Thoreau in Our Time

This course traces Henry David Thoreau's influence on major social and political transformations in American history from the abolitionist movement to the age of climate change.  We focus first on Thoreau's writings on slavery, commercial development, environmental history, and individual liberty.  Then we study his formative role in the civil rights and environmental movements of the twentieth century.  During the final weeks of the term, through a mix of outside speakers and student presentations, we explore how his writings continue to shape ongoing struggles to deal with climate change, advance social justice, and promote a greater sense of fairness in American life.  The course involves at least one trip to Walden Pond and a tour of Thoreau's birthplace in Concord, Massachusetts

POLI.3570 Thoreau in Our Time

All of the required readings and materials are available on the course web page, Thoreau in Our Time.  Note: the page is updated each time the course is taught.