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.

Historical Listing of Melville Society Officers and Committee Members

Tyrus Hillway founded The Melville Society in 1945, and it has since grown to one of the largest international single-author societies.  The Society’s earliest papers reside in the Melville Society Archive housed within the New Bedford Whaling Museum Library. The initial membership lists read like an author bibliography of seminal Melville studies.  The following history of Melville Society officers has been compiled with the assistance of Chris Sten and other Society officers.

President (elected, one-year term, serves on Executive Committee)

Arimichi Makino, 2017

John Bryant, 2016

Hester Blum, 2015

Geoffrey Sanborn, 2014

Steven Olsen-Smith, 2013

Dennis Berthold, 2012

Wyn Kelley, 2011

T. Walter Herbert, 2010

Robert Milder, 2009

Carolyn Karcher, 2008

Andrew Delbanco, 2007

Gail Coffler, 2006

Edgar Dryden, 2005

Mary K. Bercaw Edwards, 2004

Christopher Sten, 2003

Robert K. Wallace, 2002

Douglas Robillard, 2001

Thomas Farel Heffernan, 2000

Harrison Hayford, 1999

Sanford E. Marovitz, 1998

Elizabeth Schultz, 1997

Lea Bertani Vozar Newman, 1996

Stanton Garner, 1995

Marvin Fisher, 1994

H. Bruce Franklin, 1993

Harrison Hayford, 1992

Hershel Parker, 1991

Donald Yannella, 1990

Walter Bezanson, 1989

Joyce Sparer Adler, 1988

Jay Leyda, 1987

William B. Dillingham, 1986

John Seelye, 1985

Milton R. Stern, 1984

Warner Berthoff, 1983

G. Thomas Tanselle, 1982

Edward Rosenberry, 1981

Henry A. Murray, 1980

Walter D. Kring, 1979

Robert G. Newman, 1978

Lewis Mumford, 1977

Jay Leyda, 1976

Hennig Cohen, 1975

Robert Penn Warren, 1974

[none], 1973

Nathalia Wright, 1972

Leon Howard, 1971

Harrison Hayford, 1970

Howard P. Vincent, 1969

[no record], 1968

Walter Bezanson, 1967

Henry A. Murray, 1966

Merlin Bowen, 1965

Merlin Bowen (in absentia), 1964

William B. Stein, 1963

Merrill Davis (deceased), 1962

Richard H. Fogle (served 2 years), 1961

Tyrus Hillway, 1960

Lawrence Barrett, 1959

Wilson L. Heflin, 1958

Howard C. Horsford, 1957

Nathalia Wright, 1956

Harrison Hayford, 1955

Walter Bezanson, 1954

Merton M. Sealts, Jr., 1953

Willard Thorp, 1952

Howard P. Vincent, 1951

Elizabeth Foster, 1950

F. Barron Freeman, 1949

William Braswell, 1948

Luther S. Mansfield, 1947

Charles R. Anderson, 1946

[none], 1945 

The first woman president was Elizabeth Foster, who was elected five years after the Society was founded; eleven women have held that office, including 2015's Hester Blum. Most presidents served only one term, but Harrison Hayford served four.

Secretary (elected, three-year term, serves as Chair of the Executive Committee)

Colin Dewey, 2017-present

Tony McGowan, 2014-2016

Mary K. Bercaw Edwards, 2007-2013

Jill Barnum, 2003-2006

Christopher Sten, 1997-2002

Sanford E. Marovitz, 1994-1996

Stanton Garner, 1990-1993

Donald Yannella, (secretary-treasurer), 1975-1989

Donald Yannella (acting secretary-treasurer for Hennig Cohen), 1973-1974

Hennig Cohen (secretary-treasurer), 1969-1972

Howard P. Vincent (secretary-treasurer), 1964-1968

Richard Stavig (secretary-treasurer), 1960-1963

Tyrus Hillway (acting secretary-treasurer for Howard Horsford), 1958-1959

Tyrus Hillway (secretary-treasurer), 1946-1957

Tyrus Hillway (founding secretary-treasurer), 1945

Associate Secretary for Programs and Conferences (elected, three-year term, serves on Executive Committee)

Meredith Farmer, 2017-present

Colin Dewey, 2014-2016

Joseph Fruscione, 2009-2013

Treasurer (elected, three-year term, serves on Executive Committee)

Steven Olsen-Smith, 2014-present

Tony McGowan, 2009-2013

John Matteson, 2006-2008

Dennis Berthold (acting treasurer), 2004-2005

Bryan Short, 2002-2003

Dennis Berthold, 1995-2001

John Wenke, 1990-1994

Editor (elected, three-year term, serves on Executive Committee)

Samuel  Otter, 2014-present

John Bryant, 1990-2013

Donald Yannella, 1976-1989

Hennig Cohen, 1969-1975

Associate Editor (appointed by Editor)

Brian Yothers, 2014-present

Samuel Otter, 2010-2013

Wyn Kelley, 2000-2010 (also served as Assistant Editor 1996-2000)

Book Review Editor (appointed by Editor)

Dawn Coleman, 2014-present

Extracts Editor (appointed by Editor)

Mary K. Bercaw Edwards, 2014-present

Historian (elected, three-year term, serves on Executive Committee; discontinued in 2008)

Christopher Sten, 2003-2007

Douglas Robillard, 2002

Frederick J. Kennedy, 1996-2001

Ruth T. Degenhardt, 1990-1995

Richard Colles Johnson, 1975-1989

Henry Wasser, 1970-1974

Director of Development (elected, three-year term, serves on Executive Committee; discontinued in 2014)

John Matteson, 2012-2013

Dennis Berthold, 2005-2011

Melville Society Cultural Project Representative (elected, two-year term, serves on Executive Committee)

Chris Sten and Robert K. Wallace (shared position), 2008-present

Communications Committee Chair (elected, three-year term, may repeat)

Zach Hutchins, 2017-2020

MLA Program Chair (elected, one-year term)

Branka Arsic / Christopher Freeburg, January 2017

Colin Dayan / Eliza Richards collaborative with Emily Dickenson
            International Society, January 2016

Coleman Hutchison, January 2015

Hsuan Hsu, January 2015

Tim Marr, January 2014

Hester Blum, January 2013

Milette Shamir, 2011

Ivy Wilson, 2010

Peter Norberg, 2009

Chris Castiglia, 2008

Charlene Avallone, 2007

M. Thomas Inge, 2006

Geoffrey D. Sanborn, 2005

Susan Garbarini Fanning, 2004

Robert Levine, 2003

Linda Costanzo Cahir, 2002

Timothy Marr, 2001

John Wenke, 2000

Laurie Robertson-Lorant, 1999

Stanton Garner, 1998

Robert Martin, 1997

Gail Coffler, 1996

Susan Weiner, 1995

Wyn Kelley, 1994

Robert K. Wallace, 1993

Robert DeMott, 1992

Milton R. Stern, 1991

Gail Coffler, 1990

Carolyn Karcher, 1989

James Duban, 1988

Dennis Berthold, 1987

Chris Sten, 1986 (Thomas F. Heffernan also chaired a conference on Nantucket in 1986)

Joyce Sparer Adler, 1985

Bainard Cowan, 1984

Thomas F. Heffernan, 1983

Robert Milder, 1982

Bette Weidman, 1981

Watson G. Branch, 1980

Hershel Parker, 1979

H. Bruce Franklin, 1978

Curtis Dahl, 1977

Deborah C. Andrews, 1976

Johannes Bergmann, 1975

Sanford Marovitz, 1974

Donald Yannella, 1973

Donald Yannella, 1972

Hershel Parker, 1971

Frederic Tuten, 1970

John Seelye, 1969

ALA Program Chair (elected, one-year term)

Paul Hurh and Dominic Mastroianni, 2016

Andrew Kopec and Elizabeth Duquette, 2015

Anne Baker, 2014

Matthew Giordano, 2014

Zach Hutchins, 2013

Cody Marrs, 2013

Ralph Savarese, 2012

Christopher Phillips, 2011

Brian Yothers, 2010

Maurice Lee, 2009

Steven Olsen-Smith, 2008

Elizabeth Renker, 2007

Faith Barrett, 2006

Carol Colatrella, 2005

Jonathan A. Cook, 2004

Rachela Permenter, 2003

Juana Djalal, 2002

Robert Milder, 2001

Samuel Otter, 2000

Edgar Dryden, 1999

Sterling Stuckey, 1998

Sally Hoople, 1997

John Samson, 1996

David Leverenz, 1995

Sheila Post-Lauria, 1994

Kathleen E. Kier & Larry J. Reynolds, 1993

Charlene Avallone & Richard Kopley, 1992

Mary K. Bercaw, 1991

Sanford E. Marovitz (appointed), 1990

C19 Program Chair

Jennifer Greiman, 2013

Murray Endowment Committee (elected, three-year term)

Tony McGowan, 2018-2021

Wyn Kelley, 2017-2019

Dennis Berthold, 2016-2018

Carolyn Karcher, 2015-2017

Dennis Berthold, 2016-2018

Carolyn Karcher, 2015-2017

Robert D. Madison, 2014-2016

Brian Yothers, 2012-2013

James Duban, 2010-[2015]

Sandy Marovitz, 2009-2011

Hank Galmish, 2008-[2014]

[name needed], 2007-

Marty Bickman, 2006-2008

Helen Trimpi, 2005-2007

Watson Branch, 2004-2006

Sanford E. Marovitz, 2003-2005

Lea Bertani Vozar Newman, 2002-2004

Sally Hoople, 2001-2003

Linda Costanzo Cahir, 2000-2002

Martin Torodash, 1999-2001

Stanton Garner, 1997-1999

Donald Yannella, 1996-1998

Lucy Freibert, 1995-1997, 1998

Curtis Dahl, 1994-1996

Sanford E. Marovitz, 1993-1995

Donald Yannella, 1992-1994

G. Thomas Tanselle, 1991-1993

Harold B. Lehrman, 1990-1992

Thomas Norton, 1990-1991

Walter Bezanson, 1990

[information missing 1988-1989]

Robert G. Newman (chair), William B. Dillingham, Sally Hoople, Thomas Norton, 1987

Robert G. Newman (chair), William B. Dillingham, Sally Hoople, Merton M. Sealts, Jr., Thomas Norton, 1986 (initial committee)

Nominating Committee (appointed by outgoing President, three-year term)

Maurice Lee, 2015-

Lenora Warren, 2015-2017

Jennifer Greiman, 2014-2016

Elizabeth Renker, 2013-2015

Dawn Coleman, 2012-2014

Bryan Sinche, 2011-2013

Colin Dewey, 2010-2012

Elizabeth Duquette, 2009-2011

Steven Olsen-Smith, 2008-2010

Wendy Stallard Flory, 2007-2009

Samuel Otter, 2006-2008

Henry Hughes, 2005-2007

Rachela Parmenter, 2004-2006

Dennis Berthold, 2003-2005

Timothy Marr, 2002-2004

Kathleen E. Kier, 2001-2004

Gail Coffler, 2000-2002

Wyn Kelley, 1999-2001

Lynn Horth, 1998-2000

Carolyn Karcher, 1997-1999

Haskell Springer, 1996-1998

John Wenke, 1995-1997

Laurie Robertson-Lorant, 1994-1996

Edward Grejda, 1993-1994 (resigned for overseas commitment)

Joyce Kennedy, 1992-1995 (served twice as chair)

Dennis Berthold, 1991-1993

Sally Hoople, 1990-1992

Susan Beegel Tiffney, 1990-1991

M. Thomas Inge, 1990

[information missing 1987-1989]

Mary K. Bercaw, 1986 [plus two others

[information missing 1984-1985]

Robert Milder (chair), Warwick Wadlington, Bette Weidman, 1983

Sally Hoople (chair), John Bryant, Douglas Robillard, 1982

Tom Quirk (chair), Richard Brodhead, Carolyn Karcher, 1981

Stanton Garner (chair), Kathleen Kier, Charles Neumier, 1980

Brian Higgins (chair), James Barbour, Sue Lonoff, 1979

[information missing 1978]

Sanford Marovitz (chair), Alan Hayman, Sally Hoople, 1977

Nathalia Wright (chair), Edwin Gittleman, Samuel Middlebrook, 1976

Wilson Helfin (chair), Marjorie Dew, Edward Stone, 1975

Heyward Ehrlich, 1974

Cohen Prize Committee (appointed by Secretary, three-year term)

2014: Peter Norberg, Cody Marrs, and Dominic Mastroianni

2013: Hester Blum, Peter Norberg, Cody Marrs

2012: Chris Sten, Hester Blum, Peter Norberg

2011: Chris Sten, Hester Blum, Peter Norberg

2010: Geoff Sanborn, Jeff Clymer, and Chris Sten

2009: Geoff Sanborn, Jeff Clymer, Dennis Berthold

2008: Ralph Savarese, Robin Grey, Geoff Sanborn

2007:  John Samson, Ralph Savarese (only two served in 2007)

2006:  Maurice Lee, John Samson, Ralph Savarese

2005:  Maurice Lee, Charlene Avallone, John Samson

2004:  Maurice Lee, Charlene Avallone


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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.