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“The Making of ‘Surveyor of the Soul'”

“The Making of ‘Surveyor of the Soul'” sponsored by The Thoreau Society and Films by Huey with interviewer Huey and guest speakers: Huey, Matthew Schlein, Laura Dassow Walls, and Sandra Harbert Petrulionis

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For 40 years Huey has been making films on artists, education, the environment, and Maine. His films have been shown at film festivals throughout the US, on PBS, and on television in Europe. His seventh feature-length documentary film, Henry David Thoreau: Surveyor of the Soul, had its world premiere at the Maine International Film Festival on July 15, 2017. It was also selected for screening at the Vermont International Film Festival, 2018.  His film, In Good Time: The Piano Jazz of Marian McPartland,was selected as a “Must have jazz DVD of 2011” by DownBeat Magazine and won the Manny Berlingo Award, Best Feature Documentary, Garden State Film Festival. His 2002 film Wilderness and Spirit: A Mountain Called Katahdin was selected for screening at the Environmental Film Festival, National Museum of American History, Washington, D.C.  Huey is a founder and director of the Maine Student Film and Video Festival now in its 41st year. He has been an artist-in-residence in animation and video production in over 150 schools in New England.  He is an adjunct instructor in Communications and New Media, Southern Maine Community College, South Portland, ME.  More info at

Matthew Schlein

Matthew Schlein has spent 45 years in the public school system, including 27 years as an educator.  For the last 20, Matthew has founded and directed The Walden Project, an innovative internationally recognized public school program where students follow Thoreau’s dictum of living deliberately and consciously.  Meeting outside through Vermont’s four seasons, the curriculum emphasizes student choice, as well as writing, environmental studies, and the social sciences.  Matthew is also the Founder and Director of The WIllowell Foundation and serves on the board of a number of other non-profits, including the New England Young Writers Conference.  Matthew has received a B.A. in English/Psychology, an M.A. in Education, and an M.S.W. from The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.  Prior to his work in education, he served as a writer, actor, and director in Just Kidding Production Company.

Laura Dassow Walls

William P. and Hazel B. White Professor of English Graduate Program in History and Philosophy of Science @University of Notre Dame Laura Dassow Walls is the author of Henry David Thoreau: A Life, published by the University of Chicago Press in July 2017, in time to honor Thoreau’s 200th birthday. This book, the first full-length, comprehensive biography of Thoreau in a generation, draws on extensive new research and the full range of Thoreau’s published and unpublished writings to present Thoreau as vigorously alive in all his quirks and contradictions—fully embedded in his place and time, yet speaking powerfully to the problems and perils of today. Specialty: American Transcendentalism; literature and science; environmental literature.

Sandra Harbert Petrulionis

Sandra Harbert Petrulionis is Distinguished Professor of English and American Studies at Penn State University. She is the author of To Set This World Right: The Antislavery Movement in Thoreau’s Concord, the editor of Thoreau In His Own Time, and co-editor of other works on Thoreau and Transcendentalism. Although she read Walden in high school, no one introduced her to the militant Thoreau until graduate school, a deficiency she takes every opportunity to correct with her own students.



Jun 14 2020


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