Nature Writing and Environmental Activism

Robert Edwin Burkholder

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


As the title suggests, the article is concerned with the concept of nature writing and environmental activism and the involvement of the Transcendentalists in it. It states that beyond the obvious significance and continuing influence of Thoreau, the role of other Transcendentalists on the development of nature writing was less clear. However they revered nature in ways their New England ancestors did not because nature was no longer the daily obstacle it had once been. Moreover, for the Transcendentalists, nature was "evidence and analogue of man's relation to God." Apart from the works of Thoreau, the article examines the content of some of the works of Margaret Fuller such as "Summer on the Lakes" which was a combination of travel writing, landscape description, and advocacy for Native Americans. The article states that though the Transcendentalists were humanists and social and religious reformers, the human themes in their writings found way into nature writing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Transcendentalism
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199940721
ISBN (Print)9780195331035
StatePublished - Sep 18 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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