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.

Melville and Whitman in Washington: 
The Civil War Years and After

History • Politics • Nation Memory

The Ninth International Melville Conference

Washington , DC • June 4-7, 2013

8:30 a.m., June 4, to 1 p.m., June 7

 Capitol under construction Abraham Lincoln's 1861 Inauguration
Library of Congress - Civil War photos - Item 96511712

Featured Plenary Speakers

Ken Price (University of Nebraska-Lincoln), Ed Folsom (University of Iowa),
Elizabeth Renker (Ohio State University), and John Bryant (Hofstra University)


The Melville Society’s ninth international conference—to be held June 4-7, 2013, in Washington, DC—features the Civil War writings of two of the major poets of the nineteenth century: Walt Whitman and Herman Melville.  Sponsored by the Melville Society, the Washington Friends of Walt Whitman, the Mickle Street Review at Rutgers University-Camden, and the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences at George Washington University, the conference is timed to coincide with the Sesquicentennial of the war and a rich array of museum exhibits, artistic performances, and commemorative activities in and around the nation’s capital.  The conference will be held on the campus of George Washington University and the Arts Club of Washington, just blocks from the White House, Corcoran Gallery, National Portrait Gallery/Museum of American Art, Ford’s Theater, and other museums and historical sites in downtown DC.  More than one hundred scholars from the United States and many other countries—from Europe, the Middle East, and Asia—will be speaking, presenting papers, and participating on panels on a host of topics related to Whitman’s and Melville’s writing about the Civil War and its aftermath.  Additional conference-sponsored activities will include guided tours of special collections at the Library of Congress and the Folger Shakespeare Library; walking tours of Civil War Washington and Walt Whitman’s Washington; an exhibit of Melville- and Whitman-inspired art by contemporary artists; and a choral performance of Whitman’s and Melville’s poetry. 


Kenneth M. Price is Hillegass University Professor of American literature and co-director of the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  He is the author ofWhitman and Tradition: The Poet in His Century(1990); To Walt Whitman, America(2004); and co-author with Ed Folsom ofRe-Scripting Walt Whitman: An Introduction to His Life and Work(2005). His most recent book is Literary Studies in the Digital Age: An Evolving Anthology, ed. with Ray Siemens (2013). He co-directsThe Walt Whitman ArchiveandCivil War Washington.

Ed Folsom is the editor of theWalt Whitman Quarterly Review, co-director of theWalt Whitman Archive, and editor of the Whitman Series at The University of Iowa Press.  The Roy J. Carver Professor of English at The University of Iowa, he is the author or editor of twelve books, includingWalt Whitman’s Native Representations(1994) and (with Kenneth M. Price)Re-Scripting Walt Whitman (2005). He was featured in the 2008 PBSAmerican Experience film documentary about Whitman, and is now working on a biography ofLeaves of Grass, for which he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Elizabeth Renker is a specialist in American poetry to 1910 and the social life of poetry across classes, cultures, and literacies; she has published widely on American poetics, Melville, American women poets, and the teaching of poetry.  She is the author of Strike Through the Mask: Herman Melville and the Scene of Writing (1996) and The Origins of American Literature Studies: An Institutional History (2007).  Professor of English at Ohio State University, she is the recipient of many awards for distinguished teaching, including a Princeton Review citation in 2012. 

John Bryant serves as the editor of the Melville Society’s Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies and the Melville Electronic Library, an NEH-funded editorial project at Hofstra University, where he is Professor of English.  A specialist in nineteenth-century American literature and culture, he is editor of A Companion to Melville Studies (1986), co-editor of the Longman edition of Moby-Dick (2007), and author of The Fluid Text: A Theory of Revision and Editing for Book and Screen (2002) and Melville Unfolding: Sexuality, Politics, and the Versions of Typee (2008).

Directions to Conference Venues:  The Marvin Center, on the campus of George Washington University, where the conference panels and keynote presentations are scheduled, is located at 800 21st Street, NW, Washington, DC.  The Arts Club of Washington, site of Thursday’s dinner and choral performance, is two blocks away at 2017 I Street, NW.  Both sites are close to the Foggy Bottom/GWU Metro stop (Blue and Orange Lines) on the corner of 23rd and I Streets, NW, and within easy walking distance of the Farragut North Metro stop (Red Line), corner of K St. and Connecticut Ave., NW.  For those making travel arrangements by air:  the Foggy Bottom/GWU Metro stop is on the same Metro Blue Line as Washington (Reagan) National Airport, six stops away.  

Conference fees: $180 (if paid before May 5; $200 if paid after May 5th) covers admission to all presentations, panels, and keynote addresses; and all local walking tours and library tours (library tours are limited and require sign-up).

Payment: To make your registration payment ($180), please use the Registration Paypal button to the right on this page or submit a check in USD to: Treasurer Tony McGowan, Department of English and Philosophy, Bldg. 607 Cullum Road, West Point, NY 10996.

Banquet: Those who wish to attend the 6:30 p.m. banquet dinner on Thursday, June 6th, are asked to indicate their interest on the Registration Form (download link below) and pay the additional $52 charge per person using the Banquet Paypal button to the right on this page ($52) or send a separate check for $52 to the Melville Society’s Treasurer, Tony McGowan at the address above under “Payment.”
{phocadownload view=file|id=13|text=Click Here to Download the 2013 Conference Registration Form|target=b}

Accommodations:  Various hotel options, at reduced conference rates, are available in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood and within a few blocks of George Washington University, through the following hotel service:

The George Washington University Inn (single or double occupancy): To obtain a guaranteed reservation at the contracted rate ($239 plus occupancy tax; additional person charge of $20 each), call the George Washington University Inn Reservations Department with a valid credit card number before April 18, 2013. 

Call either (800) 426-4455 or (202) 337-6630 and ask for Reservations Office.  Then ask the agent for “Group Name: Melville Society and/or Booking ID: 376451 arriving on Tuesday, June 4, 2013.”

Alternatively, you can register for a room online by clicking here.

IMPORTANT: Note that rooms will be held only until April 18, 2013.  After that date, any unreserved rooms will be released for general sale in the open market, and you will have to pay the going market rate or secure a hotel room on your own.

As an alternative, you may want to conduct your own search for a hotel room (presumably one in Northwest Washington, DC, or nearby Rosslyn, Virginia, and near a Metro stop on the Blue, Orange, or Red Lines of the subway) through Priceline(Rosslyn, Virginia, is just one stop away from the George Washington University.)

Register Now: Although we prefer payment online through the Paypal links provided in the right sidebar 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 “Washington Conference” on your memo line.  For registration information, contact Tony at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or Christopher Sten at 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

For further information and updates: Check the Melville Society website or contact one of the conference coordinators:

Christopher Sten This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.          Tyler Hoffman This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Martin Murray This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.          Joseph Fruscione This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Click here to join us at the Melville & Whitman in Washington Facebook page.fb-icon


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Melville Society Facebook Posts

Greg Lennes Melvillean Philosophy (Humor): "There are unknown worlds of knowledge in brutes; and whenever you mark a horse, or a dog, with a peculiarly mild, calm, deep-seated eye, be sure he is an Aristotle or a Kant, tranquilly speculating upon the mysteries in man. No philosophers so thoroughly comprehend us as dogs and horses." Redburn. His First Voyage - Chapter XL. :) 2018-02-16T21:00:37+0000
Robert Sandberg MLA Conference - 2019 - Chicago: The Melville Society's "Call for Papers" is now available on the Melville Society website
The Melville Society - Call for Papers: MLA 2019 - Reading The Confidence-Man Today & Melville’s Quarrel with Modernity A society dedicated to the study and appreciation of the nineteenth-century American author Herman Melville
Greg Lennes "Moby Dick Deckle Edges Spotlight Tour "(March 16th) - Frank Stella Artwork - discussion led by Robert K. Wallace at Pizzuti Collection in Columbus, Ohio:
Moby Dick Deckle Edges Spotlight Tour Join us on March 16 for a spotlight tour with Professor Robert K. Wallace. Robert will discuss the Moby Dick Deckle Edges prints in the context of other works by Stella on view in the Lines/Edges: Frank Stella On Paper exhibition.
Eileen Valentino Flaxman When I joined The Melville Society FB page last August, you were just breaking a thousand followers. And now you're about to break 2,000. Congratulations! Here is my latest contribution from my project to write a poem for every chapter in Moby-Dick. (Lines from the text are in quotations.) Chapter 59 - Squid. -- Plenty of action and violence takes place in this novel. But there are also days of calm . . . floating on a glassy sea without swells or even the promise of a leviathan and with no chatter from a listless crew . . . A 'profound hush' surrounds the Pequod as it drifts in the middle of nowhere, with 'a stillness almost preternatural spread over the sea'. At such a time, what goes on inside a sailor's mind? Thoughts of home? Other ways to earn a living? Ennui? As a man looks out over endless nothingness, do thoughts churn busily inside his skull . . . or is Ismael an Anomaly?
Meredith Farmer We're happy to announce the second CFP for our MLA panels at MLA 2019! CFP: MELVILLE'S QUARREL WITH MODERNITY In anticipation of an energized year in Melville studies (when on the 200th anniversary of his birth we consider Melville’s significance in the present moment) contributors to this panel will reflect on a vital but largely unexplored feature of Melville’s thinking: his quarrel with modernity. Melville is not recognized for the clarity of his philosophical arguments. At best, his philosophizing is dismissed as ingenious but muddled. But perhaps Melville’s philosophical arguments have been hard to grasp because they have been miscategorized; they have been taken to embody the ethos of the distinctively modern world (that is, after the defining work of Descartes and Locke) when in fact what they offer is nothing less than a wide-ranging rejection of modernity’s dominant assumptions. On this panel, accordingly, we will use Melville’s writing to turn a harsh light on some of the beliefs that characterize modern Western thought. Melville’s writing has meant many things to many people, but as yet it has not been seen as a way to unite or bring into conversation the growing number of theorists resisting the modernity narrative—theorists making an effort to knock down the edifice of dualism, think carefully about where the nature-culture binary has come from (and what we might imagine in its place), cast doubt on the view that the body is inessential to mind, and in other ways question the account of the world offered by the moderns. Please send 300-500 words and a vita to K.L. Evans at by March 19.
Meredith Farmer We're happy to announce the first CFP for our MLA panels at MLA 2019! CFP: READING THE CONFIDENCE-MAN TODAY What types of interpretations come up when someone reads the The Confidence-Man in light of recent events? Presenters should offer short, reflective pieces (8 minutes) that provoke discussion. Although a lack of faith (or confidence) in political institutions is a major part of news reports today, presenters may focus on any of the topics brought up in Melville’s book, including stocks and finance, religious organizations, charity, racial identity, belief, and other considerations. Other approaches could include reflections on reading historically or the dynamics of re-reading today. Please send 250-word abstracts and brief bios to Rodrigo Lazo at by March 13.
Chad Beck Moby-Dick is discussed at 39:00. Also relevant (and leading directly into M-D) is a discussion about Job (31:23).
Russell Brand & Jordan Peterson - Kindness VS Power | Under The Skin #46 Recently making the headlines after a combative interview about the gender pay gap with Channel 4’s Cathy Newman, my guest today is Jordan Peterson, who disc...
Greg Lennes Melvillean Humor for Valentine's Day - Melville's First Draft of Moby-Dick: Comic strip by Mikey Heller (2014) :) 2018-02-14T17:59:34+0000
Greg Lennes Moby-Dick stars on Antiques Roadshow on PBS TV (2/12/18) video - Appraisal of Moby-Dick edition illustrated by Rockwell Kent and published by Lakeside Press 1930.
Appraisal: 1930 Rockwell Kent-Illustrated "Moby Dick" Set | Antiques Roadshow | PBS Appraisal: 1930 Rockwell Kent-Illustrated "Moby Dick" Set in New Orleans, LA.
Greg Lennes The final volume of the Northwestern-Newberry THE WRITINGS OF HERMAN MELVILLE--LAST OF 15 VOLUMES in hardback - a major literary accomplishment. 2018-02-14T14:20:22+0000
Greg Lennes REMINDER: March 1st deadline for registration for the two-week program called “Teaching Melville” that will take place this summer in New Bedford. The Whaling Museum will host the event which will take place from June 17th through the 30th. Go to website for details.
Teaching Melville An Institute for School Teachers on Herman Melville’s "Moby-Dick" and the World of Whaling in the Digital Age
Karen Lentz Madison Melvilleans!
Robert Sandberg A Call for Book Proposals: From Richard King of the University Press of New England The University Press of New England and the Williams College-Mystic Seaport Maritime Studies Program seek book proposals for our “Seafaring America” series. We are looking for works in three categories: 1. Suggestions for timely reissues of forgotten, out-of-print American works of literary and cultural distinction, with new introductions that frame the work for a modern audience. 2. Proposals for anthologies and/or selected editions of writers’ work. 3. Proposals for books of original scholarship or of general interest, according to the series mission below. We have particular interest in underrepresented voices and “blue” environmental studies. _______________________ “Seafaring America” is a series of original and classic works of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama exploring the history of America’s engagement with our oceans and coastlines. Spanning diverse eras, populations, and geographical settings, the series strives to introduce, revive, and aggregate a wide range of exemplary and/or seminal stories about our American maritime heritage. This includes the accounts of First Peoples, explorers, voluntary and forced immigrants, women in maritime communities, fishermen, whalers, captains, common sailors, members of the navy and coast guard, marine biologists and oceanographers, and the crews of vessels ranging from lifeboats, riverboats, and tugboats to recreational yachts. “Seafaring America” introduces new stories of maritime interest and reprints books that have fallen out of circulation and deserve reappraisal. The series also publishes selections from well-known works that warrant reconsideration because of the lessons they offer about our relationship with our watery planet.
UPNE | Seafaring America Series Editor: Richard J. King, Williams College-Mystic SeaportSeafaring America is a series of original and classic works of nonfiction, fiction, poetry, and drama exploring the history of America’s engagement with our oceans and coastlines. Spanning diverse eras, perspectives, and geographical s...
Greg Lennes To the wealthy Melvillean: Auction for a first edition of Moby-Dick ending March 7th. 2018-02-13T19:36:41+0000
Fernando Colavita One of the many argentine editions of "Bartleby, the scrivener". This one, translated by the great Jorge Luis Borges. 2018-02-13T15:13:05+0000
Greg Lennes From Opera Wire: Pittsburgh Opera Receives NEA Grant For ‘Moby Dick’
Pittsburgh Opera Receives NEA Grant For ‘Moby Dick’ Pittsburgh Opera Receives NEA Grant For ‘Moby Dick’ TOPICS:moby dickpittsburgh opera Posted By: Francisco Salazar February 13, 2018 The Pittsburgh Opera has announced that it will receive a $25,000 Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to help support the new production ...
Greg Lennes Melvillean Mardi-Gras: From New Orleans Commercial Bulletin (May 3,1849) - A. Oakley Hall (a New York Correspondent) aka Croton punning to suit New Orleans readers, called Melville's Mardi: and a Voyage Thither "a regular MARDI-GRAS of a novel, to judge from the richness of its prose. Prose! It is a poem; and you can pencil out of its pages blank verse enough to set up an hundred newspaper poets, for the balls of bowling critics to roll at." :) 2018-02-13T18:52:29+0000
Judy Gretchko At the International Antiquarian Book Fair in Pasadena, Ca., William Reese was selling the 3-volume London first edition of Mardi for $7,500. Another vendor was reading the first American 2-volume set and won't sell it until he is finished. He was half way through it and didn't know if he liked it or not. I asked him if he wasn't afraid if spilling coffee on it. No. John Gretchko
Lenny Hall Another Lickable Melville Tidbit ~ Hope this remains Stamped in your Melvillian Mind ~ 2018-02-13T16:49:07+0000


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.