Annual Gathering 2019 Presenters


Rochelle L. Johnson teaches American literature and the environmental humanities. She has published on Emerson, Thoreau, and their contemporary in natural history, Susan Fenimore Cooper.


Michael Stoneham is the Chair of Humanities and an Associate Professor of Literature at the University of Pittsburgh Johnstown. Michael teaches a variety of literature courses in Nineteenth and Twentieth Century American Literature. He also writes and regularly presents on Thoreau and contemporary culture; his most recent project is focused upon the way in which Thoreau’s works might be effectively employed to compel people to adopt more eco-centric perspectives in their lives and to commit to a healthy relationship with Nature. Fascinated by the transcendentalists engagement with contemporary revolutionaries, particularly Thoreau and Emerson, Michael published _ Literary Confrontation in the Era of John Brown_, a critical evaluation of the way in which radical abolitionist, freedom-fighter, and terrorist John Brown inspired literary America to confrontation during his short but dramatic career as public figure in ante-bellum America in 2009. Michael serves as a member of the Thoreau Society Board of Directors and is keenly interested in helping the society reach more audiences in America and in the international community.



Ann Beebe is an Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in English at the University of Texas at Tyler. Her publications have examined the works Aphra Behn, Phillis Wheatley, Catharine Maria Sedgwick, Emily Dickinson, Asher Brown Durand, Frederick Douglass, Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and E. D. E. N. Southworth. Her articles have appeared in Washington History, Teaching American Literature: Theory& Practice, Women’s Studies, Nineteenth- Century Prose, Religion and the Arts, and various essay collections.


Marianne Patinelli-Dubay

I lead the Environmental Philosophy Program at SUNY-ESF’s Huntington Wildlife Forest, a 15,000-acre research and demonstration forest in the Adirondack Park, NY. I am primarily focused on developing educational programs in ethics, applied directly to forestry and land management professions. Initiatives in this program bridge humanities content with field knowledge in order to understand the relationship between scientific research and the policy it advances and to address the issues that arise from the impacts of science on human and non-human communities. I serve as Chair Elect of the Society of American Foresters Adirondack Chapter and the national History and Philosophy Working Group. Every aspect of my work is in service to an optimistic future for forests and the communities that they sustain.



Brent Ranalli is an independent scholar with the Ronin Institute. He edits the Thoreau Society Bulletin and performs as Henry David Thoreau. He is also serving on the program committee of the 2019 North American Basic Income Guarantee (NABIG) Congress. This is Brent's eighth Annual Gathering presentation.



Leslie Wilson has been the Curator of the William Munroe Special Collections at the Concord Free Public Library since 1996. She is a writer on local literary and historical topics.



Izumi Ogura is a Professor of English in the Department of Political Science, Daito Bunka University, Tokyo, Japan. She studied American literature and intellectual history at Mount Holyoke College, Boston College (MA 1980), and Brown University (MA 1986). She published John Cotton and Puritanism in 2004 and was the past president of the Thoreau Society of Japan from 2014 to 2017. She is currently working on Thomas Hooker and Connecticut.



Robert M. Thorson is a lifetime member of the Thoreau Society. A Professor of Geology at the University of Connecticut, he juggles teaching, scholarship, and service within the Department of Geosciences and the Honors Program. Originally an Alaskan field geologist, he gradually metamorphosed into a New England professor, author, speaker, journalist, and consultant. His walk to work passes through pine woods, above a pond, and across two streams. The last three of his seven books involve Thoreau Studies: The Guide to Walden Pond was published in March 2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. The Boatman: Henry David Thoreau’s River Years (2017, new edition 2019) and Walden’s Shore: Henry David Thoreau and Nineteenth Century Science (2014) were published Harvard University Press. Additional Thoreau publications include the invited essays *Physical Science* in *Thoreau in Context* (Cambridge, 2017), *The Maine Woods Rhomboid* in *Rediscovering the Maine Woods* (UMass, forthcoming, Kucich), and articles for the Thoreau Society Bulletin. He is a reviewer and frequent speaker for The Thoreau Society, and a collaborator with the Walden Woods Project. Visiting scholarly appointments include Harvard University (American Studies), Universidad Tecnica de Santa Maria, Valparaiso, Chile (Civil Engineering), Dartmouth College (Geography) and Yale University (History). He’s an elected member of the American Antiquarian Association and an elected fellow of the Geological Society of America.



Peter Alden was born and attempted to grow up in Concord and became a birder early on and thought it cool that Henry was a hell of a birder himself. Having seen most of New England's birds by graduation from Concord-Carlisle R.H.S. he migrated to a new eco-planet where the Sonoran Desert met the Sierra Madres. From his University of Arizona base in Tucson he explored all of Mexico and ran the first series of over a dozen birding/culture tours from Baja to the Guatemala border. For 50 years he has scouted out, designed and led over 300 bird and wildlife land and air tours, safaris, adventure and luxury cruises, and private jet excursions to over 100 countries. These were with/for such entities as Mass. Audubon Soc., Lindblad Travel, National Geographic, Harvard museums, O.A.T., and Road Scholar. As an author he has 15 or so titles published with sales over 3 million. One classic was his "Finding Birds Around the World" in 1981 that triggered a world bird listing craze. His 8 volume National Audubon Society Regional Field Guide series is the first portable color pocket guides with 1,000 species of plants & animals in each corner of the country. Peter also organizes total visible (and audible) biodiversity events. Every ten years (in 1998, 2009 and hopefully in 2019) he gathers 100's of field biologists from a dozen states to conduct a bioblitz centered at Walden Pond to honor Harvard biologist Dr Edward O. Wilson and the memory of Henry Thoreau. 2,700 species have been noted in two days within 5 miles of Walden.


Beverly Salas, M.Ed.: Curriculum and Instruction, University of MD - Educator, environmental activist, nature investigator, producer

Ms. Salas has been an instructor of a wide range of topics including literature and language arts, climate change, ozone depletion, leadership, dance, speech and high school volleyball. While teaching American Literature she focused on the Transcendentalists where she shared Thoreau and Emerson’s love of the natural world through their writing and by taking her students outside and by bringing the outside inside. A National Writing Project Fellow, Ms. Salas is now a National Writing Project Consultant. As founding Co-Director of the Climate Change Learning and Information Center, she wrote reports, developed educational materials, and taught workshops for the EPA, as well as for various national and international government entities, including the National League of Cities (NLC) and the International City Managers Association. As NLC’s Education Program Associate at the Leadership Training Institute she co-produced and managed more than 75 technical, legislative, and issue-oriented seminars. Working with the Association of Engineers, Ms. Salas co-facilitated two-day workshops on Title VI of the Clean Air Act: Stratospheric Ozone Depletion. Now residing in Albuquerque, NM she produces music and artistic events through her company, Movable Parts Productions.

“It is not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?” Henry David Thoreau


Ferenc Szabó

I was born in Szeghalom, Hungary, in 1989. I am a doctoral student of philosophy at the University of Szeged, Hungary. I research the thoreauvian way of thinking for about four years now. In my dissertation I would like to comply his natural and political philosophy via the "organic criticism", an "invention" of mine, which stresses that, by Thoreau, the foremost value is life itself, to live it well and exploit all our (possibly infinite) options to drive it from the pits of rote – to not to live our lives via taken or inherited patterns. I read Thoreau therapeutically and, in retrospective, all my life points toward this point: to come over controversies, and solve crises of obscurity by challenging the root-values. Not that new is always better, but that self-exhausting ad frittering away because some fear and loathing toward a possible future is simply not woth it. After the high school in Kiskunhalas, Hungary, I enrolled to the University of Szeged. Studied philosophy, literature and history, and got my BA with a thesis concerning the philosophy of Pyrrho, tried to place it among the schools of hellenism. Thoreau popped into my life via the comics Calvin and Hobbes. Besides an enthusiastic reader of him, my all-time favourites are Stephen King and Kurt Vonnegut, so American culture has a huge effect on me. I started learning the language in elementary school. I organised a few scholarly events during my internship as a doctoral student, built an arguably good professional circle and tried myself in a wide range of writing (local reports, reviews, essays and papers). I am interested in politics, public life in general, arts, sports (played soccer and handball, currently running) and hanging out with my friends.


Donna Marie Przybojewski is a Thoreau Ambassador who is incorporating an ongoing study of Henry David Thoreau at St. Benedict Catholic School in Garfield Heights, Ohio, where she is a junior high Language Arts teacher. Activities cross all disciplines and grade levels at this elementary school in order to promote an understanding and appreciation of Thoreau, where he has been deemed Resident Author. Donna Marie is the author and illustrator of two coloring discussion books on Henry David Thoreau: " Henry David Thoreau: A Discussion Starter Coloring Book", which was used as Thoreau curriculum in grades K -3 at St. Benedict Catholic School during the 2016-2017 school year and" Born in the Nick of Time", which was utilized in grades K through 8 during the 2017-2018 academic year to further teach students about the author. She wrote and illustrated an A,B,C, book on the author, "Henry David Thoreau, Who Can He Be?" as well as "Henry David Thoreau Loved the Seasons of the Year", both of which were used as story walks at Walden Pond State Reservation. In addition, she wrote and illustrated "If Henry David Thoreau Traveled the Southwest... An Imaginary Saunter", which places Henry in the Southwest national parks that Donna Marie loves. Her latest book is" Henry David Thoreau, Bell Ringer for Justice", which introduces a young audience to Thoreau’s advocacy of human rights and social justice.  Donna Marie’s primary focus as a Language Arts teacher is to incorporate Thoreau into her writing curriculum in order to help students think critically, use creativity, enhance writing skills, as well as form a lasting relationship with this American author, naturalist, and philosopher.


Reverend Doctor Jim Sherblom is a transcendentalist, author, mystic, theologian, entrepreneur, investor, company creator, venture capitalist, spiritual seeker, and laughing buddha. Jim holds a BA from Yale in history, an MBA from Harvard, and Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Andover Newton Theological School. He lives a transcendental existence in Concord, Massachusetts, with his wife of forty years Loretta. His favorite and most frequent deep spiritual practice consists of walking meditation in Walden Woods or around Walden Pond. He invites interested parties to come walking with him.


Cristin Ellis is Associate Professor of English at the University of Mississippi. She is the author of Antebellum Posthuman: Race and Materiality in the Mid-Nineteenth Century (Fordham, 2018) and is currently working on projects relating to Thoreau's theory of vegetal sexuality, his relation to nineteenth-century technologies of animation, and his Indian Books.


Mark Noble is Associate Professor of English at Georgia State University. He is the author of American Poetic Materialism from Whitman to Stevens (Cambridge, 2015) and his essays have appeared in American Literature, J19, Nineteenth-Century Literature, LARB, and American Impersonal: Essays with Sharon Cameron (Bloomsbury, 2014). He is currently at work on a study of ontology and politics in Henry David Thoreau’s Journal.


JOHN STAUFFER is the Sumner R. and Marshall S. Kates Professor of English and of African and African American Studies at Harvard University. He is the author or editor of 20 books and over 100 articles. His work, Giants: The Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln was a national bestseller. The Black Hearts of Men was the co- winner of the Frederick Douglass Book Prize and the Lincoln Prize 2nd Place winner. Picturing Frederick Douglass was a Lincoln Prize finalist. His essays and reviews have appeared in Time, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post, and in scholarly journals and books. He is the former editor of 21st Editions, has served as a consultant for the traveling exhibition War/Photography, and has co-curated an exhibition on Douglass and Melville at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. He also has advised three award-winning documentaries, and has been a consultant for feature films including Django Unchained (2012) and the Free State of Jones (2016). He has been a speaker and scholar for the U.S. State Department’s International Information Program.


Dominic Mastroianni is Associate Professor of English at Clemson University, and the author of Politics and Skepticism in Antebellum American Literature (Cambridge 2014). A recipient of the Cohen Prize in Melville studies, his essays appear in The New Melville Studies (Cambridge 2019), The Norton Critical Edition of Pierre, Studies in American Fiction, and elsewhere. He is currently writing a book about wonder and philosophy in Thoreau and Emerson.


Julia Xianju Du received her B.A. and M.A. from Peking University, Beijing, China, then went on teaching “History of Western Political Thought” and “Famous Western Thinkers” at Tsinghua University. She went to study briefly at Oxford University, then transferred to Brandeis University and received her PhD there.  Upon graduation, Julia entered the software industry. She also writes and translates both academic and literary books. Her Chinese translation of “Walden: The Annotated Edition”, annotated by Walden Institute curator Jeffrey Cramer, has been reprinted seven times since it first came out in August 2015. It has also been published in soft cover in 2017.



Sinton Stranger, MA, USC, Comparative Literature. She began studying Urasenke Tea Ceremony in LA, CA in 1976. She began making tea tables from reclaimed wood in 2005. Good Wood, Namaste tea table reclaimed Redwood 2005, PMCA, Pasadena, CA; Valentine Tea Festival, Electric Lodge, 2007, Tea Ceremony, Santa Monica, CA; FLUX, Tea Tables Tea Ceremonies, Solo Show, 16 pieces, 2006, Chinatown, CA; Alt Build, furniture booth Santa Monica, CA. 2006; Art From the Ashes, 'Inspire', tea ceremony, 2011; Artists Unite ForJapan, Tea On Andromeda, Camphor tea table.


Corinne H. Smith is an independent scholar and public speaker who first encountered Thoreau, "Civil Disobedience," and "Walden" as a high school student in the suburbs of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in the 1970s. She is the author of "Westward I Go Free: Tracing Thoreau's Last Journey," and "Henry David Thoreau for Kids: His Life and Ideas, With 21 Activities." She works for The Thoreau Society at the Shop at Walden Pond and serves as an occasional docent at Thoreau Farm, his birthplace.


Susan E. Gallagher focuses mainly on the history of political inequality in the United States. She is currently completing an historical biography, 'A Black John Brown': The Life and Times of Anti-Slavery Orator H. Ford Douglas.


Pamela Mack has a PhD in History and Sociology of Science and Technology from the University of Pennsylvania and has taught history of technology, history of science, and environmental history at Clemson University for more than 30 years. Her interest in Thoreau started from taking a course on Concord Authors at Concord Academy as a high school student. She is the daughter of Lorna and John Mack, who used to be active in the Thoreau Society.

Henrik Otterberg is an economist at the Chalmers Science Park in Gothenburg, Sweden. In 2014 he submitted his doctoral thesis, Alma Natura, Ars Severa: Expanses & Limits of Craft in Henry David Thoreau, at the University of Gothenburg. His work has been funded by the Swedish Royal Society of Letters, and his dissertation has been the recipient in 2015 of the Lundberg prize, awarded by the Swedish Academy. Publishing regularly on Thoreau, Otterberg serves as editorial assistant and resident bibliographer for the Thoreau Society Bulletin, and he is a current member of the Thoreau Society board of directors. In May 2018 he organized an international symposium on the “Uses and Abuses of Thoreau at 200,” held at the Wallenberg Center in Gothenburg, Sweden, congregating some thirty Thoreau scholars from eight nations, and he is currently coordinating a follow-up symposium on “Thoreau and Time” at Rejkholt, Iceland, in August of 2020 (CFP and invitations to follow).


Lucille Stott, author of Saving Thoreau's Birthplace: How Citizens Rallied to Bring Henry Out of the Woods (TMC Books, 2018), is a founding member and past president of the Thoreau Farm Trust, the local nonprofit that purchased the Thoreau Birthplace from the Town of Concord in 2007 and oversaw its restoration and rehabilitation. She is a former editor of The Concord Journal and Appalachia, the journal of the Appalachian Mountain Club, and retired in 2014 from her career as a teacher and administrator at Concord Academy. She currently lives in Brunswick, Maine, where she works as a writer and editor.


Lydia Willsky-Ciollo is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Fairfield University specializing in American religious history. She received her PhD from Vanderbilt in 2013. She has published in Nova Religio, Teaching Theology and Religion, Church History and Religious Culture, and The New England Quarterly and her book American Unitarianism and the Protestant Dilemma: The Conundrum of Biblical Authority came out in 2015 from Lexington Books. At present, she is at work on several projects, the first a book on Henry David Thoreau and the development of his theology of wildness, the second an article examining anti-feminist tendencies in Unitarian and Transcendentalist culture, and the third a co-authored book on new religious movements targeted at undergraduates.


Jake McGinnis is a PhD student in English at the University of Notre Dame and the managing editor of ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment.


Geoff Wisner is an author, editor, and book reviewer based in New York City. His books include *Thoreau's Wildflowers* (Yale University Press, 2016) and *Thoreau's Animals* (Yale University Press, 2017).


Michelle Neely is Assistant Professor of English at Connecticut College, and a past Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto. Her scholarship has appeared in American Literature, The Concord Saunterer, and Thoreau in Context (Cambridge University Press, 2017). She is currently finishing a book project, tentatively entitled Against Sustainability: The Unlikely Environmentalisms of 19th-Century American Literature, which explores environmental paradigms emergent in the 19th-century in the context of nineteenth and twenty-first century struggles for social and ecological justice. Keith Badger grew up in Newton Center, Massachusetts where an early involvement in the Scouting movement and the discovery of the works of Henry David Thoreau from neighboring Concord sealed his fate regarding a yearning for the wild. Upon his graduation from High School he did a quick year and a half of college before transferring into what he would always term FFU, or Far Flung University. The next eight years found Keith living out of a backpack and tramping the globe. Six of those years were spent roaming deep into the wilderness strongholds of North America, walking the Appalachian Trail and discovering the backcountry of our country’s National Parks and National Forests. Two years were spent long walking through Europe, Northern Africa and the Middle East. He re-enrolled into the more sedentary and conventional pursuits of academia, receiving his BS in Environmental Biology and MST in Environmental Studies before discovering his passion for teaching what John Muir would call “The Gospel of Nature”.


Karen Buckland

In addition to teaching full time for the UT Tyler University Academy, I also moonlight as adjunct English faculty for Trinity Valley Community College. I have been teaching since 2001, and I love working with students of all ages. I have been lucky enough to work with nearly every type of learner in almost every kind of classroom from 6th grade to college. I earned my B.A. in English at Midwestern State University. My M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction and M.A. in English Literature are both from UT Tyler.



Joseph Hutcheson has worked as a high school English teacher for the past twenty years. Working first at a number of high schools and community colleges in the Midwest, he now teaches in the suburbs of Philadelphia. He has also worked for the National Writing Project and the College Board AP program. He is currently a doctoral student in educational leadership at Neumann University. He served as a member of the curriculum committee for the Thoreau Society’s Life With Principle: Thoreau’s Voice in our Time educational DVD. When not busy teaching and writing, he enjoys spending time and traveling with his wife and nine-year-old twin daughters.


David Gordon is an Instructor in Philosophy and Ethics at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania. He holds a doctorate in Philosophy from Marquette University, a Master’s degree in Environmental Philosophy from the University of Montana, a Master’s degree in Theology from the University of Notre Dame, and a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from Washington and Lee University in Virginia. He has been taught courses in philosophy, religion, ethics, and environmental ethics at eight different colleges and universities over the last 15 years. While at the University of Montana he wrote his Master’s thesis on Emerson’s concept of the ‘Forest Seer,’ and used the thought of Thoreau, John Muir, Arne Naess, and Val Plumwood to develop it. His dissertation examined the implications evolutionary theory has for metaphysics. Like Thoreau, he is interested in old growth forests and wilderness protection.


Alex Moskowitz is a doctoral candidate in the Department of English at Boston College, where he specializes in nineteenth-century American literature, Marxism, and critical theory. His dissertation, tentatively titled “American Imperceptions: The Radical Political Forms of Sensory Perception,” seeks to stage an encounter between antebellum American literature and radical democratic politics by thinking about the relation between literary form, sensory perception, and political economy. Alex is Associate Editor of The Concord Saunterer: A Journal of Thoreau Studies, and his work is forthcoming in Polygraph: An International Journal of Culture and Politics.


William (Bill) Coughlin is an English Teacher from Elgin High School, in the western suburbs of Chicago, IL, where he teaches Advanced Placement Language and Composition and Honors Freshman English. He earned a B.A., in the Teaching of English from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2008 and M.A. in English Literature from Northeastern Illinois University in 2017.


Hunter Cambon

I am an English teacher in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. A few years back I decided to earn my Master's degree in English Literature. My first professor at University of Texas at Tyler challenged my writing ability and knowledge of literature throughout the spring semester. I signed up for her class again in the summer. This second class on Thoreau lined up with a life-long dream I had to refurbish a sailboat and sail through the Bahamas. I set sail early in the summer and spent 40 days living aboard, all the while I read Thoreau and participated in my own version of Walden through my literature class. This adventure changed my approach to literature, my teaching style, and, of course, deepened my love for Thoreau. I'm now in my ninth year of teaching and look forward to teaching Walden, as I do every year, as our last text of the year.


Renée Silvus

Reading Thoreau has informed every part of my life, from becoming an educator to living in Idaho, surrounded by forests. I taught high school English for 17 years in California, Munich, and my current home, McCall. My interest in Integral led to leadership trainings with the Boulder Integral Center. Currently I offer life coaching, retreats, courses, and presentations under my personal brand, Luminaire. My intention is to help people see themselves, their world, and their possibilities more clearly. Within this framework, I am compiling passages from Thoreau and creating corresponding activities so we may experience some part of his meaning. This is accompanied by a series of presentations and a website called *Live Like Thoreau,* with an eventual book. My rule of remaining in Idaho for the glorious summers is about to bend, as this is my first foray to the Annual Gathering.


Deborah Medenbach is a writer and avid outdoor enthusiast who has led canoe trips for the Thoreau Society's Annual Gatherings for a dozen years. She is founder of the Riverport Women's Sailing Conference at the Hudson River Maritime Museum in Kingston, NY, has served as an Adventure Sail skipper in Boston and a Women on the Water skipper in NY. She is a competitive racing sailor, and lives with her husband and an underperforming mouser on a farm in upstate NY.


Catherine Staples is the author of two poetry collections: The Rattling Window and Never a Note Forfeit. Her poems have appeared in The Yale Review, Poetry, Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, Prairie Schooner, Third Coast, The Gettysburg Review, and in Academy of American Poets, Honors include a Walter E. Dakin Fellowship from Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the New England Poetry Club’s Daniel Varoujan and Barbara Bradley Awards, and a Tyrone Guthrie residency at Annaghmakerrig. She teaches in the Honors and English programs at Villanova University.


Dr. Mathew has copy right on the DVD of live dramatic reading performance "Life and Legacy of Henry David Thoreau." He has published or presented papers related to Henry David Thoreau, Mahatma Gandhi and Captain John Brown. 


Randy Newcomer is a lifelong student of history local to his home town of Ephrata in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania where he not only demonstrates printing on an 1850's press, but also does so on a 1700's reproduction wooden press at the Ephrata Cloister, an historical site interpreting a colonial religious experiment in simplicity, self-sufficiency and spirituality.


Audrey Raden is the author of When I Came to Die: Process and Prophecy in Thoreau's Vision of Dying. She is currently at work on a second book project tentatively titled, "Thoreau, Whitman, and Transcendental Friendship." And independent scholar, she lives in New York City.


Marlies henderson is a writer, environmental activist, outdoors advocate, and freelance program coordinator in Billerica, MA, where she is an appointed MACC certified Conservation Commissioner and an elected Town meeting Representative. In 2016, she spearheaded the successful effort to locally adopt the Community Preservation Act in Billerica.

Fritz Fleischmann teaches at Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, where he hosted the first single-author conference on Margaret Fuller in 1995. He has published books and essays about American literature, entrepreneurship, college management, organic farming and environmental ethics. He is currently collaborating on a German translation of Fuller’s Summer on the Lakes, as well as co-editing a volume of John Neal’s selected tales and stories.

Gordon Andersson has loved nature and gone outside at any opportunity since childhood in Africa. His interest in birds began as a boy in the large variety of specimens he collected with his BB gun (no binoculars). As an adult he took up bird photography and has been published in several bird/conservation magazines & calendars. Now he practices nature therapy, often with a camera and lens, and spends a lot of time and money supporting conservation organizations of different scale and purpose.

He identifies with HDT's need to be outdoors observing nature, and his treatment of all plants and animals with curiosity and respect and an essential common identity. He also loves his bold commentary on his own species behaviors. He has a MS in Ecology and Behavioral Biology from the U of MN.

John Barthell is the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, Oklahoma. In his administrative role as a provost and previous role as a dean he has worked on many STEM-based initiatives; he is an ecologist with over a decade of funding from the National Science Foundation to study pollinator species that non-native in the USA but native to the Republic of Turkey and Greece. He is an active member of the Council on Undergraduate Research. Barthell received his Bachelor’s degree in Zoology and PhD in Entomology at the University of California at Berkeley.

Kathy Lawrence is the author of “The ‘Dry-Lighted Soul’ Ignites: Emerson and His Soul-Mate Caroline Sturgis As Seen in Her Houghton Manuscripts.” Harvard Library Bulletin (Fall 2005); “Soul Sisters and the Sister Arts: Margaret Fuller, Caroline Sturgis, and Their Private World of Love and Art,” ESQ: A Journal of the American Renaissance (2011); and “Margaret Fuller’s Aesthetic Transcendentalism and Its Legacy,” in Harold Bloom, ed. The American Renaissance. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Press, 2004. She serves as a volume editor for The Complete Fiction of Henry James, forthcoming from Cambridge University Press (2019). She is an Associate Professor affiliated at Georgetown.

William Homestead is a twenty-year college teacher with a long association with the Ometeca Institute, a nonprofit devoted to the “third culture” integration of the sciences and humanities. His work with Ometeca—a word from the Nahuatl language of the Aztecs meaning two into one--along with his interdisciplinary degrees, study with a spiritual teacher, and experiences teaching at a large state university and a small liberal arts college, have fostered his holistic vision of education. In 2010, he was guest editor for a special edition of the Ometeca Journal on Educating for Ecological Sustainability. More recently, his essay, “The Language that All Things Speak: Thoreau and the Voice of Nature,” was published in the 2014 anthology Voice and Environmental Communication. Homestead is currently working on two book length projects, Not Till We Are Lost: Teaching and Learning in the Age of Global Warming: Thoreau, Education, and Spiritual Transformation and An Ecology of Communication: Response and Responsibility in an Age of Ecocrisis.

Joanna Greenfield has worked with howler monkeys in Panama, with chimpanzees in The Impenetrable Forest of Uganda, was attacked by a hyena in a nature reserve in Israel, and spent six years traveling around the U.S., staying in hostels and campgrounds while writing her first book, "The Lion's Eye: Seeing in the Wild," part of which was published in The New Yorker as a personal memoir. Her current book "One Lighted Breath: An Accidental journey Into Simplicity [working title]" is under option. Greenfield co-founded the free lecture group Columbia Building Green, has won Honorable Mention for Memoir writing at the Green Book Conference, and currently teaches seminars on how to substitute food and plants for the chemicals we've been taught to use in our homes to anyone who will listen.


Mr. Ingram is a Licensed Land Surveyor in three states, having been first Licensed in West Virginia in 1975 and later that year in Virginia. Maryland registration was granted in 1981. He is a 1978 graduate of James Madison University holding degrees in Economics and Business Administration.

Prior to retirement in the fall of 2016, Mr. Ingram owned and managed a surveying and engineering firm for over 40 years. During that time he was an active member of several state and national professional associations including the Virginia Association of Surveyors, West Virginia Association of Land Surveyors, Maryland Society of Surveyors, American Congress on Surveying and Mapping, National Society of Professional Surveyors, and Surveyors Historical Society. He has held numerous positions in these organizations including Secretary / Treasurer of the National Society of Professional Surveyors for three terms, two terms as a member of the Board of Directors of the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping, multiple terms and past Secretary of the Board of Directors of the Surveyors Historical Society, Chapter President and member of the Board of Directors of the Virginia Association of Surveyors, and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Museum of Surveying in Lansing, Michigan. He was a program evaluator for the Accreditation Board for Engineering Technology (ABET), served on the Surveying Advisory Committee at East Tennessee State University, authored several articles and papers dealing with the history of surveying, and has made numerous presentations related to the history of surveying. He continues many of these activities in retirement.


Jennifer N Daly

I am a First Year Writing Instructor at Montclair State University and Sussex County Community College. I earned my Masters of English Literature from Montclair State University, and I am a doctoral candidate in the Doctor of Letters program at Drew University.


Mary Jo Downey

Presently living in upstate New York, Mary Jo Downey is an English and literature instructor at SUNY Delhi. 


Tiffany K. Wayne, PhD is an independent scholar and high school History and Government teacher living and writing in Northern California. She holds degrees from the University of California, San Diego, and the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is a former Affiliated Scholar with the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at Stanford University and a former participant in the NEH Landmarks in American History Summer Workshop, “Transcendentalism and Social Change in Concord, Massachusetts” (2008). She is a regular attendee of the Thoreau Annual Gathering and has twice presented papers for the Emerson Society panel at the AG. Dr. Wayne is the author of several volumes on Transcendentalism and American literary history, including Woman Thinking: Feminism and Transcendentalism in 19th-Century America (2004), the Facts on File Encyclopedia of Transcendentalism (2006), and Critical Companion to Ralph Waldo Emerson (2010). 


Ed Gillin has felt honored to teach American Literature for thirty-one years at the institution where Walter Harding served as its first Distinguished Professor. He currently serves at SUNY-Geneseo as director of the college's Thoreau-Harding Project.

Alice de Galzain is a Ph.D. student at the University of Edinburgh. Brought up in a bilingual environment in Europe (Alice is fluent in French and Italian), she developed very early on a deep sense of intercultural perspective. Alice has studied and lived in many different countries, including France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States - which has played a defining role in her transnational approach to literary works. In Paris, a highly selective three-year program called Classes Préparatoires aux Grandes Ecoles enabled her to double her exploration of English and American literature with the study of French and Italian literature. After studying American cultural history at Humboldt Universität in Berlin, she then moved to Memphis, Tennessee where she audited classes on American Southern literature while teaching French at Rhodes College. In 2017, she graduated with distinctions from the University of Edinburgh, where she completed a Master of Science in United States literature. Specialized in nineteenth-century U.S. literature, Alice's research interests include Transcendentalism, transnational writing, abolitionism, and women’s studies. After writing her Master's dissertation on Ralph Waldo Emerson and Thomas Carlyle's epistolary friendship and their differences over the abolition of slavery, she is now focusing her research on the relationship between Emerson and Margaret Fuller. In particular, she plans to explore explore how both Emerson’s and Fuller’s Transcendentalist reimagining of the role and status of American women led to a redefinition of the American nation. 

Karah Mitchell is currently a PhD candidate at UNC - Chapel Hill, where she primarily focuses on 19th-century American literature and, more specifically, the intersections between natural science and poetry/poetics during this period.

Paul Schacht is Professor of English at SUNY Geneseo and director of Digital Thoreau, a collaborative initiative of SUNY Geneseo, The Thoreau Society, and The Walden Woods Project.

Tracey A. Cummings is an associate professor at Lock Haven University in Lock Haven, PA, where she has been teaching American literature for 13 years. She graduated with a B.A. in English from Kings's College and a Ph.D. in English with a specialization in 19-century American literature from Lehigh University. From a young age, she has been passionate about the works of Louisa May Alcott and Henry David Thoreau so it is no surprise that most of her work since looks at the way their works speak to one another, particularly at the way that Alcott reworks Thoreau's life and writings. This passion for Alcott and Thoreau has expanded into an interest in the Concord authors in general, particularly the life and works of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Tammy is honored to be bringing her 3rd piece of Transcendental Theater to the AG. Her first Henry Play was called SENSE-which took the audience on a swim across Walden-pointing at all the ghosts on shore (who looked amazingly like a lot of the local historical interpreters). SKIMMING THE SURFACE was a rebuttal to a certain New Yorker article, which allowed HDT a chance to scrub away any claims of "pond scum" on his legacy.
In both Concord and NYC, Ms. Rose is an award winning playwright, artist, performer and most recently, tourguide. Her published essays can be seen in several collections of renown, including: What Would Henry Do? and Thoreau in Mackinac.
Her day job involves time traveling in the opposite direction, where she controls the digital future as a UX Researcher.

In 2 weeks, she will be presenting a solo version of this show at the Clemens Conference in Hannibal, MO.

Christina Root teaches English at Saint Michael's College in Colchester, Vermont. For many years, she has taught Thoreau alongside the English Romantic Poets, Goethe, and contemporary nature writers on both sides of the Atlantic.

David K. Leff is an award winning essayist, Pushcart Prize nominated poet and former deputy commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. He is the author of six nonfiction books, three volumes of poetry and two novels in verse. His 2016 travel adventure, Canoeing Maine’s Legendary Allagash: Thoreau, Romance and Survival of the Wild (Homebound Publications) won a silver medal in the Nautilus Book Awards for memoir and a silver medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards for regional nonfiction. Another Thoreau oriented book, Deep Travel: In Thoreau’s Wake on the Concord and Merrimack was published in 2009 (U. of Iowa Press). Recently released is The Breach: Voices Haunting a New England Mill Town, a novel in verse whose story of betrayal and redemption is told in the voices of common objects, from a milling machine on the factory floor to the church steeple clock.

David is the poet laureate of his home town of Canton Connecticut where he also serves at deputy town historian and town meeting moderator. He had a twenty-six year career as a volunteer firefighter.

In 2016-2017 the National Park Service appointed him poet-in-residence for the New England National Scenic Trail (NET). In 2018 he was give the lifetime honor of New England Beat Poet Laureate by the National Beat Poetry Foundation, Inc. David has given nature poetry workshops at the famed Sunken Garden Poetry Festival, the Mark Twain House, the Emily Dickinson Museum, and elsewhere. David’s journals, correspondence, and other papers are archived at the University of Massachusetts Libraries in Amherst. His work is available at 

Jeff Craig is an amateur archaeologist, who began his research to find the "lost" Wheeler-Thoreau Shanty Site 6 years ago. Archaeologists from five major universities have contributed advice and technical assistance (at various times) to advance the scientific evaluation of this site. None of these archaeologists have been working on this project continuously, their participation was primarily in an advisory role. Due to the continuing scientific research being conducted at the site, the exact location will be kept confidential for the foreseeable future.


James Wades is currently employed as Manager of Electrical Engineering at Pintsch
Tiefenbach, US. He specializes in the design, manufacture, evaluation and verification of
vital signal, communications and automation systems for the rail and transit industries.
He serves on the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-way Association
standards committees and has also been quite active in rail and port security issues, having
represented CSX Transportation on the Lake Michigan Port Security Committee during
which time he chaired the counter-terrorism exercise design committee and security
sensitive information management subcommittee.
Mr. Wades maintained a Michigan State Police Professional Emergency Manager
certification from 1993 until 2008 when he moved to Illinois for his present employer. He
has worked closely with local, state and Federal agencies in a variety of capacities related
to both telecommunications and emergency management.
In his spare time, he serves as International President of the Morse Telegraph Club (MTC),
a non-profit historical and educational association of retired railroad and commercial
telegraph operators, former telegraph industry employees and others with an interest in the
history of telegraphy and telecommunications. MTC chapters throughout the United States
and Canada are active designing and building historically correct telegraph exhibits for
public museums, presenting talks on the history of telegraphy and telecommunications, and
demonstrating telegraphy at historical events throughout North America.
Mr. Wades has also been active in the motion picture industry as a technical advisor in the
area of set design. Some examples of recent projects include Spielberg’s “Lincoln” and
Disney’s Lone Ranger. He was also involved in the early development of “Polar Express”
and has served as an advisor to a variety of other projects.
Mr. Wades has held both FCC Amateur and Commercial Radio Operators licenses since
1974 and has served the Amateur Radio community in a variety of volunteer positions. He
currently serves on the Board of Directors of Radio Relay International, a nonprofit public
benefit corporation dedicated to the development and maintenance of an International
disaster communications infrastructure.

Frederick Beihold began life among the farms of the Indiana countryside where you
could see the Milky Way on a clear night. An uncle who had worked for the Civil
Aeronautics Authority (later FAA) sending weather reports via radiotelegraph from a
remote island in Alaska loaned him a Collins radio receiver when he was 12. About
that same time his granddad from Maine gave him a copy of _The Maine Woods_ for
Christmas. The ham radio license test was passed at age 16 and now he has written or
contributed to several technical papers, is the manager at Black Oak Shop, LLC and
does contracting work for microwave tests living in Massachusetts with his Welsh
Terrier and friends. He holds the degrees of B.A. (Philosophy, 1975) Trinity College,
Deerfield, IL and M.Sc. (Fields and Waves, 2008), Northeastern University, Boston,


JOHN STAUFFER is the Sumner R. and Marshall S. Kates Professor of English and of African and African American Studies at Harvard University. He is the author or editor of 20 books and over 100 articles, which mostly focus on antislavery, social protest, or photography. His work, Giants: The Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln was a national bestseller. The Black Hearts of Men was the co-winner of the Frederick Douglass Book Prize and the Lincoln Prize 2nd Place winner. Picturing Frederick Douglass was a Lincoln Prize finalist. His essays and reviews have appeared in Time, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post, and in scholarly journals and books. He served as a consultant for the traveling exhibition War/Photography, co-curated an exhibition on Douglass and Melville at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, and was the editor of 21st Editions:  The Art of the Book. He also has advised three award-winning documentaries, and has been a consultant for feature films including Django Unchained (2012), The Abolitionists, (2013), and The Free State of Jones (2016). He has appeared on national radio and TV, including The Diane Rehm Show, Fresh Air, and Book TV. Professor Stauffer serves on the Advisory Council of the Innermost House Foundation, guiding its understanding of the relation between Ralph Waldo Emerson, Frederick Douglass and Transcendentalism more largely, particularly as related to the African American experience. 

MICHAEL LORENCE is president of The Innermost House Foundation, a non-profit, public benefit fellowship of craftspeople and artists, scholars, writers, and practitioners, environmentalists and industrialists, all united in conversation to seek the transcendental spirit at the heart of human experience. Mr. Lorence has been reading the American founding documents, the writings of the Transcendentalists and classical literature generally with leaders for thirty years. In 2004, Diana and Michael Lorence established a conversation retreat called Innermost House in the mountains of Northern California. For seven years, that retreat served guests as a private meeting place of forest nature, fine traditional craft and fundamental thought culture, conceived to seek a space of transcendental unity. The Innermost House Foundation exists to carry that woodland experiment forward on a public basis, demonstrating that the ideals with which the world has invested the American experiment can be made harmoniously and sustainably real.   

MELINDA LEVIN is Professor of Media Arts at the University of North Texas, where she has served in succession as Department Chair and Director of Graduate Studies. Her work focuses on ethnographic and documentary filmmaking and trans-media. She is a director, producer, cinematographer and editor for multiple award-winning productions, with films shot in Brazil, Cuba, China, England, India, Israel, Mexico, Mongolia, Serbia, Slovakia, Thailand and the USA. Her body of media work examines environmental, cultural, socio-political, arts and indigenous issues. She is the CEO/Founder of an early-phase startup mobile application platform designed for geo-specific storytelling and reporting. Her most recent film, Mongolia: Earth and Spirit, is a documentary on a Mongolian Tibetan Buddhist monk, and portrays his commitment to cultural reclamation and ecological protection of the Mongolian Steppe. She is Director and Co-Executive Producer for the documentary River Planet, winner of a Telly Award and official selection and winner at numerous national and international film festivals. Professor Levin has served as an artist citizen-ambassador for the U.S. Department of State, traveling as far as Vietnam, Thailand, Tajikistan and remote villages of the Hindu Kush range in the Afghanistan Autonomous Zone for presentations and collaborations. She co-authored a commissioned article entitled “Enhancing Counter-Terrorism with Community-Empowered Ethnographies” for NATO’s Peace and Human Security Series on Human and Social Dynamics, and has presented this research at a NATO symposium in Turkey. Professor Levin serves as Media Director of the Innermost House Foundation, guiding its program of virtual outreach. 


For seven years, Diana Lorence lived in an unelectrified, twelve-foot square house she
built with her husband, hidden away in the coastal mountains of California, in a world lit
only by fire. Diana Lorence's Innermost House publications are now visited by readers
from over a hundred nations of the world. Since her emergence from the woods five
years ago with a talk at the Thoreau Farm, her writings and photographs have been
featured in Fine Homebuilding, House Beautiful, Design Anthology Hong Kong, The
Oregonian, Mother Earth Living, Green Style, The Examiner, Kadinlar Arasi, Furniture
and Home Fashion, Yahoo and AOL Homepages, Tiny House Blog, Fair Companies,
and hundreds of websites and newspapers around the world in languages from
Spanish, French, German and Italian, to Turkish and Pakistani, to Japanese and
Chinese. Innermost House has been judged the “World's Favorite Small House,” the

“Most Beautiful Tiny House in the World” and the “Most Inspiring Small House Ever.”

Henry Petroski is the Aleksandar S. Vesic Professor of Civil Engineering and a professor of history at Duke University. He has written broadly on the topics of design, success and failure, and the history of engineering and technology. His nineteen books on these subjects include To Engineer Is Human, The Pencil, and Engineers of Dreams. His latest is The Road Taken: The History and Future of America’s Infrastructure. He is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the U.S. National Academy of Engineering.

Jym St. Pierre, Maine director of RESTORE: The North Woods, has worked for four decades to
preserve wild nature. Since 1995, he has been at the forefront of efforts to protect Thoreau’s Maine
Woods from destructive resource extraction and misplaced development. This includes leadership in
campaigning for a Maine Woods National Park & Preserve and battling misplaced development
around Moosehead Lake and other places along Thoreau’s travels in Maine. He has visited dozens of
National Parks across four continents.
Michael Kellett, executive director of the nonprofit RESTORE: The North Woods, has more than 30
years of experience advocating for national parks, wilderness, and endangered wildlife. During that
time, he has been active in efforts to safeguard the Thoreau Country, including development of the
first proposal for a 3.2 million-acre Maine Woods National Park & Preserve, and initiatives to protect
Walden Woods, the Thoreau birthplace, Estabrook Woods, Mount Wachusett, and the White

Mountains. He has visited 250 National Park System units across America.

Helen R. Deese is professor emerita at Tennessee Technological University and Caroline Healey Dall editor for the
Massachusetts Historical Society. Among her publications are Jones Very: The Complete Poems; Daughter of
Boston: The Extraordinary Diary of a Nineteenth-century Woman, Caroline Healey Dall; and volumes 1 and 2 of
the projected four-volume Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society edition Selected Journals of Caroline

Healey Dall.

Sarah Ann Wider is Professor of English and Women’s Studies at Colgate University where she has taught an Emersonian miscellany of courses in literature, Women’s Studies and Native American Studies. Long interested in actual readers’ response, her published work focuses on how nineteenth century women read Emerson. With Ronald A. Bosco, she is currently editing the Sturgis-Emerson correspondence.

Mike, who trained in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, raised his son and daughter in a dune shack smaller than Thoreau’s, on the Cape Cod National, for a longer time that Thoreau lived at Walden Pond.

He is the author of Henry David Thoreau: Cycles and Psyche. Higganum Hill Press, 2004; and "Thoreau's Hallucinated Mountain" The Psychoanalytic Review: Vol. 91, October, 2004, pp. 699-704. (

This is his fourth play.

Laura Dassow Walls is William P. & Hazel B. White Professor of English at the University of Notre Dame, where she teaches 19th-century American and environmental literature. Her research interests include the American Transcendentalists as well as the history and future of ecological and planetary thinking. Her books include Henry David Thoreau: A Life (Chicago 2017), Emerson's Life in Science: The Culture of Truth (2003), and Seeing New Worlds: Henry David Thoreau and 19th-Century Natural Science, as well as edited volumes on Thoreau, Transcendentalism, and Humboldt. Her publications in literature and science include the book Passage to Cosmos: Alexander von Humboldt and the Shaping of America (Chicago 2009). Currently she is working on a group biography of the Transcendentalists.

Dale Potts is a professor of history at South Dakota State University. He has published several articles on environmental history and such early-twentieth-century nature writers as Henry Red Eagle, Henry Beston, Holman Francis Day, and Elizabeth Coatsworth.

Chris Sockalexis is the tribal historic preservation officer for the Penobscot Nation. He holds a degree in archaeology from the University of Maine. His work for the tribe takes him to significant cultural and historical sites across the state.

John J. Kucich is a professor of English at Bridgewater State University. He serves as the editor of The Concord Saunterer, the journal of the Thoreau Society. He is the author of Ghostly Communion: Cross-Cultural Spiritualism in 19th Century American Literature (Dartmouth, 2004) and several recent essays on the intersections between Native and European American cultures in the 18th and 19th centuries. His edited collection of essays, Rediscovering the Maine Woods: Thoreau’s Legacy in an Unsettled Land, was published by the University of Massachusetts Press in 2019.