Upcoming Events and Event Catalog

Our Event Catalog provides general information about our recurring programs

A Virtual Lyceum: The Art of Perception

Thursday, October 21, 2021
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Event Details & Registration

Brought to you by: The WWP, The Dial, and The Concord Festival of Authors 

About the event: Perception connects us with our immediate environment, and yet perception is anything but immediate. We learn to perceive, and what we ordinarily perceive is conditioned by what we have learned to pay attention to. Our powers of perception must be cultivated.  During this Lyceum, joined by scholars and artists in various mediums, we will discuss the connection between perception, the natural world, art, and society. Henry David Thoreau’s writing is filled with sense observations and perceptions of the natural world and philosophical perceptions of society. How can the natural world awaken our powers of observation? How can our social lives? Art forms? Why is close observation of all important? 


Caroline Randall Williams is a multi-genre writer, educator, performance artist in Nashville Tennessee, where she is a Writer-in-Residence at Vanderbilt University. She is co-author of the NAACP Image Award-winning cookbook Soul Food Love. Her debut collection of poetry, Lucy Negro, Redux has been turned into a ballet by the Nashville Ballet — Caroline performed her poetry as an integral member of the cast, all set to an original score by multiple time grammy nominee Rhiannon Giddens. Named by Southern Living as “One of the 50 People changing the South,” the Cave Canem fellow has been published and featured in multiple journals, essay collections and news outlets, including The Iowa Review, The Massachusetts ReviewCherryBombe, Garden and GunEssence and the New York Times. Most recently, she was ranked by The Root as one of the 100 most influential African Americans of 2020. 


Jeffrey S. Cramer is The WWP Curator of Collections and resident Thoreau scholar.  Jeff’s works include I to Myself: An Annotated Selection from the Journal of Henry D. Thoreau, The Portable Thoreau, Solid Seasons; The Friendship of Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson, among others. He is a winner of a National Outdoor Book Award and a co-winner of the Boston Authors Club’s Julia Ward Howe Special Award. 



Justin AtwellDr. Justin Atwell currently works as an Instructor in the Program for Writing and Rhetoric at the University of Colorado-Boulder where he teaches various courses including Writing on Science & Society and Technical Communication & Design. He holds a Master of Arts in Literature from Iowa State University and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Rhetoric, Writing, and Culture from North Dakota State University. Because of these and other work and life experiences, his research interests are varied, including the rhetoric of science and medicine; working class rhetorics; and, whenever possible, hip-hop music. This last interest, combined with a longstanding love of Henry David Thoreau’s philosophy, led Dr. Atwell, early on in his academic career, to write his Master’s Thesis, “The Transcendentalist Hip-Hop Movement,” which explores various philosophical legacies of the 19th-century Transcendentalists through 20th and 21st-century hip-hop music. 


Garrett Allen (moderator) is a writer and teacher living in Los Angeles. He was a philosophy and Greek instructor at the University of Chicago, where he earned a master’s degree. He writes a weekly newsletter of short essays called Footnotes. He is primarily interested in everyday philosophy; in this vein he draws inspiration from ancient Greek philosophy, American transcendentalists and American pragmatists.



Join us via zoom Thursday, October 21, 2021 7:00-8:15pm EST.






We continue to offer our virtual events free of charge. These are challenging times for all, including nonprofit organizations. If you are able to do so, your tax-deductible financial support would be profoundly appreciated and will help us continue our critical work. 

Donate here.

About the event:

The world is never done catching up with Henry David Thoreau. A prophet of environmentalism and vegetarianism, an abolitionist, and a critic of materialism and technology, Thoreau even seems to have anticipated a world of social distancing in his famous experiment at Walden Pond. In Now Comes Good Sailing (Princeton University Press), twenty-seven of today’s leading writers offer wide-ranging original pieces exploring how Thoreau has influenced and inspired them—and why he matters more than ever in an age of climate, racial, and technological reckoning. Join The Walden Woods Project, contributors, and the editor for a lively discussion about the collection, their individual essays, and how Thoreau continues to move, challenge, and provoke readers today. 


Andrew Blauner is a literary agent and the editor of seven previous anthologies, including Coach: 25 Writers Reflect on People Who Made a DifferenceThe Peanuts Papers: Writers and Cartoonists on Charlie Brown, Snoopy & the Gang, and the Meaning of Life, and In Their Lives: Great Writers on Great Beatles Songs. 



 Zoë Pollak is a doctoral candidate in English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. Her writing has appeared in AGNI and Women’s Studies, and is forthcoming in the Hopkins Review and Sonnets from the American: An Anthology of Poems and Essays.



Michelle Nijhuis is a project editor for the Atlantic and a longtime contributing editor for High Country News, is the author of Beloved Beasts: Fighting for Life in an Age of Extinction. After fifteen years off the electrical grid in rural Colorado, she and her family now live in southwestern Washington.



Jeffrey S. Cramer (moderator) is The WWP Curator of Collections and resident Thoreau scholar.  Jeff’s works includeI to Myself: An Annotated Selection from the Journal of Henry D. Thoreau, The Portable Thoreau, Solid Seasons; The Friendship of Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson,among others. He is a winner of a National Outdoor Book Award and a co-winner of the Boston Authors Club’s Julia Ward Howe Special Award. 



Join us via Zoom Tuesday, November 16, 2021 7:00-8:00pm EST.





Note: Professional development events for educators can be found on the educator event page

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Public Program Catalog

These events are offered on an on-going basis. When an event is scheduled, it will appear in the list of upcoming event at the top of this page.

Stewardship Lectures

The Walden Woods Project’s Thoreau Institute sponsors the Stewardship Lecture Series to celebrate innovation and creativity in environmental stewardship and to highlight the work of those who are promoting the values and ideas embodied by Thoreau. Each year the series features a number of talks, panel discussions, or media presentations featuring individuals at the cutting edge of a renewed environmental and social justice movement.

Recent Stewardship Lectures include:

  • Terry Tempest Williams, on her book The Hours of Land: A Personal Topography of American National Parks.
  • Laura Dassow Walls, in October 2016, gave the first public presentation of her biography, Henry David Thoreau: A Life, due out on July 12, 2017
  • David Gessner, All the Wild that Remains: Edward Abbey, Wallace Stegner, and the American West (on his book of the same title)
  • Robert M. Thorson, Walden’s Shore: Henry David Thoreau and Nineteenth Century Science (on his book of the same title)


We are always seeking excellent candidates for the lecture series and welcome any nominations and suggestions for the upcoming year. If you have an idea for a topic or presenter for our Stewardship Lecture Series, please contact The Walden Woods Project.

Modern Lyceum

“Thoreau’s Legacy: A Modern Lyceum” brings back the movement that spawned adult education in America with public forums that promoted thoughtful conversation and education about the social, intellectual and ethical questions of 19th-Century society. Guided by accomplished scholars on related topics, our Modern Lyceum will engage the public in an investigation of current social issues, with respect to and through the lens of Henry David Thoreau’s still-poignant writings and actions—incorporating many of his contemporaries.

Our Lyceum events will not seek to provide easy answers to today’s dilemmas and debates, but to highlight the way in which the voices and perspectives of the past can shed light on and help us to critically examine our current situation. We anticipate that our panelists will—all drawing from Thoreau’s texts and actions—come to slightly different conclusions to some very complex questions, and by doing so, broaden our perspectives on events of today.

Read more about Henry David Thoreau’s involvement with the 19th-Century Lyceum Movement in the United States.