The American Literature Association 2013 Annual Conference

Thursday, May 23, 2013 - 9:00am to Sunday, May 26, 2013 - 5:00pm
Westin Copley Place, Boston, MA
The American Literature Association

Roundtable on Digital Scholarship and the American Renaissance Organized by The Thoreau Society

This roundtable discussion will explore the ways that digital humanities projects have altered the landscape of American Renaissance studies. In particular, we wish to engage the ways in which, beyond providing access to previously inaccessible materials, these projects have changed our perception of major writers and of the period itself. To this end, we encourage papers that highlight the interpretive implications of digital humanities work, rather than (or in addition to) their technical capabilities.


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Chairs: Kristen Case, University of Maine Farmington and Rochelle Johnson, College of Idaho

  1.  "Transcending 'Aunt Mary': Digital Scholarship and The Almanacks of Mary Moody Emerson," Noelle A. Baker, Editorial Consultant, The Writings of Henry D. Thoreau and Sandra Harbert Petrulionis, Penn State Altoona.
  2. "Keeping Pace with his Companions: Drawing on Digital Resources to Rethink Thoreau’s Role in the Abolitionist Movement," Susan E. Gallagher, University of Massachusetts Lowell.
  3. Fitly Written: Taking Walden From Genetic to Fluid Text" Paul Schacht, SUNY Geneseo.
  4. "Thoreau in Process: Reanimating Thoreau’s Environmental Practice in Digital Space," Kristen Case, University of Maine Farmington. 

Thoreau and American Philosophy 
Organized by The Thoreau Society

The newly-published volume Thoreau’s Significance for American Philosophy (Fordham UP) assembles a wide-range of scholarship to address the question of Thoreau’s legacy for the American philosophical tradition. As the editors note, Thoreau, while central to the field of American literature, remains a marginal figure for academic philosophy: “in fact, many members of the academic philosophical community in the United States would be reluctant to classify Thoreau as a philosopher at all.” This panel discussion will approach the question of Thoreau’s complex relation to American philosophy as well as the reasons for his philosophical marginalization.

Chairs: Rochelle Johnson, College of Idaho and Kristen Case, University of Maine Farmington

  1. "Ecocritique: Thoreau's Philosophy of Reform," James Finley, University of New Hampshire.
  2. "The Moods of Climate Change, with Thoreau," Andrew McMurry, University of Waterloo
  3. "On the Quandary of Dreaming Frogs: Deciphering Thoreau’s Philosophical Engagement," Alfred Tauber, Emeritus, Boston University
  4. Response by the Editors of Thoreau's Importance for Philosophy: James D. Reid, Metropolitan State University of Denver and Rick Anthony Furtak, Colorado College

Register for the American Literature Association Annual Gathering