Oregon State University professor David Robinson has been elected a fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society.
The honor is in recognition of the scholarly work Robinson has done on authors Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. Robinson will chair the selection committee for the society’s National Endowment for the Humanities Research Fellowships next winter.
The Massachusetts Historical Society is an independent research library and manuscript repository. Its holdings encompass millions of rare and unique documents and artifacts vital to the study of American history, many of them irreplaceable national treasures. A few examples include correspondence between John and Abigail Adams, such as her famous “Remember the ladies”; several imprints of the Declaration of Independence; and Thomas Jefferson’s architectural drawings.
Robinson is a Distinguished Professor of American Literature at OSU and directs the university’s Center for the Humanities. He also holds the Oregon Professorship of English, the first endowed professorship established in OSU’s College of Liberal Arts. He is author of “Apostle of Culture: Emerson as Preacher and Lecturer” (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1982); “Emerson and the Conduct of Life” (Cambridge University Press, 1993); and “Natural Life: Thoreau’s Worldly Transcendentalism” (Cornell University Press, 2004).
He has held research fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Council of Learned Societies, and has served as Fulbright guest professor at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. Robinson has presented papers at four national conferences that were organized and hosted by the Massachusetts Historical Society, including the Bicentennial Conference on Ralph Waldo Emerson (2003) and the Bicentennial Conference on Margaret Fuller (2010).