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Harder Lecture Transcripts (1998-2011)

Cornell Plantations’ annual Harder Lecture explores the relationship between literature and the natural world. Endowed by Torrence Harder ’65, the lecture is named in honor of his parents, William H. Harder ’30 and Jane Torrence Harder. With permission of the speakers, we are pleased to provide transcripts of the following talks.

(Please select the title of each lecture to open a pdf of the transcript.)

2011: Molly Hite, Professor of English, Cornell University
“Literature, Life, Gardens:  The Influence of Vita Sackville-West”

2010: Harry Shaw, Professor of English, Cornell University
“Is Nature Natural? A View from Britain”

2009: Daniel Schwarz, Frederic J. Whiton Professor of English Literature, Cornell University
“Reconfiguring Nature after Darwin: Skepticism and Sexuality in High Modernist Literature”

2008: Cheryll Glotfelty, Associate Professor of Literature and the Environment, University of Nevada, Reno
“The Trees of our Lives: Literary Renderings of Remarkable Trees”


2006: Eric Cheyfitz, Ernest I. White Professor of American Studies and Humane Letters, Cornell University
“Balancing the Earth: Native American Philosophies and the Environmental Crisis”


2005: Jonathan Culler, Class of ’16 Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Cornell University
“Talking to Plants: Addressing Nature in the Lyric Tradition”

2004: Roger Gilbert, Professor of English, Cornell University
“From Whiteville to Ithaca: The Scenic Route of A. R. Ammons’s Poetry”

2003: Alice Fulton, Ann S. Bowers Professor of English, Cornell University
“Let the Barbaric Flowers Live: Nature and Poetry”

2002: Winthrop Wetherbee, Avalon Foundation Professor in Humanities and English, Cornell University
“The Spirit of Landscape and Medieval Poetry”

2001: Alison Lurie, Frederic J. Whiton Professor Emeritia of American Literature, Cornell University
“Secret Gardens and Enchanted Forests: Nature in Children’s Literature”

1999: M. H. Abrams, Professor Emeritus English, Cornell University
“This Green World: The Vision of Nature in the Romantic Poets”

1998: Robert Morgan, Kappa Alpha Professor of English, Cornell University
“Nature Is a Stranger Yet”

1997: Joel Porte, Ernest I. White Professor American Studies and Humane Letters, Cornell University
“In Wilderness is the Preservation of the World: The Natural History of Henry Thoreau”