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2013: Henry D. Thoreau: Mystic, Transcendentalist, and Natural Philosopher to Boot

July 10-14, Concord, Massachusetts

Dana S. Brigham Memorial Keynote Speaker: Robert Richardson


The theme of the 2013 Thoreau Society Annual Gathering, “Mystic, Transcendentalist, and Natural Philosopher to Boot,” comes from an 1853 journal entry where Thoreau privately responds to a questionnaire from the Association for the Advancement of Science, a questionnaire which solicited information about Thoreau’s particular interests in natural science. Thoreau explains that the questionnaire, with its fill-in-the-blank format, as well as the expectations of the association, could not adequately represent the diversity of his interests. When formally responding to the Association to decline membership, however, Thoreau did fill out the questionnaire, noting his occupation as “Literary and Scientific.”

Pre-conference Registration
(ends July 5)

Member rate: $175
Non-member rate: $200

Keynote Speaker, Robert D. Richardson

Dana S. Brigham Memorial Keynote Address, Robert D. RichardsonRobert D. Richardson

Robert Richardson was born in Milwaukee in 1934, brought up first in Medford then in Concord Mass., went to school at Harvard, then pursued a teaching career mainly at the University of Denver. He has been married twice, first to Elizabeth Hall, then to Annie Dillard. He has two daughters by his first marriage and three step-daughters by his second. He has taught at many schools, including Harvard, Yale, The University of Colorado, The Graduate Center and Queens College of CUNY, Sichuan University in China, Wesleyan, and UNC Chapel Hill.

After writing books on Literature and Film, The Rise of Modern Mythology (with Burton Feldman) and Myth and Literature in the American Renaissance, he turned in his mid-forties to intellectual biography, spending ten years each on Henry Thoreau: A Life of the Mind, (Univ of California press, 1986) Emerson: The Mind on Fire (Univ of California Press, 1995), and William James: In the Maelstrom of American Modernism (Houghton Mifflin Nov 2006). He currently divides his time between Key West, Hillsborough North Carolina, and South Wellfleet on Cape Cod. He is working on a group biography set in eleventh century Persia and centered on the poet of the Rubaiyyat, Omar Khayyam.


Jul 10 - 14 2013


8:00 am - 6:00 pm

The Thoreau Society Bulletin is a 20-page newsletter with bibliographic information and writings on the life, works, and legacy of Henry Thoreau.

Each issue features news, upcoming events, and announcements from the Society, along with original short articles on new discoveries in and about the world of Thoreau, his contemporaries and related topics. It also contains a Notes & Queries section and a President’s Column, as well as additions to the Thoreau Bibliography and reviews of new literature relevant to the field. Edited by Brent Ranalli.

The Thoreau Society Bulletin is mailed to each member on a quarterly basis as a benefit of membership.

Membership includes a subscription to the annual journal.


The Concord Saunterer is a valuable aid to studies of Thoreau.” — Harold Bloom, Yale University

The Concord Saunterer: A Journal of Thoreau Studies is an annual peer-reviewed journal of Thoreau scholarship that features in-depth essays about Thoreau, his times and his contemporaries, and his influence today. Membership includes a subscription to the annual journal.


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