We know Henry David Thoreau today as a cantankerous nature writer, but in his own time and place he was also known as the Town of Concord’s best surveyor. In 1859, on the cusp of the Civil War, he surveyed the Concord River and drew up an enormous seven-foot map of its flowage. This talk considers Thoreau’s river map, the ethics it plots, and how Thoreau’s surveying can help us navigate the perils of the Anthropocene.
Daegan Miller is a writer and historian whose first book, This Radical Land: A Natural History of American Dissent was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2018. He earned a PhD from Cornell University and was an AW Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities at UW-Madison. For more about Daegan, including links to his essays and criticism, visit daeganmiller.com or follow him on Twitter @DaeganMiller.