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 which all members receive three times a year and which offers scholarly articles, book and art reviews, Society news, and Melville-related events. Membership is open to all. For information about Leviathan and joining The Melville Society click here.

The Eaton Portrait

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

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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.

Herman Melville's Arrowhead

BHS FB HM portraitHerman Melville's Arrowhead Facebook Group page of the Berkshire Historical Society. Celebrating historical Berkshire County and Herman Melville's Arrowhead, the farm and home where Melville lived while writing Moby-Dick.

2017 MLA Annual Convention

Philadelphia from 5 to 8 January 2017


Thursday, 5 January 3:30–4:45 p.m., 106B, Pennsylvania Convention Center

Melville's Taxonomies
(abstract download link below)

The panel will look into how Melville's works from Mardi on treat matter, fashioning terrestrial landscapes, oceanic milieus and vegetal life into agencies that revise what counts as a person. Topics: Melville and natural histories, persons and things, biological politics, taxonomies of the human, organic and the inorganic, extinction, vegetal and animal life.

Presiding: Branka Arsic, Columbia Univ.

1. "Moby Dick and The Ecological Thought," Paul B. Downes, Univ. of Toronto

2. "Insect Arrangement: Melville’s Untimely Taxonomies," Monique Allewaert, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison

3. "Organizing Melville," Maurice S. Lee, Boston Univ.

Respondent: Elisa Tamarkin, Univ. of California, Berkeley

Friday, 6 January 1:45–3:00 p.m., 106B, Pennsylvania Convention Center

Melville and Black Lives Matter
(abstract download link below)

This panel addresses how Melville’s art both speaks to racial crises and mediates philosophical dilemmas, political unrest, concepts of history etc. Black writers (Ralph Ellison, C.L.R. James, Toni Morrison, George Lamming, David Bradley, and more) turned to Melville’s literary forms and provocative content to engage historical and political transformation in the Americas. What is it in Melville’s aporias, assemblages, and abstractions that we can continue to excavate for it’s relevance to social conflict—especially conflict where racial/ethnic/queer difference is performed, expressed, and/or represented?

Presiding: Christopher Freeburg, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana

1. "C. L. R. James and Herman Melville: Moby-Dick as an Antitotalitarian Novel," Gary Vaughn Rasberry, Stanford Univ.

2. "Melville, Mutuality, and the Matter of Black Lives," Christine Ann Wooley, St. Mary's Coll., MD

3. "'Sinister Eye': The Shrouded Women of Melville’s Benito Cereno," Brenna Casey, Duke Univ.

Respondent: Ivy Wilson, Northwestern Univ.


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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.