Muhlenberg Lecture

The Life and Writings of Henry David Thoreau: The Coalescence of Ecology and Political Activism

Event Information

  • Wednesday, June 28, 2023
  • 6:15 pm - 7:45 pm
  • Adam-Kuckhoff-Straße 35, HS I
  • 06108 Halle (Saale)

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The Life and Writings of Henry David Thoreau: The Coalescence of Ecology and Political Activism

Prof. Sandra Petrulionis (Pennsylvania State University)

Abstract of Lecture 

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) has long been celebrated as America’s premier nature writer, for his natural history narrative Walden (1854), and as a political firebrand, for the influential essay “Civil Disobedience” (1849). These two entwined strands of Thoreau’s literary identity evolved over decades as a lifelong project of reform. From his earliest writings on nature to his most radical antislavery speeches, and especially in his massive Journal, Thoreau synthesizes the philosopher, abolitionist, and ecologist as he strives to lead a life of “action from principle.”


Bio Sketch

Dr. Sandra Harbert Petrulionis is Distinguished Professor of English and American Studies at Pennsylvania State University in Altoona, Pennsylvania; and this semester, she is a Fulbright Specialist at Martin Luther University. She is the author To Set This World Right: The Antislavery Movement in Thoreau’s Concord, the editor of Thoreau in His Own Time and Journal 8: 1854 in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, and a co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of Transcendentalism and (with MLU’s Dr. Julia Nitz) of Intercontinental Crosscurrents: Women’s Networks across Europe and the Americas. In 2010, Dr. Petrulionis was a Fulbright Senior Lecturer at Friedrich Schiller University in Jena. Her current work includes a biography of 19th-century author, reformer, and editor Thomas Wentworth Higginson, and, with Dr. Noelle A. Baker, The Almanacks of Mary Moody Emerson: A Scholarly Digital Edition

The lecture will begin at 18.15 Uhr and afterwards there will be a small buffet.

It will also be streamed online via Webex; please click here to join the live stream.


Everybody is welcome to attend!





Main organizer: PD Dr. Julia Nitz