The Eaton Portrait

Eaton portrait of Herman Melville
By permission of Houghton Library
Harvard University: 61Z-4

(Click to view a larger image)


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.

Melville and Rome

Empire – Democracy – Belief – Art

The Eighth International
Melville Conference

Rome: 22-26 June 2011


Join us in Rome for our eighth international conference on June 22-26, 2011. Sponsored by the Melville Society and the University of Rome, the conference will be held at the famed University and the renowned Center for American Studies, both in the heart of the Eternal City. Over one hundred scholars from the United States, Italy, and twenty other nations—including colleagues from Algeria, Australia, Canada, China, England, Germany, India, Iraq, Israel, Korea, Kurdistan, Japan, Poland, Portugal, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and Ukraine—are slated to speak in what promises to be our most global conference to date. Scheduled programs will include presentations by artists, a walking tour of Melville’s Rome, and a June 27 day-trip to Naples guided by noted Neapolitan Melvillean, Gordon Poole. 


Leslie Marmon Silko, novelist
Dennis Berthold, author of American Risorgimento
Gordon Poole, editor of Naples in the Time of Bomba

Conference Program

You can download the Conference Program by clicking the link below:

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Directions to Conference Venues

The Centro Studi Americani, where the first day of the conference will take place, is located in Via Caetani no. 32, in the historic Palazzo Caetani. Via Caetani is right in the city center -- a stone's throw away from Piazza Venezia. Via Caetani is off Via delle Botteghe Oscure, a large street connceting Piazza Venezia to Largo Argentina. It can be easily reached from anywhere you are staying in the city. 

Conference fees: $150 or about 100 euros will cover our opening luncheon and admission to all presentations.  

Naples Day Trip completely booked: As of today, May 10, 2011, the June 27th day-trip to Naples is completely booked. The Naples day-trip itinerary is listed below.

For further information and updates: Please contact the conference coordinators: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Payment: For your convenience we have provided Paypal registration buttons at both the top and the bottom of this page.

Banquet: Those interested in attending the banquet can so indicate on the Registration Form (download link below) and pay the 30 euros for the banquet in person when registering in Rome.

Accommodations: The conference will have two venues: The Center for American Studies near Piazza Venezia and the Capitol (for the first day only) and the University of Rome (Sapienza) not far from Stazione Termini, Rome’s main railway and bus station.  We have secured special  conference rates at various hotels within easy walking distance or a short bus ride to the main University venue, including:

Hotel Ateneum (****)

Hotel Laurentia (***) 

We also recommend the Casa dell’Aviatore (, at 70 to 80 euros per night, and a 20-minute walk to the University.  For lodging closer to our first day’s venue, we recommend Hotel Hosianum (****); this is a 30 to 40-minute bus ride to the University.  For cheaper or more upscale accommodations, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Click the link below for a list of accomadations:

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Register Now: Although we prefer payment online through the Paypal links provided both at the top and at the bottom of this page, we will also accept your check made out to The Melville Society and sent to our Treasurer Tony McGowan, Department of English and Philosophy, Bldg. 607 Cullum Road, West Point, NY 10996.  Please indicate “Rome” on your memo line.  For further registration information, contact Tony at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Naples Day Trip Itinerary – Monday, June 27th

• An early morning start with the bus trip to Naples during which Gordon Poole will make a brief presentation and distribute a booklet made especially for the trip. 

• First we will have a fifty-minute guided tour of the Catacombs of San Gennaro (Saint Januarius), then the city center (Maschio Angioino/Angevin Keep and via Toledo), where we leave the bus. 

• After taking the funicular railway to Vomero, the hill above Naples, we walk (500m) to the San Martino (Saint Martin) museum, after passing by the Sant'Elmo Castle. From the belvedere outside the Museum you get a view of the city that Melville especially appreciated, and from the lovely museum terraced ground, another view. 

• Then, after visiting the museum, we walk (500m) to our restaurant, where we have lunch, followed by a rather special two-part concert. Rejoining our bus, we ride to the Solfatara or Phlegraean Fields, after which we start back to Rome, passing by Lake Avernus.


Current Facebook Posts

Greg Lennes Today in Melvillean history: On August the 19th 1819, Melville is baptized at home by J. M. Mathews, a minister of the South Reformed Dutch Church in New York City.
Greg Lennes Melvillean Solar Eclipse: From Clarel: A Poem and Pilgrimage in the Holy Land (1876) - 3.5.60-65 "This change, this dusking change that slips (Like the penumbra o'er the sun), Over the faith transmitted down; Foreshadows it complete eclipse?" Footnote: "The "penumbra" is the Earth's shadow that falls upon the moon during a lunar eclipse, but Melville here is applying the term to a solar eclipse." (From "Herman Melville: Stargazer" By Brett Zimmerman) The first photo of a total solar eclipse, shown here, was a daguerreotype by the Prussian photographer Johann Julius Friedrich Berkowski. (July 28, 1851 - same year that Moby-Dick was published) :) 2017-08-19T15:30:17+0000
Greg Lennes Review: The Eleventh International Melville Society Conference (June 27 - June 30, 2017) by Hannah Murray.
Review: The Eleventh International Melville Society ConferenceKings College London Organised around the focus of ‘Melville’s crossings’, the event covered the breadth and depth of Melville studies and paid close attention to Melville’s dialogues with philosophy and aesthetic theo…
Colin Dewey All members of the Melville Society receive three print issues of our award-winning journal, Leviathan, per year. With membership rates beginning at only $25 this is an incredible bargain.
Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies | JHU Press EditorSamuel Otter, University of California, Berkeley Steven Olsen-Smith, Leviathan PODCAST: Steven Olsen-Smith, Leviathan Leviathan features a bounty of scholarly articles, notes, reviews, and creative writing of a critical, theoretical, cultural, or historical nature on the impressive body of wor...
Eileen Valentino Flaxman MOBY DICK - Ch. 16 – THE SHIP is about everything being ready for sail: the crew is on board, the larder is stocked. But no Captain Ahab. For days, the men are in limbo, waiting for their captain to arrive . . . A ship in the harbor a ship not at sea is no ship at all, strange and solitary. A ship with no captain, not anywhere seen is not yet alive but mere joints and beams. But when sails unfurl and Ahab walks the deck and the salt spray stings the back of my neck Then the Pequod will reign and come into its own With the ocean its kingdom and the waves its throne.
Greg Lennes From Providence Journal: The Berkshire County Historical Society's annual hike up Monument Mountain on August 6th:
Annual Berkshires hike marks a literary moment A visit to western Massachusetts includes a stop at Monument Mountain and Arrowhead, the home of the great author Herman Melville.
Greg Lennes Melvillean Trivia: October Mountain Shelter along the Massachusetts Appalachian Trail is said to have been named by Melville, who wrote “One fine morning I sallied forth upon the errand I had much ado finding the best road to the shanty. No one seemed to know where it was exactly. It lay in a very lonely part of the country, a densely wooded mountain on one side (which I call October Mountain on account of its bannered aspect in that month), and a thicketed swamp on the other.” (From his short story - COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO ! OR THE CROWING OF THE NOBLE COCK BENEVENTANO" - 1853). Here is the present shelter in the October Mountain State Forest:
October Mountain Shelter October Mountain Shelter
Colin Dewey Note to members: The Melville Society will now be communicating with members via email rather than snail mail. The Executive Committee has chosen "Survey Monkey" as our platform for official polling and elections, so we will no longer send paper ballots. Please accept Survey Monkey messages from the Melville Society and make sure when you renew your Society membership that your email and postal mailing addresses are up to date. If you have opted-out of Survey Monkey emails in the past you will not receive ballot or election materials. To opt-in visit Note that this not affect our journal, Leviathan, which you will continue to receive just as you have been. Thank you!
SurveyMonkey: Free online survey software & questionnaire tool Opt in or out of receiving emails from SurveyMonkey.
Colin Dewey Visit to learn about the society and membership.
Home A society dedicated to the study and appreciation of the nineteenth-century American author Herman Melville
Colin Dewey Established in 1947, the Melville Society is one of the largest international single-author societies, dedicated to the study of the life and works of Herman Melville, and their cultural impact since the nineteenth century. The organization enjoys the fellowship of scholars, artists, teachers, writers, readers, and enthusiasts throughout the world. All members receive our award-winning journal Leviathan, which is published three times a year by Johns Hopkins University Press, and offers scholarly articles, book and art reviews, Society news, and Melville-related current events. With subscriptions starting at just $25 per year, our membership remains an incredible bargain. To join, or learn more, go to:

From Our Photo Collections

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click to start slideshow

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.

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.