Thoreau & the Nick of Time 5. október 2021

Thoreau & the Nick of Time


 Thoreau Symposium to be held at The Snorrastofa Cultural and Medieval Centre, Reykholt, Iceland, on May 25-27 (Wed-Fri), 2022, with voluntary joint excursions on May 28-29 (Sat-Sun), 2022. 

 Plenary: Laura Dassow Walls, William P. and Hazel B. White Professor of English, University of Notre Dame, plus several invited session speakers.

 Organizers: Bergur Thorgeirsson (Executive Director, Snorrastofa); Henrik Otterberg (Thoreau Society, Sweden); Deborah Medenbach (Thoreau Society, USA), Michael Frederick (Executive Director, Thoreau Society, USA).

 Theme: Thoreau grappled with new scientific concepts of time, which opened up immense chronologies and hints of a vastly more senescent Earth than earlier known or thought possible. The relatively contained and traditional Biblical narrative of a few millennia of history were fundamentally rocked. Thoreau himself lamented the loss of simpler times of mythological clarity and cyclical revolution, while also clear-eyed about his rapidly changing present. Today we embrace the concept of “deep time” as regards the age of our universe and planet, but increasingly worry about an imminent and self-created environmental catastrophe. Once again we feel our worldly time to be short, the responsibility fundamentally our own. How to find a sustainable way forward, and may Thoreau help us to it?


Affiliated presentation topics include: science (how did the natural sciences of Thoreau’s day, saliently geology and zoology, open up and challenge traditionally and theologically received notions of time?); aesthetics (how did Thoreau deal with and portray time in his own thought and writings?); history (is it linear, circular, staggered, or perhaps just chaotic? what did Thoreau himself make of it?); furthermore politics (which timeframes are relevant to making informed, ethical decisions? a single human life or career, or perhaps something larger, of longer duration? can other cultural time- and resource frameworks than the traditionally Western - and hence often colonial - provide clues or answers?); and finally reception (has Thoreau’s time come or gone, in terms of his relevance to us?)


Please submit your abstracts/session proposals of maximum 500 words by November 1, 2021, via email to Henrik Otterberg at:




Opnunartímar skrifstofu Snorrastofu og Bókhlöðu

Virka daga 10:00–17:00

Opnunartímar Gestastofu

1.maí - 31.ágúst:
Alla daga 10:00 - 17:00

1.sept - 30.apríl:
Virka daga 10:00 - 17:00
Á öðrum tímum eftir samkomulagi.