Jun 18, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalog 
2023-2024 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

ENG 485 - Seminar: Moby-Dick: Texts and Contexts


In this seminar designed for advanced English majors, we will take a deep dive into Herman Melville’s classic, deeply flawed, troubling, jubilant, vexed, and vexing novel Moby-Dick.

Published in 1851 - the same year that Uncle Tom’s Cabin was serialized, Sojourner Truth first delivered her “Ain’t I a Woman?” speech, Western Union was founded, and the US Congress passed the Indian Appropriations Act - Moby-Dick was very much a novel of its time and place.

Early in the semester, we will read some of the texts that inspired Melville; at the end of the semester, we will stage a live 24-hour reading of the novel.  In between, we’ll take our time to read, investigate, interrogate, and interpret a work that has baffled and beguiled readers for 170 years.