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The Global Thoreau Community: A Conversation – Part 1

“The Global Thoreau Community: A Conversation – Part 1” sponsored by The Thoreau Society with interviewer Jayne Gordon and guests speakers: Mark Thoreau (UK), Shinji Iwamasa (Japan), Nikita Pokrovsky (Russia), and Francois Specq (France)
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Jayne Gordon, a member of the Thoreau Society board, has worked for decades as a public historian, educator, administrator, and consultant at numerous historical organizations and literary sites. She recently directed two National Endowment for the Humanities workshops for teachers from across the nation on Thoreau in Concord. She lives in Damariscotta, Maine.
Mark Thoreau

I am a distant cousin of Henry on his Father’s side. I am interested in family history and enjoy researching the Thoreau family line. Naturally this connection has led to an interest in Henry David Thoreau. I have been a member of the Thoreau Society for 30 years.

Shinji Iwamasa is a Professor at Shirayuri University, Tokyo and currently a visiting scholar at Stanford University, 2019-2020. His publications include The Memorable Quotations of Henry David Thoreau (translation 2009), and “Toxic Discourse and the Creation of the Myth of Land in the Writings of Terry Tempest Williams,” Themes of Environmental Humanities, 2017, which he edited as well.

Dr. Nikita Pokrovsky, Professor and Head, Department of General Sociology, National Research University-Higher School of Economics (Moscow, Russia). Thoreau Society Life Member (1978). Leading Thoreau scholar in Russia. Builder of the replica of Thoreau’s Walden Pond cabin in the North of Russia.


Francois Specq is professor of American literature and culture at the École Normale Supérieure de Lyon, France, and a researcher affiliated with IHRIM (in the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique). He has published numerous critical essays and coedited two collections of essays on Thoreau: Thoreauvian Modernities: Transatlantic Conversations on an American Icon (University of Georgia Press, 2013); and Thoreau Beyond Borders: New International Essays on America’s Most Famous Nature Writer (University of Massachusetts Press, forthcoming 2020).


Jun 13 2020


12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

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October is the month of painted leaves. Their rich glow now flashes round the world. As fruits and leaves and the day itself acquire a bright tint just before they fall, so the year near its setting. October is its sunset sky; November the later twilight.”

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