Course Description

Instructor: Dan Vollaro

This course explores the writing and cultural impact of American writer Henry David Thoreau. Moving beyond the literary aspects of Thoreau, the course will examine how Thoreau changed the world, from his influence on Gandhi and Martin Luther King to his role as America’s patron saint of dropping out. Claimed by readers and followers as both an icon and a founding father, Thoreau is read by many as a countercultural and anti-state philosopher. The course will explain how Thoreauvian ideas have penetrated American society and culture in the 21st century, from Occupy Wall Street to climate activism to the tiny house movement. 

Instructor Bio:

Daniel Vollaro is an associate professor of English at Georgia Gwinnett College. He has earned a Ph.D. In 19th Century American Literature from Georgia State University and an M.A. in Jewish-Christian Studies at Seton Hall University. He has published several articles on Henry David Thoreau and was featured in the 2017 BBC Radio documentary “The Battle for Henry David Thoreau.” He is currently writing a book titled The Thoreauvians which is based on dozens of interviews with people who apply Thoreau’s philosophy in their daily lives. Dr. Vollaro is also a writer. His essays have been recently published in Adbusters, As it Ought to Be Magazine, Boomer Café, Litro, Michigan Quarterly Review, Missouri Review, Rise Up Review, and The Smart Set. His fiction has been published in Blue Moon Review, Crania, Creo, Fairfield Review, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, Mobius: The Journal of Social Change, Thrice Fiction, and Timber Creek Review.

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