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Walden's Carbon Footprint: People, Plants, Animals, and Machines in the Making of an American Classic

Date and Time: 
Thursday, October 27, 2016. 04:15 PM - 05:45 PM
Meeting Location: 
Margaret Jacks Hall, 4th Floor, Terrace Room
Workshop: 
Seminar on the Enlightenment and Revolution, 1660-1830
Meeting Description: 

Eric Slauter is Associate Professor of English at the University of Chicago and director of The Karla Scherer Center for the Study of American Culture.

A blend of environmental, labor, and literary history, the project examines the supply-chain of raw materials in the 1854 first edition of Thoreau’s book (from cotton-based paper and linen thread to animal-skin glue), considers the many people who contributed to its production (including enslaved African-Americans in the South, commodity brokers, northern mill workers, European rag-pickers, and women and children in the printing trades), and reflects on the literary genealogy of our contemporary desire to know the origin as well as the environmental and social impact of objects in our daily lives.

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