William Rossi

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I teach courses at all levels of the English curriculum, including lower- and upper-division undergraduate courses in American and environmental literature as well as graduate seminars.  Among those recently taught:


Recent publications include, Norton Critical Edition of Henry D. Thoreau, Walden, Civil Disobedience, and Other Writings, 3rd ed. (W.W. Norton, 2008); "Evolutionary Theory" in The Oxford Handbook of Transcendentalism, ed. Joel Myerson, Sandra Harbert Petrulionis, and Laura Dassow Walls (Oxford, 2010); "Performing Loss, Elegy, and Transcendental Friendship," New England Quarterly 81 (2008); “Thoreau’s Multiple Modernities,” in Thoreauvian Modernities: Transatlantic Conversations on an American Icon, ed. François Specq, Michel Granger, and Laura Dassow Walls (Georgia, 2013), and, with John T. Lysaker, Emerson and Thoreau: Figures of Friendship (Indiana, 2010).



I work on nineteenth-century American literature and culture with particular research interests in New England Transcendentalism, history of science (especially evolutionary discourse), environmental writing, and "place studies."


One of fourteen projected volumes of Henry Thoreau’s Journal in the Princeton Edition of his writings, Journal 6: 1853, edited by William Rossi, records how Thoreau divided his energies during this period between increasingly professional field studies as a naturalist in Concord and the revision of his Walden manuscript: two imaginative projects that fed one another.

Walden, Civil Disobedience, and Other Writings

William Rossi’s Norton Critical Edition of Henry D. Thoreau, Walden, Civil Disobedience, and Other Writings (2008) includes annotated texts; contemporary reviews and posthumous assessments of Thoreau by Ralph Waldo Emerson, James Russell Lowell, and John Burroughs; selections from Thoreau’s Journal; and a wide range of recent interpretive essays.

Wild Apples and Other Natural History Essays by Henry D. Thoreau

In Wild Apples and Other Natural History Essays by Henry D. Thoreau, edited by William Rossi, readers will see how Thoreau melded conventions of natural history writing with elements of travel writing and landscape writing to explore concerns ranging from America’s westward expansion to the figural dimensions of scientific facts and phenomena.


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