Paula Priour, a faculty member at St. Michael’s for 29 years, has been awarded a Summer Institute grant by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to attend a workshop titled, Living and Writing Deliberately: The Concord Landscapes and Legacy of Henry Thoreau. She will travel to study Thoreau in his hometown of Concord, Massachusetts.
One of America's most famous writers, Henry David Thoreau is remembered for his philosophical and naturalist writings and for his most famous work, Walden. He is also known for his beliefs in Transcendentalism and civil disobedience, and he was also a dedicated abolitionist. This NEH Summer Institute workshop will focus on how Thoreau’s ideas were shaped by his experiences, observations, reflections, and discoveries in his New England community.
Priour is thrilled for this extraordinary opportunity to study and engage with colleagues.
“Thoreau is such a key figure in American literature and philosophy and even political thought, but he's hard to teach to kids whose personal experiences and values are so removed from mid-19th-century contexts, and to whom American Literature's writing might as well be prehistoric cave paintings. Institutes like this can offer experiences that help teachers bridge the gaps between today's realities and those of Thoreau and Emerson. The principles and benefits of living deliberately are as timeless as humanity," she said.
According to the NEH website, the Summer Institute program encourages teachers to study common texts, visit collections in libraries and museums, exchange ideas about the art of teaching, and share insights and materials with their colleagues and students.