The Spring 2014 Roxbury Burroughs Lecture, sponsored by John Burroughs’ Woodchuck Lodge, will be held Sat., April 12 at 2 p.m. at the Historic Masonic Hall on Bridge Street (2335 Co. Highway 41) in Roxbury, Delaware County, NY.
Dr. Daniel Payne, Professor of English at SUNY Oneonta, author and noted Burroughs scholar, will offer a look at “John Burroughs’ Wild Places: The Catskills and Adirondacks.”
There is no admission charge; donations towards the continued upkeep and restoration of Woodchuck Lodge will be gratefully accepted.
A reception will follow the multi-media lecture, which will feature slides of Burroughs in the New York mountains he so loved, some vintage film clips of him camping, and audio recordings of a few of his favorite birdcalls.
Dr. Payne earned a J.D. at Albany Law School, and his experience as a practicing attorney included service as Counsel to the New York State Senate Transportation Committee. He then completed his M.A. and Ph.D. at the University at Buffalo, where his dissertation was a multidisciplinary study of American Nature Writing and Environmental Politics.
His book-length works include Voices in the Wilderness: American Nature Writing and Environmental Politics (1996); The Palgrave Environmental Reader (2005); Writing the Land: John Burroughs and His Legacy (2008); and Why Read Thoreau’s Walden? (2013).
His literary biography of American nature writer Henry Beston is scheduled to be published by David R. Godine in the fall of 2014.
Dr. Payne also directs the biannual John Burroughs Nature Writing Conference & Seminar, commonly referred to as the “Sharp Eyes” Conference, at SUNY Oneonta. The next conference is scheduled for June 2-5, 2014.
In 2012 Dr. Payne was honored with the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.
John Burroughs (1837-1921), writer and naturalist, creator of the nature essay as a literary form, and father, along with Teddy Roosevelt, John Muir, and others, of the American conservation movement, was born in Roxbury. He returned to his homestead farm in old age to spend summers at a little house built by his brother in the 1860s. John named it Woodchuck Lodge for the furry rodents that abounded.
The non-profit Woodchuck Lodge Inc. maintains this landmark. http://www.woodchucklodge.org. For more information: 845-254-6025.
The Roxbury Burroughs Lecture honors the tradition of the Roxbury Burroughs Club (now merged with Woodchuck Lodge), and Burroughs Community Day, while bringing to a new generation the ideas of John Burroughs: his keen understanding of our dependence on and interconnectedness with nature; his simple manner of sustainable living; his joy in the natural world right at our doorstep; his scientific, observant eye, and philosophic, humane heart.