The Eaton Portrait

Herman Melville JOEaton 95ppi 250wBy permission of Houghton Library, Harvard University: 61Z-4

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whale-trp200Leviathan: 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.

Melville Electronic Library

mel-thumb-crpd-3The 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.

Johns Hopkins University Press

jhup-logoTo join the Melvillle Society and subscribe to Leviathan, visit Leviathan's Johns Hopkins University Press journal site by clicking here.

Melville Society Cultural Project

Melville Society and New Bedford Whaling Museum Cultural Project 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.

Call for Papers

American Literature Association Conference

Two Panels Sponsored by the Melville Society
May 22-25, 2014
Washington, D.C.

Herman Melville’s Poetic (Dis)continuities

Herman Melville’s poetry and poetic career can be characterized as distinctly lacking in continuity. Not only does his turn to poetry signal a dramatic shift in his life’s work, his poems and collections typically defy patterns of continuum—poems embedded into prose pieces, collections strikingly departing from each other thematically and stylistically, publication ambitions and relationships to readers inconsistent and nebulous. Within individual poems, too, we witness Melville’s stylistic and philosophical fissions, abrasions, and reversals. Part of Melville’s inability to attract a wider readership and to fully enter into the canon of American poets is undoubtedly his work’s resistance to interpretive frameworks that foreground narratives of artistic evolution, development, and continuity.

This panel seeks to address the continuous and discontinuous elements of Melville’s poetry and of his career as a poet. What are the threads of repetition, similarity, and consistency that persist in his poetry and in his authorial practices? What are the most revealing and illustrative of his discontinuities? How might his discontinuities ironically help us generate useful narratives of his poetic career?

Please submit abstracts of 250-300 words to Matthew Giordano at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please indicate any A/V needs you might have for your presentation.

The deadline for abstract submission is January 15, 2014.

Melville and the Politics of Print

Papers invited on any aspect of Melville’s work as it relates to book history or the history of periodicals.  Issues to be addressed might include: copyright, serialization, illustrations, editing Melville, Melville in/and libraries, adaptations of Melville’s work to non-print media such as film or radio, digital Melville, Melville in the archive, the Melville revival, literary celebrity.   How can a focus on practices of writing, printing, and reading from the nineteenth century to the present generate new insights into Melville’s work?

Submit 250-word abstract and a brief c.v. to Anne Baker This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Jan. 15, 2014.


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Melville Society Facebook Posts

Eileen Valentino Flaxman More advice from our whalers . . . From my collection Chapter 39 - First Night Watch - Stubb sits alone, mending a brace. Listen in on his 'philosophy' … We know not what lies in store, so Why not laugh? What's worry for? Why not laugh. The bubbles that break on your glass and mine, the froth on our lips from this ale divine - We smile and we grin guffaws to the brim cuz I'd rather not know 'what's coming, my friend. Why not laugh? Chapter 68 - The Blanket - We watch Ishmael in the aftermath of the slaughter ... (lines in quotations are from the text). In the midst of cutting the carnage, "herein we see the rare virtue of a strong individual vitality." Man conquers nature once again. But it takes many men to accomplish the deed and only one to question it and begin to think of a better way.
Greg Lennes Bartleby Satire!
I Cannot Recommend My Former Coworker Bartleby for Your Scrivening position Dear fellow Scrivener, Thanks for reaching out regarding a reference for Bartleby, who you say has applied for a scrivening position on your team. ...
Greg Lennes Melvillean Humor: From Tin Foil Hat Comics -
Greg Lennes Melvillean TV trivia: This is from the first episode of "The X-Files" in 2012. The main characters Mulder and Scully muse about "Moby-Dick" and cannibalism and life.
Greg Lennes Boston University’s College of Fine Arts Presents: THE JOURNEY. This performance will take place Thursday April 19, 2018 – Sunday, April 22, 2018 at the newly renovated Joan & Edgar Booth Theatre (820 Commonwealth Ave Boston, MA 02446). "Moby Dick thought he met his match with Captain Ahab, but then Ahab’s wife arrived."
InMotion Theater: THE JOURNEY | Arts Administration InMotion Theater: THE JOURNEY Boston University’s College of Fine Arts Presents: THE JOURNEY. This performance will take place Thursday April 19, 2018 – Sunday, April 22, 2018 at the newly renovated Joan & Edgar Booth Theatre (820 Commonwealth Ave Boston, MA 02446). Moby Dick thought he met his ...
Greg Lennes High school teacher Kate Walker shows how to teach Moby-Dick :) As she says: "You know you've made an impression on students with "Moby-Dick" when they find you a whale sweater."
Greg Lennes Today in Melvillean History: The first American edition of " White-Jacket; or, The World in a Man-of-War" was published March 21, 1850 by Harper & Brothers, New York. The first British edition was published January 23, 1850 by Richard Bentley, London.
S Ye Laird dear all, this is my poetry magazine... cover is one of our editor's drawing... somehow it reminded me of 'Moby Dick'. In our archive, Eileen's poems are greatly appreciated by our readers. I'd love to feature more from her 135 chapters so that I may send her a print-copy! Cheers, Eileen.
Greg Lennes The Cape Cod Museum of Natural History in Brewster, MA presents JMW Turner’s Whaling Pictures & "Moby-Dick" with Storyteller, Tom Lee on Saturday, March 24th.
Mindy Wallis The New Bedford Whaling Museum, in partnership with Mystic Seaport, has developed the world's most comprehensive whaling history database and it is now available for all to use at Researchers, genealogists, students, teachers, and history buffs alike will find it to be the most robust and useful repository of whaling history documentation and scholarship.
Whaling History – Connecting All Things Whaling William Bradford, The Port of New Bedford from Crow Island, 1854, oil painting. New Bedford Whaling Museum, 1975.18 Whale oil provided fuel for lighting and lubrication for the gears of the industrial revolution, until it was replaced by petroleum products in the mid-nineteenth century. The whali....


Fellowships and Scholarships

Melville Society Archive
Walter E. Bezanson Fellowship
The Melville Society, under the auspices of the Melville Society Cultural Project in New Bedford, offers an annual fellowship to help a scholar undertake research on Herman Melville at the Society’s Archive in the Research Library of the Whaling Museum in New Bedford, Massachusetts.


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.


Click here for more information and application details.

From Our Photo Collections

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Woodlawn Cemetary

WoodlawnWoodlawn Cemetary - final resting place of Herman, his wife, Elizabeth, and other family members. Click here to view photos of the gravesites.

125th Anniversary Celebration

125th Woodlawn

A celebration of Melville's life at Woodlawn Cemetary on the 125th anniversary of his passing.

Lansingburgh Historical Society

Melville House

Melville lived for nine years in this Lansingburgh house. It was here that he wrote Typee and Omoo

Berkshire Historical Society

ArrowheadMelville's Arrowhead home and farm in Pittsfield, MA where he wrote Moby-Dick and lived for most of the 1850s.