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.


Co-sponsored by the New Bedford Whaling Museum, The Melville Society,
Mystic Seaport, and the Nantucket Historical Association

June 30 - July 3, 2014
New Bedford, MA


Held in conjunction with the return of the 1841 Whaleship Charles W. Morgan
to New Bedford during her 38th Voyage

The New Bedford Whaling Museum, Mystic Seaport, Nantucket Historical Association, and The Melville Society are pleased to announce the program for the 38th Whaling History Symposium, which is being co-hosted by all four institutions. This year the Symposium will be held Monday-Thursday, June 30-July 3, 2014, to coincide with the return of the 1841 Whaleship Charles W. Morgan to New Bedford. The Morgan is making a historic 38th Voyage and will spend nine days in New Bedford. The Whaling History Symposium, first established in 1975, brings scholars, writers, artists, museum curators, and local historians to New Bedford from all over the country and abroad to share interests in whales, whaling, Herman Melville, Moby-Dick, maritime history, nautical lore, and the many intriguing facets of whaling heritage worldwide. This time around, the Charles W. Morgan is the focus, but the topics covered will be wide-ranging and deeply engaging.        


(to be updated as new information is received)


Topic: Whaling Ports, Whaling People
Location: State Pier, Building 2
Chair: Mary K. Bercaw Edwards

 9:30-10:15      Peggi Medeiros, Fletcher Christian's Great Grandson George, Honour Matthews
                        Earle, Assistant Navigator, and Captain James Earle: The Morgan’s Most 
Fascinating Trio

10:15-11          Bill Tramposch, Butler Point: A “Safe” Harbor in Northland New Zealand

11-11:45          Betsy Tyler, Ship of Fools: Wine, Women, and Mutiny on the New Bedford
Whaleship William Gifford

Topic: Whales and Natural History
Location: State Pier, Building 2
Chair: Wyn Kelley

1:00-1:45         Christopher Sten, Melville's Whale, Autism, and the Question of Animal Intelligence

1:45-2:30         Dale Peterson, Moby-Dick and Animal Minds

2:30-3:15         Jennifer Baker, The Aesthetics of Natural Science in Moby-Dick


Topic: Whaling and Melville
Location: State Pier, Building 2
Chair: Jennifer Baker

 9:30-10:15           Mary K. Bercaw Edwards, Herman Melville’s Whaling Years

10:15-11:00          Jason Hine, Melville, Whaling, and the Galápagos

11:00-11:45          Wyn Kelley, The Poetry of Whaling

Topic: Whaling and Moby-Dick in Film and Popular Culture
Location: State Pier, Building 2
Chair: Christopher Sten

1:00-1:45         Timothy Marr, The Continuing Migrations of Moby-Dick through
 Popular Culture

1:45-2:30         Fred Calabretta, Whaling in the Movies

2:30-3:15         Jaime Campomar, "Rendering Whales into Movies: the 1956 Film
                        Adaptation of Moby-Dick."

3:15-4:00         Vanessa Hodgkinson, The Handsome Cabin Boy


Gallery Opening with talks by Curator Robert K. Wallace

Time: Evening (probably 5 or 5:30 pm)
Location: Center Street Gallery

The Cape Verdean Cultural Minister will speak on Whaling and the Cape Verde islands following the gallery talk


Topic: The Enterprise of Whaling
Location: State Pier, Building 2
Chair: Timothy Marr (The Melville Society and University of North Carolina)

 9:30 - 10:15 a.m.         Steve Purdy (Mystic Seaport), A Great American Enterprise:
                                     19th-Century American Whaling and the Industrial Revolution

10:15 - 11:00 a.m.        Judith Lund, Saints and Sinners: Whaling Masters Good and Bad

11:00 - 11:45 a.m.        Robert E. Harding, Philip Cummings, Dartmouth Martyr, and
                                     The House He Built in 1702

Topic: Whaling around the World
Location: State Pier, Building 2
Chair: Robert K. Wallace (The Melville Society and Northern Kentucky University)

1:00 - 1:45 p.m.           Laurie Robertson-Lorant (New Bedford Historical Society,
                                    The Melville Society,and Bridgewater State University), Bringing 
                                    New Bedford's History Home to Us: The Charles W. Morgan
                                    Maritime New Bedford and the Antislavery Movement

1:45 - 2:30 p.m.           Márcia Dutra (University of the Azores), Western Islands – The impact
                                    of the American Whaling in the Azores

2:30 - 3:15 p.m.           Hayato Sakurai (Taiji Historical Archives), Great Forbidden Fish: Manjiro
                                    and Whaling Rights in 19th-Century Japan

3:15 - 4:00 p.m.           Diane Duprey (Bristol Community College), Charles W. Morgan--The
                                    Man and His Ship



Topic: Whaling Heritage
Location: State Pier, Building 2
Chair: Christina Connett (New Bedford Whaling Museum)

 9:30 - 10:15 a.m.         Bradley Barr (NOAA), New Bedford and the Global Whaling 
                                     Heritage Landscape

10:15 - 11:00 a.m.        Michael P. Dyer (New Bedford Whaling Museum), llustrated Whaling
                                     Journals of the 19th Century

1:00 - 11:45 a.m.          Anthony Ucci (Bristol Community College), Architecture of the
                                     Whaling City

1:00 - 1:45 p.m.            Pamela J. Cole (Bristol Community College), Elder Moses How:
                                     He Was the Second Chaplain of the Seamen's Bethel and
                                     He Tried

1:45 - 2:30 p.m.           Barbara Bedell (Author of Colonel Edward Howland Robinson Green
                                    and the World
He Created at Round Hill), The Charles W. Morgan
                                    at Round Hill

2:30 - 3:15 p.m.           Robert Demanche and Donald F. Tucker (Co-authors, The Last of
                                    the Fairhaven
Coasters), Precious Cargo in Tow: Captain Claude S.
                                    Tucker and the Morgan's Farewell Trip t
o Mystic



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.