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The 83rd Annual Gathering of the Thoreau Society

Thoreau & Resilience

July 10-14, 2024

2024 Annual Gathering Schedule (PDF)

Annual Gathering Registration Form


The Thoreau Society has room blocks for our Annual Gathering guests at Concord’s Colonial Inn (1 mile from venue)
and Residence Inn Concord (1.6 miles from venue). Reserve soon.

This year’s Annual Gathering will take place at the Trinity Episcopal Church, 81 Elm St, Concord, MA 01742. The venue has air conditioning.

In spite of a lifetime riven by illness and environmental change during an era marred by racial oppression and political turmoil, Thoreau once wrote, “Surely joy is the condition of life.” Even in his darkest hours, Thoreau found resilience. He turned from the depths of mourning to the healing rhythms of the natural world,  from the desperation of capitalism to the simple labor of the bean-field and the beauty of Walden’s shore, and from the cynical, brutal politics of the day to the wonder of children and the work of justice.

This year, the Annual Gathering will examine Thoreau and resilience writ large—nature’s resilience, Thoreau’s pursuit of cultural and political resilience, the resilient individual who was Thoreau, and the resilience of Thoreau’s legacy in our own times.

The conference will address the following themes:

• the ecological (presentations might consider Thoreau and biodiversity, sustainability, climate change, agriculture, water, etc.);
• the cultural/political (presentations might consider reform/activist efforts, resistance, social justice, race, disability, adaptability, etc.);
• the personal/spiritual (presentations might consider health and illness, psychology, spirituality, family, community, self-reliance, etc.); and
• the legacy (presentations might consider the resilience of Thoreau’s legacy in our own times).

The Thoreau Society has been celebrating its Annual Gathering since its founding in 1941.  Thoreau Society members and enthusiasts from around the world gather in Concord each year around the time of Thoreau’s birthday, July 12.  Our Keynote speakers have featured a diverse group of individuals, all inspired by Thoreau in some way, such as Joyce Carol Oates, Arun Gandhi, and Edward O. Wilson.  Milestones marked by Annual Gatherings include the discovery of the Walden cabin by Roland Robbins in 1944, the first open house of the Thoreau Institute in 1998, and the celebration of the 200th Anniversary of Thoreau’s birth in 2017.

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.

The Thoreau Society®, Inc.
341 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01742
P: (978) 369-5310
F: (978) 369-5382

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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