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2024 Thoreau Society Fellowships

The Thoreau Society is pleased to announce that it will offer two $1,000 fellowships in 2024 to support scholarly and creative work on Henry David Thoreau, including his writings, life and legacy.

In the past, the Thoreau Society Fellowships Committee has given preference to projects that make use of materials at the Thoreau Institute Library in Lincoln, Massachusetts, including The Thoreau Society collections, the Walter Harding Collection, and the Thoreau Country Conservation Alliance Archives, as well as materials held in Concord- and Boston-area archives that are not otherwise accessible. For the 2024 awards cycle, the committee will continue to welcome but will not prioritize applications that propose travel to Concord and Boston archives. 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.

The Marjorie Harding Memorial Fellowship, generously funded by the Harding family, 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 Thoreau Country Conservation Alliance (TCCA) fellowship is named in honor of the TCCA, which was formed in the 1980s with leadership from Thoreau Society members and which advocated for the protection of Walden Woods from development. The TCCA fellowship is endowed by two gifts, one in memory of J. Walter Brain, a founding member of TCCA, and a second one in memory of Annette Paradise, who had an abiding love of Walden Pond. The establishment of the fellowship coincided 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.

All applications will be considered for both of the Thoreau Society’s fellowships.

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. Brief recommendation from a peer or mentor about your project or previous work (optional)

4. Current curriculum vitae or resume.

Applications are due by March 15, 2024. The Fellowships Committee will contact the awardees by the end of April. The awards 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.

All finalists will receive complimentary registration for a future Annual Gathering.

Current Thoreau Society Board members and Thoreau Society fellowship recipients from the previous five years are not eligible to apply.

Please contact the Fellowships Committee Chair with questions.

Get news from the Thoreau Society and learn about ways you can help preserve Thoreau Country as part of our common heritage and as the embodiment of Thoreau’s landmark contributions to social, political, and environmental thought.

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Educating people about the life, works, and legacy of Henry David Thoreau, challenging all to live a deliberate, considered life—since 1941.


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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