Explore ‘Walden’ with Idea of Nature Lecture Series

Henry David Thoreau's Walden is one of the most-read and most-taught classics of American literature, yet it remains one of the most challenging books. Why did Thoreau go to the woods? What did he learn there? And why didn't he stay?

Explore these questions and more as Dr. Laura Walls visits The College of Idaho as part of the 2017 Idea of Nature Lecture Series to speak on "Deliberate Living: The Challenge of Walden in the 21st Century" at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15, in the Langroise Recital Hall. The lecture is free and open to the public.

As Thoreau puzzled the above questions, his quest to compose answers that would bear the full weight of his life and thought led to the publication of Walden—which in turn led him to reach beyond his local audience and down the generations to us, today. Now that we live in the future he most feared, his call to live "deliberately" seems more urgent, and more difficult, than ever.

Walls, an English professor at Notre Dame, is a scholar in the transdisciplinary field of literature and science, with a focus on the nineteenth century and American Transcendentalism. Her many books include a forthcoming biography of Henry David Thoreau and prize-winning books on Alexander von Humboldt and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Her work has been supported by the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council for Learned Societies, and the William P. and Hazel B. White Foundation.

The College of Idaho has a 125-year-old legacy of excellence. The C of I is known for its outstanding academic programs, winning athletics tradition and history of producing successful graduates, including seven Rhodes Scholars, three governors, four NFL players and countless business leaders and innovators. Its distinctive PEAK Curriculum challenges students to attain competency in the four knowledge peaks of humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field—empowering them to earn a major and three minors in four years. The College’s close-knit, residential campus is located in Caldwell, where its proximity both to Boise and to the world-class outdoor activities of southwest Idaho’s mountains and rivers offers unique opportunities for learning beyond the classroom.  For more information, visit