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2023 Marjorie Harding Memorial Fellowship

Sponsored by The Thoreau Society

The Thoreau Society is pleased to announce the eighth annual Marjorie Harding Memorial Fellowship, generously funded by the Harding family. The fellowship honors the life and legacy of Marjorie Brook Harding, who worked diligently to bring together the Thoreau Society, the Walden Woods Project, and SUNY Geneseo to advance Thoreau studies and conservation of Thoreau Country and to keep alive the legacy of Walter Harding, Marjorie’s husband, an early leader in Thoreau studies. The fruits of this labor can be seen in the Digital Thoreau Project ( and in the annual Walter Harding Lecture Series at SUNY Geneseo.


The 2023 Marjorie Harding Memorial Fellow will receive an award of $1,000 to support research and scholarship. We welcome applications related to projects that advance Thoreau studies or draw on Thoreau’s biography and writings to contribute to related fields (Thoreau’s circle, Transcendentalism, civil disobedience and social justice, environmentalism and conservation, among other topics). We welcome proposals from scholars, teachers, creative artists, and Thoreau enthusiasts.


Current Thoreau Society Board members and Thoreau Society fellowship recipients from the previous five years are not eligible to apply. Graduate students are encouraged to apply for the Thoreau Country Conservation Alliance Graduate Student fellowship.


In the past, the Thoreau Society Fellowships Committee has given preference to proposals that make use of the Walter Harding Collection at the Thoreau Institute Library in Lincoln, Massachusetts, or other materials held in Concord- and Boston-area archives that are not otherwise accessible. For the 2023 awards cycle, the committee will continue to welcome but will not prioritize applications that propose travel to Concord and Boston archives to utilize the Walter Harding Collection or other materials. We therefore also welcome applications for funding that enable any of the following:

  • Dedicated time for writing at home, based on previously-conducted research;
  • Accessing electronic resources or local archives;
  • Caregiving while researching and writing;
  • Relief from summer and/or adjunct teaching;
  • Paying for reproductions or permission fees;
  • Or other activities necessary to making progress on a project.


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. If the fellowship award will be used for travel, please specify the resources you wish to consult at the Thoreau Institute Library or at other 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.


Applications are due by March 31, 2023. 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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