Massachusetts Historical Society


Henry David Thoreau: Thinking Disobediently


Lawrence Buell

This is a hybrid event. FREE for MHS Members. $10 per person fee (in person). No charge for virtual attendees or Card to Culture participants (EBT, WIC, and ConnectorCare). The in-person reception starts at 5:30 and the program will begin at 6:00.

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Henry David Thoreau was a leading figure in the American Transcendentalist movement and the era of US literary emergence. He achieved worldwide renown as an essayist, social thinker, naturalist, environmentalist, and sage. Thoreau's Walden, an autobiographical narrative of his two-year sojourn in a self-built lakeside cabin, is one of the most widely studied works of American literature. Thoreau also stands as an icon of modern American environmentalism, the father of American nature writing, a forerunner of modern ecology, and a harbinger of individual spirituality incorporating Eastern wisdom and philosophy. However, Thoreau is also a controversial figure. Scholars have regularly offered conflicting assessments of the significance of his work, the evolution of his thought, even the facts of his life. Thoreau scholar Lawrence Buell gives due consideration to all these aspects of Thoreau's art and thought, framing key issues and complexities in historical and literary context.

Hybrid Event

The in-person reception starts at 5:30 and the program will begin at 6:00.

Masks are optional for this event.

The virtual program begins at 6:00 PM and will be hosted on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive a confirmation message with attendance information.

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