Thoreau, Emerson, Walden and More:
Answering Big Questions
Caroline Winterer / Stanford University
(Includes Live Professor Q & A!)
Stressed out? Looking for inner calm? It turns out that mindfulness has been with us for a long time. Join Stanford historian Caroline Winterer for an exploration of a remarkable group of 19th-century Americans, the Transcendentalists, and how they coped with a chaotic world transformed almost overnight by massive technological and social changes. We’ll look at Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, John Muir, and other writers and artists living everywhere from the shores of Walden Pond to the snowy peaks of Yosemite. Like us, they were looking for answers to the Big Questions. A lot of the way we think about our world today came from this extraordinary group of people: ideas about nature, the individual, self-reliance, and being fully present in the moment. What can we learn from them in our own stressful era?
Caroline Winterer is William Robertson Coe Professor of History and American Studies, as well as the Department Chair, at Stanford University. A Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians, she also is a recipient of an American Ingenuity Award from the Smithsonian Institution for mapping the social network of Benjamin Franklin. She is the author of several books, including American Enlightenments: Pursuing Happiness in the Age of Reason, and her latest, entitled Time in Maps: From the Age of Discovery to our Digital Era.
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