Announcing This Year's Hennig Cohen Prize Winner
Kellen T. Bolt for “Squeezing Sperm: Nativism, Queer Contact, and
the Futures of Democratic Intimacy in Moby-Dick”
The Melville Society is pleased to announce that the 2019 Hennig Cohen Prize has been awarded to Kellen T. Bolt, for his article, “Squeezing Sperm: Nativism, Queer Contact, and the Futures of Democratic Intimacy in Moby-Dick,” which was published in ESQ in October 2019. This prize honors the memory of Hennig Cohen with an annual award for the best article, book chapter, or essay in a book about Herman Melville. The award is typically made in the year after the article or chapter was published, and because of the pandemic, we were slightly delayed in making this announcement.
Click here to read more about Bolt's work and review an annotated list of previous Cohen Prize winners.
From Smithsonianmag.com: "The Hateful Whale That Haunted Melville" - a video featuring Mary Bercaw Edwards of the University of Connecticut. To view, click the link below.
Jay Leyda Symposium
November 2, 3, and 4
Mount Holyoke College – Willits-Hallowell Center
"A Curious Man: The Life and Work of Jay Leyda" will be held November 2, 3, and 4 on the campus of Mount Holyoke College at the Willits-Hallowell Center. Register by October 25 to ensure adequate seating for the symposium and lunch on Friday. Click the photo of Jay Leyda for more information.
A variety of lodging options — including hotels, motels, and bed and breakfasts — are located within a short distance from campus.
Click link below at the end of this announcemnt to download the flyer. From the symposium flyer:
Leyda — a scholar, a translator, an artist, an archivist and a teacher — worked across the 20th century in a remarkable array of fields. He left his intellectual mark, in his characteristically understated way, on cinema, photography, music, painting and literature. This symposium brings together scholars from many aspects of Leyda’s life and work in order to spark conversation regarding his influence and legacy.
♿ Free and open to the public.
Thursday, November 2
“Leyda and His Musical World,” a concert by the Mount Holyoke College Department of Music. It will present a variety of works associated with Leyda.
Friday, November 3
9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Presentations throughout the day. Lunch available for all attendees.
Saturday, November 4
Symposium participants and topics of discussion:
Weihong Bao, University of California, Berkeley (Chinese cinema)
Christopher Benfey, Mount Holyoke College (Dickinson and Melville)
Nathaniel Brennan, doctoral candidate, New York University (Museum of Modern Art Film Library, Film Studies and the Popular Front)
Tom Gunning, University of Chicago (early cinema)
Michael Kunichika, Amherst College (Shub, Vertov, Pudovkin and Tarkovsky)
Charles Musser, Yale University (Steiner, Evans, Strand and “A Bronx Morning”)
Gerald O’Grady, the State University of New York at Buffalo, professor emeritus (Flaherty)
Ted Perry, Middlebury College, professor emeritus
Harlow Robinson, Northeastern University (Rachmaninoff, Mussorgsky and Hollywood)
Masha Salazkina, Concordia University (film education from VGIK to NYU)
David Stirk, Princeton University (end of the Cold War)
Alan Trachtenberg, Yale University, professor emeritus (“The Melville Log”)
Yuri Tsivian, University of Chicago (for Hannah Frank)
The First Website in Denmark to be Devoted to Herman Melville
Professor Søren Frank
University of Southern Denmark
Professor Søren Frank of the University of Southern Denmark has published the first website devoted to Melville in Denmark. Work on the webpage was initiated by Professor Frank in 2015 when he taught a class on Melville. All the students in his class contributed one way or the other to the webpage. Since then, three of the students and Professor Frank have continued to work on the site. The site was officially launched at a reception of the Comparative Literature Department at the University of Southern Denmark (SDU). Click here to visit the site.
NEH Summer Institute for Teachers
The New Bedford Whaling Museum
Application Deadline is March 1, 2018
Amount of stipend varies according to weeks of participation:
one week ($1,200), two weeks ($2,100), three weeks ($2,700), or four weeks ($3,300).
Click the image below for application instructions.
Tim Marr has announced that the Melville Society Cultural Project's collaboration with the New Bedford Whaling Museum has been awarded funding for a NEH Summer Institute for School Teachers that will take place at the New Bedford Whaling Museum in Massachusetts from June 17-30, 2018.
You can use the links at the end of this article to download for distribution the flyer and full press release. Here are some excerpts from the press release:
The New Bedford Whaling Museum, in association with Melville Society Cultural Project, has been awarded a $136,342 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The grant will fund a two-week Summer Institute for Teachers in 2018, which will illuminate the art and context of Herman Melville’s famous 19th century American novel Moby-Dick, and help teachers from across the country interpret the book for 21st century students.
Six nationally recognized scholars make up the Melville Society Cultural Project, aimed at sharing an understanding of Herman Melville’s writings, life, and times. They will serve as principal faculty of the Institute: Jennifer Baker, New York University; Mary K. Bercaw Edwards, University of Connecticut; Wyn Kelley, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Chris Sten, George Washington University; Robert K. Wallace, Northern Kentucky University; and Timothy Marr, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, serving as the Institute Director.
“The Melville Society Cultural Project is delighted to partner with the Whaling Museum to bring teachers from around the country to New Bedford, the historical center of American whaling,” said Tim Marr, Director of the Summer Institute for Teachers. “From there we will journey forth together on Melville’s Pequod in quest of Moby-Dick, a text that swims on and is crucially relevant for understanding our human dilemmas in the 21st century.”
The Institute will be hosted at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. New Bedford, Massachusetts is a meaningful location for intensive study of Herman Melville’s masterpiece in the context of the whaling industry. Melville arrived in New Bedford on Christmas day 1840 and shipped nine days later on the Acushnet from Fairhaven across the harbor. Since 2000, the Whaling Museum has partnered with the Melville Society Cultural Project to offer scholarly programming, and the Museum is home to the Melville Society Archive, which constitutes one of the best collections of Melville scholarship anywhere in the world.
Click below for printable flyer.
Click below for press release.
Moby-Dick Marathons - August 2017
Reports of Moby-Dick marathons are coming on line. Two newspapers reported on the marathon held at Seaport Villiage in Mystic, CT. Anna Sullivan of the Westerly Sun in Pawcatuck, Connecticut reports:
Participants join in a marathon reading of the classic Moby-Dick aboard the Charles W. Morgan at the Mystic Seaport on Monday, July 31, 2017. Readers will read the novel, by Herman Melville, for a straight 24 hours, expecting to finish up by noon on August 1st, which is the 198th anniversary of the author's birth.
You can view the Westerly Sun photos here. And Dana Jensen of The Day in New London, CT writes of a featured photo:
Participants listen while a fellow participant takes a turn reading aloud a chapter of "Moby-Dick" onboard the whaleship Charles W. Morgan during the 32nd annual "Moby-Dick" Marathon at Mystic Seaport, Monday, July 31, 2017. The marathon began at noon Monday with participants coming and going, taking an average of 24 hours to complete the book by author Herman Melville. Twenty-four participants have registered to spend the night aboard the whaleship to continue reading aloud overnight and finish around noon on Tuesday.
Photos published of the Mystic Seaport, CT marathon can be viewed here. And of course a Moby-Dick marathon was conducted at Melvillle's one-time home, the house and farm he named Arrowhead, in Pittsfield, MA. Below are two photos taken by at Jana Laiz the Arrowhead Moby-Dick marathon.
Publication of the Final Volume of the
Fifteen-Volume Writings of Herman Melville Series
As of today, October 29, 2017, the paperback edition of “Billy Budd, Sailor” and Other Uncompleted Writings is available on the Northwestern University Press website. Click here to visit the NUP website. The publication of this volume completes the publishing project begun in the mid-1960s by the late Harrison Hayford. Scores of editors have been involved in the publication of the fifteen-volume series. This final volume (vol. 13) includes reading texts and new or corrected literal transcriptions of all the uncompleted prose and verse writings that Melville left in manuscript when he passed away on September 28, 1891. Work on this final volume has been ongoing for more than 35 years—celebrations are in order! Click here or the image below to visit the NUP website. You can also download a PDF of the listing page in the NUP Fall 2017 catalog using the download link below.
New Bedford Moby-Dick Marathon 2017
January 7 and 8
Lecture Friday, January 6
New Bedford Whaling Museum
18 Johnny Cake Hill,
New Bedford, MA 02740
The 2017 dates for the Marathon are January 7-8 and the Marathon lecture is Friday, January 6.
Click the link for more information about the Marathon:
Lecture and Dinner
The lecture this year is a panel discussion entitled "Melville and Religion: Insights from the Melville Society"; it features Jennifer Baker, Mary K. Bercaw Edwards, Mike Dyer, Wyn Kelley, Timothy Marr, Christopher Sten, and Robert K. Wallace.
Click the link for information about the dinner and lecture:
New Illustrated Moby-Dick
Illustrator and cartoonist Evan Dahm has finished a large series of illustrations for Herman Melville's Moby-Dick, and is publishing an illustrated hardcover of the entire text, currently on Kickstarter ( https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/evandahm/moby-dick-illustrated ).
The illustrations are ink drawings in a style reminiscent of scrimshaw, and the text is typeset with careful reference to the first American edition of the book. For the past two years, Dahm has published his process online at http://mobydickillustrated.tumblr.com/
Gallery exhibition based on Melville's Moby-Dick
recent work based on Melville's Moby-Dick
November 12 - December 4, 2016
Opening Reception / November 12 6-8 PM
Artist Talk / Thursday, November 17 7-8 PM
Closing Readings / December 4 3-5 PM
A solo gallery exhibition based on Melville's Moby-Dick: November 12 through December 4
culminating in readings and a concert of "whale music" by David Rothenberg
Concert of Whale Music
David Rothenberg at the Theo Ganz Studio
Beacon, NY December 4, 2016 at 5PM
Philosopher and musician David Rothenberg is the author of Why Birds Sing, published in eight languages. It was turned into a feature length BBC TV documentary. Rothenberg has also writtenThousand Mile Song, about making music live with whales, Survival of the Beautiful, on evolution and beauty, and Bug Music, on insects and their million-years old music. His music, recorded on ECM, Gruenrekorder, and the Terra Nova labels, usually involves an intergration with his clarinet improvisation with live and recorded natural sounds.. Rothenberg has sixteen CDs out under his own name. He is distinguished professor of philosophy and music at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. www.davidrothenberg.net
Rothenberg was part of "Moby-Dick: The Big Read," where the entire text was performed by different characters and released online, including, Tilda Swinton, Stephen Fry, John Waters, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Mary Oliver. Rothenberg performed chapter 79, “The Prairie” and he’ll do it live in Beacon. http://www.mobydickbigread.com/chapter-79-the-prairie/
HERMAN MELVILLE: WRITER FOR THE WORLD
Livesteaming event on the Woodlawn Cemetary Facebook page:
Wednesday, September 28th at 2 PM
Dr. John Bryant, President of the Melville Society and Professor Emeritus of English at Hofstra University will be leading a collection of readings from Melville’s works featuring prominent authors, academics and musical artists. Visit The Woodlawn Cemetery Facebook page tomorrow at 2 PM.
Moby-Dick Mini-Marathon coming October 14, 2016.
The first in a series of nautical literary events from the "Captain's Salon" at the SF Maritime Research Center at Fort Mason. Food & drink by "Off the Grid!" Melville open-mic! Read your favorite passage from Moby-Dick or another Melville work! Short talks by neat people! Film! Surprises! Co-sponsored by Cal Maritime, The Melville Society, and the Friends of the SF Maritime Museum Library. Public Transit recommended! https://www.facebook.com/events/1766227910302863/
Toward the Sea - Concert
presented by Chamber Music NY
The Bruno Walter Auditorium
NY Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center
111 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, NY 10023
Saturday, October 22, 2016, 8 p.m.
"Musical works selected from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and the anchor piece, Takemitsu's 'Toward the Sea', meditate on the themes of the sea, voyage and the rumination of the soul."
Mélanie Genin, harp, and Catherine Gregory, flute
Mélanie Genin and Catherine Gregory
From the announcement:
An immersive performance combining music, text, ambient sounds and visual art.
Flutist Catherine Gregory and harpist Mélanie Genin embark on an immersive journey exploring Herman Melville’s epic tale through music and literary extracts, while combining multimedia elements, visuals and ambient noise.
The performance is preceded by the ‘Pre-show’, inviting the audience to enter "Toward the Sea" in an interactive and immersive way leading seamlessly to the continuous performance from beginning to end, with the performers entwining passages of the book with the music.
Together, the music and text convey Melville’s philosophical impact, focusing on the character’s psyche and the metaphysical questions he alludes to in the novel.
For more information click here to read the announcement on the Chamber Music NY website.
Three Presentations by David Dowling on the Essex
June 20 - Nantucket Whaling Museum
June 21 - Cape Cod Maritime Museum
June 23 - Falmouth Historical Society
This June, David Dowling, a long time Melville Society Member, will be giving presentations on findings from his new book, Surviving the Essex: The Afterlife of America’s Most Storied Shipwreck.
The first, hosted by the Nantucket Historical Association, will take place on June 20 on Nantucket at the Whaling Museum. The second and third will be presented on Cape Cod: on June 21 at 5 p.m. at the Cape Cod Maritime Museum and on June 23 at 7 p.m. at the Falmouth Historical Society.
David Dowling has published in Leviathan and, in addition to ALA panels, has presented at the Society's panels at the Rome and Japan international conferences. His 2010 book, Chasing the White Whale, was reviewed in the Chronicle of Higher Education and on NPR.
Click here for more information on the Nantucket Historical Society Presentation.
Berkshire County Historical Society's 54th Annual Meeting
Pittsfield Country Club
Thursday, May 5, 2016
From the Bershire County Historical Society's announcement:
Join us at the Pittsfield Country Club for the Berkshire County Historical Society's 54th Annual Meeting - with poetry! Delicious food and drink in a beautiful setting.
It will be held Thursday, May 5. Cocktail hour at 5, dinner at 6, program at 7.
The Country Club was formerly a farm owned in the 19th century by the Melvill family (before the "e" was added to the name). Herman Melville visited his Uncle Thomas here as a boy, falling in love with the Berkshires. Here in 1850, Melville began writing "The Whale," which he finished at Arrowhead, re-titling it Moby-Dick.
After dinner and a brief business meeting, we will hear poetry from the new publication from Melville Press: Weeds and Wildings, chiefly: With a Rose or Two. Copies available at the meeting. But if you can't wait, copies may be purchased at the Arrowhead shop or ordered online from Melville Press.
It is a new comprehensive collection of Herman Melville's last poetry and short fiction – principally written during the final years of his life. It is Melville at his most romantic, sentimental and autobiographic; this book let him return in memory to his years at Arrowhead. It was a gift to his wife, Elizabeth Shaw Melville.
Other poetry, by actor/poet Steve Butler, and by writers working at an ongoing workshop at Arrowhead, will be also be featured.
The cost for the dinner at the Pittsfield Country Club is $35/person. Cash bar available. To make your reservations, e-mail melvilleATSYMBOLberkshirehistory.org, call 413.442.1793 x12, or mail a check to the Berkshire Historical Society, 780 Holmes Road, Pittsfield MA 01201
The image above is from a postcard in the collections of the Berkshire County Historical Society, early 20th century.
For more information visit http://tinyurl.com/hf5whsb
Two Moby-Dick Art Shows
Contemporary Arts Center
Marta Hewett Gallery
April 22 - August 14, 2016
Make plans to visit or let others know about these two upcoming, exciting Moby-Dick art shows: a two-man show, "Chasing the Whale, and Other Endless Pursuits," featuring the art of Matt Kish and Robert Del Tredici at the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center, curated by Robert Wallace and Steven Matijcio, April 22 through August 14, 2016, and a nine-woman Moby-Dick art show, "Adrift in the Wonderworld: Women Make Meaning of Moby-Dick," at Cincinnati's Marta Hewett Gallery.
Official opening events are on the weekend of April 22 and 23, with other special events being planned. On the April 22 opening night of the Contemporary Arts Center exhibition, Kish and Del Tredici will be making a joint Moby-Dick drawing that will be projected onto the wall of the first-floor lobby, visible both inside and outside Zaya Hadid’s building.
After collaborating on the live drawing in the lobby on opening night, April 22, Kish and Del Tredici will be giving dual gallery talks in the Contemporary Arts Center exhibition space at 2 pm on Saturday, April 23. At 4 pm the same day, there will be the official opening and reception for the nine-woman Moby-Dick art show at the Marta Hewett Gallery. Marta is calling her show "Adrift in the Wonderworld: Women Make Meaning of Moby-Dick."
Visit the Moby-Dick in Cincinnati in 2016 blog to read an informative, behind-the-scenes article by co-curator Robert Wallace. In a richly illustrated blog essay, Professor Wallace describes events and activities of recent years related to his teaching about the life and writings of Herman Melville at Northern Kentucky University. It was during these years that he made many of the connections with the artists and institutions that are involved in these two Moby-Dick art exhibits.
Johns Hopkins University Press Podcast on Melville's Marginalia Online
click image for full view of cover
Click here to listen to the September 29, 2015 John Hopkins University Press podcast of an informative, inspirational, and stimulating interview with Steven Olsen-Smith related to Melville's Marginalia Online and Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies.
Leviathan 17.2, which appeared in June 2015, includes a special section on erased marginalia, with articles by Melville's Marginalia Online staff members Dawn Coleman, Peter Norberg, Dennis C. Marnon, Steven Olsen-Smith, and Joshua Preminger on recovered annotations in Melville's copies of Dante's Commedia and John Milton's Poetical Works, and Elizabeth Melville's set of The Works of William E. Channing. Shortly after publication, the Johns Hopkins University Press interviewed Olsen-Smith about Herman Melville's reading practices, the online project's relationship to Leviathan, and the significance of marginalia and source study in Melville scholarship. A podcast of the interview is available at the JHUP web site through the above link.
San Francisco's First Marathon Reading of Moby-Dick
The Firehouse at Fort Mason
October 24 and 25, 2015
San Francisco will soon welcome Herman Melville back to the Barbary Coast with a marathon reading of Moby-Dick at the Firehouse at Fort Mason on October 24 and 25. The event will feature over 100 readers and performers who will bring the beloved classic to life, and will include food trucks, locally-brewed beer, and plenty of coffee to keep readers and listeners sustained throughout. The reading will begin at noon on Saturday October 24th, continuing through the night until roughly noon on Sunday the 25th, and is free for all to attend.
The event follows in the tradition of marathon readings of Moby-Dick that take place annually in Mystic Seaport, CT, New York City and New Bedford, MA. The organizing committee's goal is to make this reading a unique celebration in the spirit of San Francisco, with a festival atmosphere and readers of all stripes coming together to celebrate the classic novel. Organizations represented at the event will include Green Apple Books, the South End Rowing Club, 826 Valencia, Cal-Berkeley, Cal-Maritime, Stanford, and SFSU, with more groups from the Bay Area's literary and sea-faring communities joining the chorus of enthusiasm daily as we spread the word.
We are currently taking sign-ups for readers, who can choose to either read a favorite chapter or be assigned to one by time. The full schedule of readers, which will include several special guests and performances, will be released in early October. We are also partnering with Intersection for the Arts and GoFundMe to raise money to cover the space rental and permitting costs. For more information, please visit our website, Facebook page, or contact sfmobydickmarathon at gmail.com (blocking spambots - replace at with @).
Our hope is that this will be the first annual Moby-Dick reading in San Francisco – the first of many to come in a city long-steeped in the traditions of literature, community, and setting out to sea and into the great unknown.
"Our first port is San Francisco...and thence, I hardly know where." — Herman Melville, 28 May 1860
Press contacts (blocking spambots - substitute @ for at):
Daniel Herman - sfmobydickmarathon at gmail.com
Molly Parent - mollyparent at gmail.com
Stephen Sparks - sparks at greenapplebooks.com
Brian Higgins 1944 - 2015
Brian Higgins passed away on April 28, 2015. Brian had a long career in teaching and authored or co-authored important books and articles related to Melville's life and writings.
Follow the link to read more details in his obituary.
A Video Report on the Recent Moby-Dick Arts Fest
Bob Wallace reports that the four-day, April 24-27, 2015, Arts Fest: Moby-Dick Art - A 20 Year Exploration - went very well. He has shared a link to a 22-minute video of highlights from the sequence of events which brought artists, students, and experts from around the country to Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati, OH. Enjoy:
Essays from the 8th International Melville Conference
Facing Melville, Facing Italy: Democracy, Politics, Translation
The University of Rome's Sapienza University Press recently published Facing Melville, Facing Italy: Democracy, Politics, Translation, edited by John Bryant, Giorgio Mariani, and Gordon Poole. This volume is the first in an important series, Studies in American Literature and Culture, edited by Giorgio Mariani. This series is the first truly international American Studies series to emerge. The essays in Facing Melville, Facing Italy are a selection from the Melville Society’s 8th International Conference, held in Rome in June 2011.
Facing Melville, Facing Italy: Democracy, Politics, Translation can be ordered directly from the press website: www.editricesapienza.it
BBC's The Whale: The Story of the Essex
The BBC is featuring a film presentation of the tragic story of the Essex. Titled The Whale, it dramatizes the "incredible tale of seafaring survival that inspired Moby-Dick."
Click here for more information: http://www.express.co.uk/entertainment/tv-radio/448051/BBC-s-Whale-Tale-that-inspired-Moby-Dick