Institute Books

The following books will be provided to Institute Participants prior to their arrival in New Bedford.

Longman Moby-Dick

Herman Melville, Moby-Dick, or The Whale. John Bryant and Haskell Springer, eds. (Longman, 2007).

This innovative, scholarly edition of Moby-Dick offers unprecedented access to the revisions Herman Melville made to the original 1851 American version of the novel and illuminates all changes which scholars have made to create the classic that readers know today.

Heflin, Melville's Whaling Years

Wilson Heflin, Herman Melville’s Whaling Years. Mary K. Bercaw Edwards and Thomas Farel Heffernan, eds. (Vanderbilt, 2004)

In meticulous and thoroughly documented detail, it examines one of the most stimulating periods in the great author’s life–the four years he spent aboard whaling vessels in the Pacific during the early 1840s. During his time in the Pacific, Melville served on three whaling ships, as well as on a U.S. Navy man-of-war. Heflin combed the logbooks of any ship at sea at the time of Melville’s voyages and examined nineteenth-century newspaper items, especially the marine intelligence columns, for mention of Melville’s vessels. This scrupulously edited volume is the most in-depth account ever published of Melville’s years on whaleships and how those singular experiences influenced his writing. It is an unparalleled resources that provides invaluable context for understanding the experiences that found their fullest expression in Moby-Dick.

Kish, Moby-Dick in Pictures

Matt Kish, Moby-Dick in Pictures: One Drawing for Every Page (Tin House Books, 2011)

More than one hundred and fifty years following the original publication of Moby-Dick, Kish began illustrating Herman Melville’s classic, creating images based on text selected from every leaf of the 552-page Signet Classics paperback edition. Completely self-taught, Kish refused to set any boundaries for the artwork and employed a deliberately low-tech approach in response to the increasing popularity of born-digital art and literature. He used found pages torn from old, discarded books, as well as a variety of mediums, including ballpoint pen, marker, paint, crayon, ink, and watercolor. By layering images on top of existing words and images, Kish has crafted a visual masterpiece that echoes the layers of meaning in Melville’s narrative and inspires teachers to open up the aesthetic potential of the text with their students.

Sten, Sounding the Whale

Christopher Sten, Sounding the Whale: Moby-Dick as Epic Novel (Chicago, 1996),

Lead faculty member Christopher Sten provides a comprehensive account of his own close encounter with Moby-Dick. In this chapter-by-chapter study of Moby-Dick, Sten argues that Melville not only was familiar with the traditional forms of narrative but that he refined them and appropriated them to his own original purposes. For Moby-Dick, he fused the heroic qualities of the ancient Homeric epic with the spiritual qualities of the early modern form found in Dante and Milton, then cast the whole enterprise in an unprecedented poetic prose form.

The following text is recommended for participants.

Jenkins, Kelley, Reading in a Participatory Culture

Henry Jenkins, Wyn Kelley, Ricardo Pitts-Wiley, et al., Reading in a Participatory Culture: Remixing Moby-Dick in the English Classroom (Teachers College Press, 2013). $34.95.

Building on the groundbreaking research of the MacArthur Foundation’s Digital Media & Learning initiative, this book crosses the divide between digital literacies and traditional print culture to engage a generation of students who can read with a book in one hand and a mouse in the other. Reading in a Participatory Culture tells the story of an innovative experiment that brought together playwright and director Ricardo Pitts-Wiley, Institute faculty member Wyn Kelley, and new media scholar Henry Jenkins to develop an exciting new curriculum to reshape the middle and high school English language arts classroom. This book offers highlights from the resources developed for teaching Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick and outlines the basic principles of design, implementation, and assessment that can be applied to any text.