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Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies appears three times a year in March, June, and October. We welcome articles, notes, reviews, and creative writing on the life, works, and influence of novelist and poet Herman Melville (1819-1891). Click here for more information.
The Melville Electronic Library is an online resource for Melville texts. Housed on a Hofstra University server, MEL is being developed and maintained by a group of Melville scholars and digital specialists.
To join the Melvillle Society and subscribe to Leviathan, visit Leviathan's Johns Hopkins University Press journal site by clicking here.
The New Bedford Whaling Museum in collaboration with The Melville Society is the established home of the Melville Society Cultural Project and Melville Society Archive. The Melville Society Archive is housed at the New Bedford Whaling Museum's Research Library, where significant works from this collection are also on display. The Melville Society Cultural Project also sponsors a book donation program and presents exciting annual events including the Moby-Dick Marathon and a Birthday Lecture.
The Melville Society is dedicated to the study and appreciation of the nineteenth-century American author Herman Melville, writer of Typee, Moby-Dick, and Billy Budd, such short stories as “Bartleby” and “Benito Cereno,” and several volumes of poetry, including Battle-Pieces and the epic Clarel.
We publish the award-winning journal Leviathan and meet twice a year for fellowship and scholarly discourse at the annual conferences of the Modern Language Association and the American Literature Association. We also sponsor International Conferences and tours every other year.
Membership and Donations
Membership in The Melville Society is open to all. For information about joining The Melville Society click here. If you want to make a special payment or if you are interested in donating to any of the various projects, endowments, and programs sponsored by The Melville Society, click here.
Events and Announcements
MLA 2018 Annual Convention, New York, NY
4 to 7 January 2018
Melville Society Panel
Political Philosophy in Melville
Organizer & Chair, Munia Bhaumik (Emory University)
1. Michael Jonik (University of Sussex)
"Diogenes in Disguise": Cynicism and Politics in The Confidence-Man"
2. Ana Schwartz (University of Pennsylvania)
3. Paulo M. Loonin (Washington University in St. Louis)
"Melville and Democratic Portraiture: Moby-Dick as American Laocoon"
4. Nathan Wolf (Tufts University)
"'Dead then I'll be': Melville, Hobbes, and the Death of Politics"
Respondent, Jennifer Greiman (Wake Forest University)
Jay Leyda Symposium
November 2, 3, and 4
Mount Holyoke College – Willits-Hallowell Center
"A Curious Man: The Life and Work of Jay Leyda" will be held November 2, 3, and 4 on the campus of Mount Holyoke College at the Willits-Hallowell Center. Register by October 25 to ensure adequate seating for the symposium and lunch on Friday. Click the photo of Jay Leyda for more information.
A variety of lodging options — including hotels, motels, and bed and breakfasts — are located within a short distance from campus.
Click link below at the end of this announcemnt to download the flyer. From the symposium flyer:
Leyda — a scholar, a translator, an artist, an archivist and a teacher — worked across the 20th century in a remarkable array of fields. He left his intellectual mark, in his characteristically understated way, on cinema, photography, music, painting and literature. This symposium brings together scholars from many aspects of Leyda’s life and work in order to spark conversation regarding his influence and legacy.
♿ Free and open to the public.
Thursday, November 2
“Leyda and His Musical World,” a concert by the Mount Holyoke College Department of Music. It will present a variety of works associated with Leyda.
Friday, November 3
9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Presentations throughout the day. Lunch available for all attendees.
Saturday, November 4
Symposium participants and topics of discussion:
Weihong Bao, University of California, Berkeley (Chinese cinema)
Christopher Benfey, Mount Holyoke College (Dickinson and Melville)
Nathaniel Brennan, doctoral candidate, New York University (Museum of Modern Art Film Library, Film Studies and the Popular Front)
Tom Gunning, University of Chicago (early cinema)
Michael Kunichika, Amherst College (Shub, Vertov, Pudovkin and Tarkovsky)
Charles Musser, Yale University (Steiner, Evans, Strand and “A Bronx Morning”)
Gerald O’Grady, the State University of New York at Buffalo, professor emeritus (Flaherty)
Ted Perry, Middlebury College, professor emeritus
Harlow Robinson, Northeastern University (Rachmaninoff, Mussorgsky and Hollywood)
Masha Salazkina, Concordia University (film education from VGIK to NYU)
David Stirk, Princeton University (end of the Cold War)
Alan Trachtenberg, Yale University, professor emeritus (“The Melville Log”)
Yuri Tsivian, University of Chicago (for Hannah Frank)
NOTICE TO MEMBERS: All communications to members will be made electronically in the future. Gone are the mailers and paper ballots of the past. Please, if you haven't done so already, be sure your electronic and postal addresses are correct and up to date. To make updates, you will log in to the Johns Hopkins University Press site, where your membership account is located.
Use this URL https://www.press.jhu.edu/…/leviathan-journal-melville-stud…and click "MY ACCOUNT" in the header above the Leviathan info.
Leviathan 19.2 Now Available
Available on Project Muse
Leviathan 19.2 is available on Project Muse. It includes essays on "The Town-Ho's Story" and labor tension, Romantic melancholy in Moby-Dick, the parasite in "Jimmy Rose," and isolatoes in John Marr and Other Sailors, along with three book reviews, All Astir, MLA Abstracts, presidential remarks from the Melville Society Dinner, and an appreciation of John Huston's film Moby Dick.
Photo Gallery of the June 2017 London Conference on Flickr
Thanks to the photographers and participants in 11th International Conference in London last June
for sharing their memories and photos.
Click in the menu above to view the "Photos" page for a gallery of photos from the London 2017 conference.
NEH Summer Institute for Teachers
The New Bedford Whaling Museum
Tim Marr has announced that the Melville Society Cultural Project's collaboration with the New Bedford Whaling Museum has been awarded funding for a NEH Summer Institute for School Teachers that will take place at the New Bedford Whaling Museum in Massachusetts from June 17-30, 2018.
More information about how teachers can participate will be available in October.
You can use the link below to download for distribution the full press release. Here are some excerpts:
The New Bedford Whaling Museum, in association with Melville Society Cultural Project, has been awarded a $136,342 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The grant will fund a two-week Summer Institute for Teachers in 2018, which will illuminate the art and context of Herman Melville’s famous 19th century American novel Moby-Dick, and help teachers from across the country interpret the book for 21st century students.
Six nationally recognized scholars make up the Melville Society Cultural Project, aimed at sharing an understanding of Herman Melville’s writings, life, and times. They will serve as principal faculty of the Institute: Jennifer Baker, New York University; Mary K. Bercaw Edwards, University of Connecticut; Wyn Kelley, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Chris Sten, George Washington University; Robert K. Wallace, Northern Kentucky University; and Timothy Marr, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, serving as the Institute Director.
“The Melville Society Cultural Project is delighted to partner with the Whaling Museum to bring teachers from around the country to New Bedford, the historical center of American whaling,” said Tim Marr, Director of the Summer Institute for Teachers. “From there we will journey forth together on Melville’s Pequod in quest of Moby-Dick, a text that swims on and is crucially relevant for understanding our human dilemmas in the 21st century.”
The Institute will be hosted at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. New Bedford, Massachusetts is a meaningful location for intensive study of Herman Melville’s masterpiece in the context of the whaling industry. Melville arrived in New Bedford on Christmas day 1840 and shipped nine days later on the Acushnet from Fairhaven across the harbor. Since 2000, the Whaling Museum has partnered with the Melville Society Cultural Project to offer scholarly programming, and the Museum is home to the Melville Society Archive, which constitutes one of the best collections of Melville scholarship anywhere in the world.
The First Website in Denmark to be Devoted to Herman Melville
Professor Søren Frank
University of Southern Denmark
Professor Søren Frank of the University of Southern Denmark has published the first website devoted to Melville in Denmark. Work on the webpage was initiated by Professor Frank in 2015 when he taught a class on Melville. All the students in his class contributed one way or the other to the webpage. Since then, three of the students and Professor Frank have continued to work on the site. The site was officially launched at a reception of the Comparative Literature Department at the University of Southern Denmark (SDU). Click here to visit the site.
Moby-Dick Marathons - August 2017
Reports of Moby-Dick marathons are coming on line. Two newspapers reported on the marathon held at Seaport Villiage in Mystic, CT. Anna Sullivan of the Westerly Sun in Pawcatuck, Connecticut reports:
Participants join in a marathon reading of the classic Moby-Dick aboard the Charles W. Morgan at the Mystic Seaport on Monday, July 31, 2017. Readers will read the novel, by Herman Melville, for a straight 24 hours, expecting to finish up by noon on August 1st, which is the 198th anniversary of the author's birth.
You can view the Westerly Sun photos here. And Dana Jensen of The Day in New London, CT writes of a featured photo:
Participants listen while a fellow participant takes a turn reading aloud a chapter of "Moby-Dick" onboard the whaleship Charles W. Morgan during the 32nd annual "Moby-Dick" Marathon at Mystic Seaport, Monday, July 31, 2017. The marathon began at noon Monday with participants coming and going, taking an average of 24 hours to complete the book by author Herman Melville. Twenty-four participants have registered to spend the night aboard the whaleship to continue reading aloud overnight and finish around noon on Tuesday.
Photos published of the Mystic Seaport, CT marathon can be viewed here. And of course a Moby-Dick marathon was conducted at Melvillle's one-time home, the house and farm he named Arrowhead, in Pittsfield, MA. Below are two photos taken by at Jana Laiz the Arrowhead Moby-Dick marathon.
Publication of the Final Volume of the
Fifteen-Volume Writings of Herman Melville Series
The final volume of the fifteen-volume Writings of Herman Melville series is scheduled for publication this October or November by the Northwestern University Press. The publication of this volume, "Billy Budd, Sailor" and Other Uncompleted Writings, completes the publishing project begun in the mid-1960s by the late Harrison Hayford. Scores of editors have been involved in the publication of the fifteen-volume series. This final volume (vol. 13) includes reading texts and new or corrected literal transcriptions of all the uncompleted prose and verse writings that Melville left in manuscript when he passed away on September 28, 1891. Work on this final volume has been ongoing for more than 35 years—celebrations are in order! Click here or the image below for more information.
Visit Our Media Pages
Featuring Videos from Our International Conferences and a Poetry Reading by Gordon Poole
|20 Oct 2017|
Reading: Billy Budd in the Breadbox
|21 Oct 2017|
02:00PM - 04:00PM
Course: Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
|31 Oct 2017|
CUP: Herman Melville in Context, ed. Kevin J. Hayes
|31 Oct 2017|
NUP - Publication of the Final Volume of the Fifteen-Volume Writings of Herman Melville Series
|31 Oct 2017|
R&L: Melville Among the Philosophers
|31 Oct 2017|
UMP: Herman Melville: Among the Magazines
|02 Nov 2017|
Jay Leyda Symposium, "A Curious Man: The Life and Work of Jay Leyda"
|02 Nov 2017|
Play: Moby-Dick by Theatre Coup d'Etat
Click here for more information and application details.
New York Public Library
Short-term Research Fellowships
Graduate students or other affiliated academics whose work would benefit from visiting the Manuscripts and Archives Division to view collections such as the Gansevoort-Lansing collection, and Duyckinck family papers are encouraged to apply.