Thinking Disobediently: Lawrence Buell in Conversation with Rebecca Kneale Gould

Thursday October 19

7 pm

At Thoreau Farm

$15 per person; additional donations encouraged to support The Write Connection at Thoreau Farm

Registration Required


Henry David Thoreau was a leading figure in the American Transcendentalist movement, an intellectual with worldwide influence as an essayist, social thinker, naturalist-environmentalist, and sage. Two of his most famous works, Walden, and “Civil Disobedience,” are foundational to American literature, philosophy, and political activism. However, he is also a controversial figure. Scholars have regularly offered conflicting assessments of the significance of his work, the evolution of his thought, and even the facts of his life. In his new book, HENRY DAVID THOREAU: Thinking Disobediently, esteemed Thoreau scholar Lawrence Buell details the complexities and contradictions of Thoreau’s life and work, providing necessary context to understanding a key American writer.

Join leading Thoreau scholar Lawrence Buell at Thoreau Farm as he shares his book, the first concise account of Thoreau’s life, thought, and impact in more than half a century.  His book offers a highly readable entry-point for readers unfamiliar with this author, agitator, naturalist, and sage that is packed with new insights sure to interest seasoned scholars as well.

Lawrence Buell is Powell M. Cabot Professor of American Literature Emeritus at Harvard University. Considered one of the founders of the ecocriticism movement, he has written and lectured worldwide on Transcendentalism, American studies, and the environmental humanities. He is the author of many books, including Literary TranscendentalismThe Environmental Imagination: ThoreauNature Writing, and the Invention of American Culture, Writing for an Endangered World, and Emerson.

He will be joined in conversation by Rebecca Kneale Gould, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies and co-chair of the Philosophy, Religion and Environment Focus at Middlebury College, author of At Home in Nature: Modern Homesteading and Spiritual Practice in America, and member of the Thoreau Society’s board of directors.

This program was recorded on October 19, 2023.