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Why Thoreau Still Matters

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With support from: Lowell Institute
Date and time
Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Two hundred years after Henry David Thoreau’s birth in Concord, MA a distinguished panel considers Thoreau’s lessons for today’s world. How have Thoreau’s writings and ideas informed environmental policy, civil disobedience and contemporary writings on the human relationships with the natural world? Part of the Series “Boston is Thoreau Country: A Multimedia Series Celebrating Thoreau’s Legacy in the Hub,” Co-Presented by Old South Meeting House, The Thoreau Society, and the Boston Literary District This program is made possible with funding from the Lowell Institute.

Christopher Lydon is an American media personality and author. He is best known for being the original host of *The Connection*, produced by WBUR and syndicated to other NPR stations.
Howard Axelrod is the author of the memoir \_The Point of Vanishing\_. Axelrod currently teaches writing at GrubStreet in Boston and has previously taught at Harvard University, the University of Arizona, and Wentworth Institute of Technology.
Maria Madison is the co-founder and president of a historic site commemorating the legacy of a previously enslaved revolutionary war veteran in Concord, Massachusetts. Her background includes training and decades of experience in domestic, global health and clinical research. She has a doctorate in Population and International Health from the Harvard School of Public Health and she has lived in Africa for over five years. Madison's career began as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, (previously known as Zaire), where she learned and applied various research methods, including community epidemiology in resource-constrained settings. She worked in Cameroon for two years, while working toward her ScD in Population and International Health. Madison’s dissertation focused on the morbidity of HIV/AIDS in West Africa, particularly focusing on Abidjan, Ouagadougou, and Dakar.
\_My creative projects encompass a broad range of approaches to media making that include single channel film and video works, installation, and interactive web based and locative work. I use film and video as poetic tools for exploring the human condition, incorporating subjects as close as my back porch and as far away as the planet Mars. Often I employ autobiography, subjective reportage, and essay forms as strategies for examining the larger issues that both intrigue and challenge me. Not unlike the fine arts approach of painters or photographers, I often work in series organized by specific media forms and shared themes. Much of my work investigates the complex relationship we have with our environment – our human ecology – in both local and global ways. \_ Get his mobile on the website [Wander Wonder Wildness](http://www.wanderurbanwilds.com/ "") about "Chance encounters and insights inspired by walking through Boston’s public parks and greenways—known as urban wilds."
Walls has researched the intersections of literature and science in the works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Alexander von Humboldt and related authors. She specializes in American Transcendentalism—especially Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson, transatlantic romanticism, literature and science, and environmental literature and ecocriticism. Walls is the author of "Henry David Thoreau: A Life", "The Passage to Cosmos: Alexander von Humboldt and the Shaping of America", "Emerson's Life in Science: The Culture of Truth" and "Seeing New Worlds: Henry David Thoreau and Nineteenth-Century Natural Science".
Frederick Emerson Small, known publicly as Fred Small, is an American singer-songwriter. He began his career as a lawyer and later became a Unitarian Universalist minister. Small was formerly a Senior Minister of First Parish in Cambridge, Massachusetts (Unitarian Universalist) and co-chair of Religious Witness for the Earth, a national interfaith network dedicated to public witness on critical environmental issues, especially global climate change. Follow him on Twitter at [@revfredsmall](https://twitter.com/revfredsmall?lang=en "")