Laura Walls

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Laura Dassow Walls (born Laura Dassow in Ketchikan, Alaska) is an American professor of English literature and currently the William P. and Hazel B. White Professor of English at the University of Notre Dame.

Areas of research[edit]

Walls has researched the intersections of literature and science in the works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Alexander von Humboldt and related authors.[1] She specializes in American Transcendentalism—especially Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson, transatlantic romanticism, literature and science, and environmental literature and ecocriticism.[2]

Books authored

Books edited

Awards and degrees[edit]

Walls received the University of South Carolina’s Russell Research Award in spring 2010.[3] She won the Merle Curti Award for best book in American intellectual history by the Organization of American Historians in April 2010. She received a Guggenheim Fellowship in May 2010.[1][4] In October 2010, she won the Michelle Kendrick Memorial Book Award for the best book in literature and science by the Society for Literature, Science and the Arts.[5] Walls received the Modern Language Association’s James Russell Lowell Prize for her book, The Passage to Cosmos: Alexander von Humboldt and the Shaping of America, on January 7, 2011 at the MLA’s annual convention.[5] She has been awarded the 2012 Ralph Waldo Emerson Society Distinguished Achievement Award.[6]

She studied at University of Washington earning a B.A. for English/Creative Writing in 1976 and an M.A. for English in 1978. She earned a Ph.D. from Indiana University in American Literature in 1992. Before going to University of South Carolina, she taught at Indiana University and Lafayette College.[1]

Professor Walls joined the Notre Dame faculty in fall 2011 as the William P. and Hazel B. White Professor of English. She succeeds Gerald Bruns, who retired from Notre Dame in 2008 and inaugurated the William P. and Hazel B. White Professor of English chair.[2]


  1. ^ a b c "Laura Dassow Walls: 2010 - US & Canada Competition: Creative Arts - Biography". John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Retrieved December 19, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Cohorst, Kate (March 31, 2011). "Laura Dassow Walls Joins Department of English". University of Notre Dame: The College of Arts and Letters. Retrieved April 2, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Recipients of the Russell Research Award for Humanities and Social Sciences". University of South Carolina. Retrieved December 19, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Guggenheim Fellow 2010". John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Retrieved December 19, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b "A New 'Age of Humboldt' Dawning with Unprecedented Win of Prizes by University of South Carolina Professor" (Press release). University of South Carolina. December 17, 2010. Retrieved December 19, 2010. 
  6. ^ Basile, Joanna (August 29, 2012). "English Professor Laura Dassow Walls Studies Emerson and Science". University of Notre Dame - College of Arts and Letters. Retrieved August 30, 2012. 

External links[edit]