Morgan Presents at West of Walden: Thoreau in the 21st Century

Patrick Morgan, English Ph.D. candidate, was invited to present his paper, “Thoreau in China: Reflections on Teaching Walden to Chinese Students” at the West of Walden: Thoreau in the 21st Century conference hosted by Huntington Library, in California on April 7-8, 2017. The Huntington Library owns seven draft manuscripts of Thoreau’s Walden.  Thoreau scholars attended the conference as 2017 marks the 200th anniversary of Henry David Thoreau’s birth.  Conference organizer Laura Dassow Walls, will be publishing a Thoreau biography during the bicentennial of his birth.

Morgan with Duke Kunshan University students in Kunshan, China, during the spring of 2016.

Morgan presented his work “Thoreau in China:  Reflections on Teaching Walden to Chinese Students,” which focuses on the contact zone between Thoreau and the East.  During the talk Morgan discussed his experience teaching the course “Walden International: Analyzing Thoreau Across Cultures” at Duke Kunshan University in Kunshan, China, during the spring of 2016. 

For this course Morgan created a website, Walden Alive, which provided a digital field trip of Walden Pond for the class.  According to Morgan, Walden Alive is meant to shed light on the particular contact zone between his students and Thoreau's words and geographic setting.

Photo by James Finley.  Patrick Morgan next to manuscripts the Huntington Library put on display, in celebration of our conference.  The Huntington Library selected a manuscript of Thoreau's Walden, and also Ralph Waldo Emerson's 1862 eulogy titled, "Thoreau."