Join us in welcoming two Melville scholars who are engaging in new and exciting book historical research on Herman Melville.

7 May 2019, 17.30, Room 243, Senate House

Dr Peter Riley (Exeter): “Melville’s Virtual Biographies”.

Dr Peter Riley is Lecturer in American Literature at the University of Exeter. His work examines nineteenth- through early twentieth-century American literature in relation to labour history, poetry and poetics, and archival studies, with developing focuses on race, ethnicity, German-American literature, and cultural ecology. His talk engages with the phantom supporting cast included in the prefatory materials at the beginning of Melville’s career-defining novel, Moby-Dick. Reading the “Sub-Sub librarian” and “consumptive usher” as experiments in “virtual biography,” he examines how the author-narrator uses these precarious figures to explore the various counterfactual possibilities that may have otherwise defined his working life.

21 May 2019, 17.30, Room 243, Senate House

Dr Katie McGettigan (Royal Holloway): “Moby-Dick’s Material Texts.”

Dr Katie McGettigan is Lecturer in American Literature at Royal Holloway, University of London. Her research focuses on nineteenth-century American and transatlantic literature and print culture. Her first book, Herman Melville: Modernity and the Material Text was published by the University of New Hampshire press in December 2017. Her work has also appeared in American LiteratureSymbiosis: A Journal of Transatlantic Literature and Cultural Relations and the Journal of Culture, Society and Masculinities.

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