I’ve given quite a few public talks over the years, and offer a polished presentation. I’ve spoken on subjects ranging from esoteric religion to ecology to literature to the continuation of family farming in America. If you’d like me to speak, you can contact me at versluis (at) msu.edu. I look forward to hearing from you.
Below is a selected list of some of the keynote, symposium, single-venue, or conference plenary lectures I’ve given.
“Entering the Mysteries: Living Sacred Sites in North America and Western Europe,” Hieros Symposium on Spirituality and the Land, 13 May 2017, Oriel College, Oxford University, Oxford, England
“Platonism, Its Heirs, and the Last Romantic,” Keynote Address, Romantic Legacies Conference, November, 2016, National Chengchi University, Taipei, Taiwan
“The Archaic Imagination,” Temenos Academy, Royal Asiatic Society, London, England, 24 June 2016
“American Gurus: The Convergence of Asian Religions, Mysticism, and Western Esotericism,” at the Association for the Study of Esotericism Fifth International Conference, Colgate University, 19-22 June, 2014
“The Perennial Philosophy,” Temenos Academy, London, England 13 June 2013, 7 p.m.
“The Challenges of Contemplative Studies,” in American Academy of Religion Conference, Baltimore, Maryland, 23 November 2013, 4 p.m.
“A Family Farm,” at Small Enough to Succeed: A Symposium on American Agrarianism, Hope College, 15 September 2012
“Deconstructing Esotericism,” Association for the Study of Esotericism Fourth International Conference, University of California, Davis, July 19-22, 2012
Invited speaker at Hope College, Department of Philosophy, 14 September, 2012. Subject: “The Challenges of Contemplative Science: Religion and Neuroscientific Research.”
“American Transcendentalism as American Renaissance,” at Domaine de Taurenne Symposium, 27 June – 4 July 2011
Keynote Lecture, “Non-dualism and Cultural Emergence,” in Death and Renaissance in Philosophy, Art, and Literature Conference, Acropolis, Athens, Greece,
6 November 2009
“Neoshamanism and Modern Western Shamanism,” Kresge Art Museum, on behalf of Korean Shamanism Art Exhibit, 17 September 2009
“The Esoteric American Renaissance,” Keynote, New York Open Center Symposium, Phoenicia, New York, 27 August 2009
“Esoteric Dimensions of American Literature,” New York Open Center Symposium, Phoenicia, New York, 26 August 2009
“The Religious Dimensions of 1968 and the Counter-culture,” Telos Symposium, New York University, New York City, 20 January 2008 [For audio, click here]
Keynote address, “Blake, Esotericism, and Literary Criticism 1948-2007,” William Blake Symposium, Goldsmiths College, University of London, 2 November, 2007
Keynote address, “The New Heresies,” with Alexander Cockburn, “Battle of Ideas,” Institute of Ideas, Royal College of Art, London, England, 28 October, 2007
“Mysticism and Politics: Contemplative Life in a Chaotic World,” Lecture at the Temenos Academy, London, England. June 6, 2007
Co-organized First International Conference on Radicalism, MSU, January, 2007
“Secularity, Esotericism, and Intellectual History,” Keynote Address, International Society for Intellectual History International Conference, May 2005
“Mysticism and the Study of Western Esotericism,” Mysticism Section, American Academy of Religion Conference, November 2003
“Jacob Böhme and the Kabbalah,” Western Esotericism Section, International Congress of the International Association for the History of Religions, Durban, South Africa, August, 2000.
“The Death of American Agriculture,” Biannual National Conference, Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment,” June 5, 1999, Kalamazoo, Michigan.
“Seventeenth Century Christian Theosophy in England, France, Germany, and North America,” American Academy of Religion Conference, Orlando, Florida, November, 1998
“The Esoteric Origins of American Transcendentalism,” American Literature Association, American Renaissance Conference, Cancun, Mexico, 12 December, 1997
“The Hermetic Origins of American Transcendentalist ‘Zen,’” in absentia, at the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment Conference, Missoula, Montana, July, 1997.
“The Meeting of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Christianity in America,” Interfaith Dialogue Association Conference, October 6, 1995, Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids, Michigan
“Alchemy in Christian Theosophic Literature,” Presented at the International Association for the History of Religions, Mexico City, August 12,1995, published as “Alchemy and Christian Theosophic Literature,” in Western Esotericism and the Science of Religion, A. Faivre and W. Hanegraaff, eds., (Leuven: Peeters, 1998), pp. 131-144
“America Studies in a World Context,” America in Eastern Europe Conference, June 8, 1994, Lodz, Poland
“Native American Literature and Landscape,” Freiburg, Germany, June 18, 1994
“American Transcendentalism and the Theosophy of Jacob Böhme,” Sorbonne, Section des Sciences Religieuses, Paris, France, May 5, 1994
“Native American Literature and Visionary Narratives,” Friedrich-Schiller Universität, Jena, Germany, May 26, 1994
“American Transcendentalism and German-English Mysticism,” at Universität Heidelberg, New Light on American Transcendentalism Conference, February 4, 1994
“American Transcendentalism and Literary Colonialism,” [Chaired panel discussion] West Virginia Colloquium, West Virginia University, September 18, 1992
“In Novas Formas: Metamorphosis Ancient and Modern,” presented at the Eaton Conference on the Fantastic in Literature, Riverside California, April, 1989
“Emerson’s Vision of America,” presented at the Michigan Academy, March, 1989, Grand Valley State University
Selected Public Interviews, Talks, and Articles:
“Interview on Water Mining,” E.G. Hughes, Green Matters, Illinois Public Radio, WDBX, December 11, 2007
“Interview by Amol Rajan on New Inquisitions,” 4 November, 2007 The Independent, London, England, available at this url: www.battleofideas.org.uk/index.php/site/battles/1073/
“Mysticism and Politics,” Temenos Academy Lecture, June, 2007, London, England.
“Interview on Literature and Religion,” from New Grail
“Interview with Miguel Conner on The New Inquisitions,” webcast via Freethought Media, January, 2007
“Interview with Ian Masters on The New Inquisitions,” National Public Radio, Autumn, 2006
“Island Farm and Michigan Farming,” in Michigan Writer’s Series
“Island Farm and Issues in Contemporary Family Farming,” Grand Valley State University, November, 2004
“Farming Families Must Be Included When Crafting Plans to Save Farmland,” Editorial, The Grand Rapids Press, 8 March, 2003: A11.
“Water: Public Good or Private Gain?” Counterpunch 19 January, 2004. See www.counterpunch.org
“Issues in Contemporary Family Farming,” invited talk, College of Arts & Sciences, Grand Valley State University, 30 October, 2001
“Western Esoteric Spirituality,” invited public lecture, Grail Institute, St. Paul, Minnesota, May 15, 2000
“The Esoteric Origins of the American Renaissance,” Lecture by invitation at the Temenos Academy, London, England, August, 1998. The hour-long lecture is available on cassette tape from Temenos Academy, 14 Gloucester Gate, London, England, NW14HG.