Monday, March 6, 2017

R. Scott Hanson

R. Scott Hanson is a Lecturer in History at the University of Pennsylvania and an Affiliate of the Pluralism Project at Harvard University. City of Gods: Religious Freedom, Immigration, and Pluralism in Flushing, Queens is his first book.

Recently I asked the author about what he was reading. Hanson's reply:
My first book was about the most diverse urban neighborhood in the world, so I think it’s kind of fitting that I became interested in the opposite of that recently: I’ve been working on a screenplay adaptation of Thoreau’s Walden and his determination to live simply and alone in nature and contemplation. In addition to immersing myself in his correspondence and journal entries, I’ve been reading a number of biographies, including recent works like Michael Sims’ The Adventures of Henry Thoreau and Susan Cheever’s American Bloomsbury. There’s a lot more drama there behind the scenes of Walden that can be teased out, and I think it could be a great movie. I don’t often have time to work on it (I’ve been doing a lot of other writing and talks related to my book), but it’s been a pleasure to return and do a little bit more when I can.

I’ve also been revisiting the poetry of a dear friend who passed away last fall, Thomas Whitbread, who taught at the University of Texas at Austin from 1959-2016. Whitbread is the author of such collections of poetry as Whomp and Moonshiver and The Structures Minds Erect.

Most recent addition to bedside table stack: Erica Armstrong Dunbar’s Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge.
Visit R. Scott Hanson's website.

The Page 99 Test: City of Gods.

--Marshal Zeringue