Laura Dassow Walls
William P. and Hazel B. White Professor of English
Laura Dassow Walls, a distinguished scholar of 19th century American literature and culture, joined the Notre Dame faculty in fall 2011 as the William P. and Hazel B. White Professor of English.
Her latest book, The Passage to Cosmos: Alexander von Humboldt and the Shaping of America (University of Chicago Press), recently won the Modern Language Association’s James Russell Lowell Prize, the Organization of American Historians’ Merle Curti Award for the best book in American intellectual history, and the Michelle Kendrick Memorial Book Prize from the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts.
Specializing in American Transcendentalism—especially Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson, transatlantic romanticism, literature and science, and environmental literature and ecocriticism – Professor Walls’ current projects include a biography titled Writing the Cosmos: The Life of Henry D. Thoreau, for which she was awarded a 2010-11 Guggenheim Fellowship, and a new edition of Alexander von Humboldt's Views of Nature, forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press.
The White Professorships were established with gifts from the W.P. & H.B. White Foundation. William and Hazel’s children, William P. White Jr. (’39) and Roger B. White (’50), were graduated from Notre Dame’s College of Engineering.