Symposium: Melville On Nantucket

In celebration of Herman Melville’s 200th birthday, join us for a morning of lectures on Melville the person and the lasting effect of his writings.

Shared Passages: A Reading Aligning NHA Logbooks with Moby-Dick with Harvey Young and Caleb Kardell.

In 1998 a project was initiated to extract data for entry into its data bank from Nantucket whaling logs held in the archives.  Leslie Ottinger,  a volunteer, reviewed many of these.  He was knowledgeable about Melville’s Moby Dick and found that many observations and events in the book were also mentioned in the logs.  The materials in this presentation was compiled from his observations.

Herman Melville: Sailor, Writer, Metaphysician with Dr. Mary K. Bercaw Edwards

Dr. Mary K. Bercaw Edwards is an Associate Professor of English and Maritime Studies Faculty at the University of Connecticut. An internationally-known Herman Melville scholar, she serves as an editor for Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies. She is the author of Melville’s Sources and Cannibal Old Me: Spoken Sources in Melville’s Early Works and the co-editor of Wilson Heflin, Herman Melville’s Whaling Years. Dr. Bercaw Edwards spends her summers working high aloft on Mystic Seaport Museum’s square-rigged ships. She was a crewmember on the 38th Voyage of the 1841 whaleship Charles W. Morgan. A Coast Guard-licensed captain, she has 58,000 miles at sea, all under sail.

Nostalgia for the Wooden World:  Rockwell Kent’s Moby-Dick with Dr. Jamie Jones

The 1930 Lakeside Press edition of Moby-Dick illustrated by American artist Rockwell Kent is arguably the most famous and best-loved edition of Melville’s famous novel. In this talk, Jamie Jones surveys the career and work of American artist Rockwell Kent and tells the story of how Kent created his iconic illustrations at a pivotal moment in the history of print technology and U.S. commercial whaling. Jones also connects the artistic strategies that Kent used in making the Moby-Dick illustrations to 21st-century trends in technology and design and reflects on the unlikely way that Kent’s illustrations can help us better understand our own values about work, leisure, and the sea.

Dr. Jamie L. Jones is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She received her Ph.D. in American Studies from Harvard University. She has published academic articles on American literature and culture in American Art,  Configurations, Common-place, and Resilience: A Journal of the Environmental Humanities. In addition to her academic work, Jones has written about whaling in The New York Times and the Los Angeles Review of Books. Her research on Herman Melville was recently featured on the BBC World New Service and on the BackStory American history podcast. Jones is currently writing a book about the cultural afterlife of U.S. whaling.

The Enduring Power of Moby-Dick with Nathaniel Philbrick

Nathaniel Philbrick, author of In the Heart of the Sea and Why Read Moby-Dick?, explores the timeless relevance of Herman Melville’s masterpiece. In addition to dipping into the novel itself, Philbrick will talk about the circumstances of the book’s creation and the subsequent course of Melville’s literary career.

Nathaniel Philbrick is the New York Times bestselling author of In the Heart of the Sea, winner of the National Book Award and the basis of a major motion picture directed by Ron Howard; Mayflower, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in History; and, most recently, In the Hurricane’s Eye, the third in a trilogy about the American Revolution and a finalist for the George Washington Book Prize.  He has lived on Nantucket since 1986 and is a research fellow at the Nantucket Historical Association.

The Nantucket Historical Association preserves and interprets the history of Nantucket through its programs, collections, and properties, in order to promote the island’s significance and foster an appreciation of it among all audiences.

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