As an emerging microcollege located in a small rural community, Thoreau College is seeking scholars, artists, craftspeople, and social entrepreneurs to enrich the intellectual and cultural life of our community.  The Thoreau College Residency is an opportunity for individuals working on an important personal project – such as a PhD dissertation, a book, play, screenplay, or research project, or another ambitious endeavor – who are looking for an lively community of peers and young people located an a beautiful natural area in which to complete their work.  Thoreau College Residents offer class sessions or workshops for participants in other Thoreau College programs and/or to the local community through the Driftless Folk School, or perform other skilled work within the college such as cooking, agriculture, administrative work, or crafts.  In return, Thoreau College offers housing, food, and participation in the full life of the college community, including cultural offerings and Driftless Folk School courses.  In addition, Viroqua and the surrounding Driftless Region provides a context of unparalleled natural beauty and many opportunities for outdoor recreation.



Evan Edwards pioneered the Thoreau College Residency.  From August-December 2020, Evan served as our “Captain of Nourishment” – drawing on deep experience as a professional chef to plan, cook, and serve meals for Thoreau College Semester Program students and staff, while also processing produce from Thoreau College gardens and helping students plan meals for their residential houses. In addition, he taught cooking and kitchen skills workshops and led a series of academic sessions on the key figures of phenomenology, including Husserl, Heidegger, and Merleau-Ponty.  At the same time, Evan used his Residency to complete his PhD dissertation in Philosophy from DePaul University!


Thoreau College welcomes Residency proposals from all qualified applicants. Recognizing that excellent proposals may come in many different forms, please send us a personal letter of interest, accompanied by a curriculum vitae and at least two professional references. In your letter of interest, please address the following items:

  • Your background and how you came to be interested in Thoreau College
  • A description of your proposed personal project – dissertation, book, research, etc.
  • A description of your proposed contributions to Thoreau College – teaching, grant writing, cooking, etc.
  • The timeframe of your proposed Residency and any other practical matters we may need to know.

Please send this letter and supporting materials to Jacob Hundt, Director of Thoreau College.