ASLE-sponsored panel at the 2013 Thoreau Society Annual Gathering, July 11-14, 2013

full name / name of organization: 
Association for the Study of Literature and Environment and the Thoreau Society

"Mystic, Transcendentalist, Natural Philosopher, and Ecocritic to Boot"

The theme of the 2013 Thoreau Society Annual Gathering, "Mystic, Transcendentalist, and Natural Philosopher to Boot," comes from an 1853 journal entry where Thoreau privately responds to a questionnaire from the Association for the Advancement of Science, a questionnaire which solicited information about Thoreau's particular interests in natural science. Thoreau
explains that the questionnaire, with its fill-in-the-blank format, as well as the expectations of the Association, could not adequately represent the diversity of his interests. When formally responding to the Association to decline membership, however, Thoreau did fill out the questionnaire, noting his occupation as "Literary and Scientific."

The very interdisciplinarity of Thoreau's life and writings that ecocritics have celebrated over the last two decades is encapsulated in these self-reflective moments. The ASLE-sponsored panel at the 2013 Annual Gathering thus solicits papers that address Thoreau's mysticism, transcendentalism, or natural philosophy, as well as Thoreau as writer, citizen, or activist, from an ecocritical perspective. We welcome papers
that consider any aspect of the literary-scientific synthesis,
particularly in regards to how that synthesis is reflected in the multifaceted nature of Thoreau's life and writings.

Proposals for this inaugural ASLE-Thoreau Society panel should be sent via email to Kurt Moellering at and James Finley at by December 7, 2012.