Fellowship is made possible by support from an anonymous donor in memory of J. Walter Brain, who was a founding member of TCCA. The establishment of the fellowship coincides with the acquisition of the J. Walter Brain papers, which detail Mr. Brain’s many decades of advocacy for Walden Woods and his intimate explorations of Walden Woods’ natural and social history.

The 2021 TCCA Graduate Fellow will receive an award of $1,000 to support research and scholarship. We welcome applications from those whose work will contribute to Thoreau scholarship or whose work draws on Thoreau’s biography and writings to contribute to related fields (Thoreau’s circle, Transcendentalism, civil disobedience and social justice, environmentalism and conservation, etc.). Proposals can be for dissertations, thesis work, or other projects. The Thoreau Society Fellowships Committee will give preference to proposals that target materials held at the Thoreau Institute Library in Lincoln, Massachusetts, including the Thoreau Country Conservation Alliance Archives, The Thoreau Society collections, or materials held in Boston-area archives that are not otherwise accessible.

Because of the pandemic and the uncertainty as to when archives will open, the Thoreau Society welcomes proposals for archival work that will be undertaken when archives re-open.

Applicants should email the following to Thoreau Society Fellowships Committee Chair James Finley (

  1. Proposal of no more than one thousand words. Please describe the project and its significance, situating the work within relevant scholarship, detail the work you wish to undertake with the fellowship’s support, and outline your plan for sharing the results of your work. Please specify the resources you wish to consult at the Thoreau Institute or in the archives of the greater Boston area.
  2. Projected budget. Please describe how you plan to utilize the award in support of your project.
  3. Current curriculum vitae or resume.
  4. A (short) letter of recommendation from a faculty member familiar with the graduate student’s work and proposed project (emailed separately to

Applications are due by Thursday, April 1, 2021. The Fellowships Committee will contact the awardee by the end of April. The award will be publicly acknowledged in July during the Thoreau Society Annual Gathering (either virtually or in person). Awardees are requested to present the fruits of their archival labors at a subsequent Annual Gathering.

Please contact the Fellowships Committee Chair with questions.

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Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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