Lunchtime Talk with Travis Foster | Melville: Race and Reconciliation after the Civil War

Date / Time

  • October 1, 2019
    12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

How did Melville’s thinking about American race relations shift after the Civil War? How does this shift help us better understand white nationalism in our own era? This talk addresses these questions by contrasting Melville’s resistance to racist thought in his antebellum writings (especially Typee, Moby-Dick, and Benito Cereno) with his seeming embrace of white (more…)

Mini-Series: Three Looks at Jonah | Islamic Perspective with Assistant Imam Hudhaifah Abdulhayy

Date / Time

  • January 15, 2020
    6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

From Father Mapple’s sermon to the very premise of The Whale, the Biblical figure of Jonah hovers throughout Moby-Dick. The ancient story of Jonah is a shared text that has influenced literature and religion across cultures and centuries. In conjunction with the Rosenbach’s American Voyager exhibit, scholars and faith leaders from Philadelphia will explore the importance of the prophet Jonah to understandings of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

Mini-Series: Three Looks at Jonah | Christian Perspectives with Rev. Bill Golderer

Date / Time

  • December 11, 2019
    6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

From Father Mapple’s sermon to the very premise of The Whale, the Biblical figure of Jonah hovers throughout Moby-Dick. The ancient story of Jonah is a shared text that has influenced literature and religion across cultures and centuries. In conjunction with the Rosenbach’s American Voyager exhibit, scholars and faith leaders from Philadelphia will explore the importance of the prophet Jonah to understandings of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

Mini-Series: Three Looks at Jonah | Jewish Perspectives with Natalie B. Dohrmann

Date / Time

  • October 16, 2019
    6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Sea monsters in Jewish tradition bear with them always tales of the beginning of time, and its end. Jonah, riding in the belly of his great fish, is carried uncertainly between them. Johan has baffled Jewish interpreters for centuries, and ignited a wide range of conflicting interpretations. The rabbis said the eyes of the whale were like windows though which Jonah could observe the foundations of creation – we’ll look back through at him to try to get a hold on what has made this short book such a fathomless riddle for Jews.

In Conversation with Mark Beauregard

Date / Time

  • January 22, 2020
    6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

The Whale: A Love Story, a rich and captivating novel set amid the witty, high-spirited literary society of 1850s New England, offers a new window on Herman Melville’s emotionally charged relationship with Nathaniel Hawthorne and how it transformed his masterpiece, Moby-Dick. Author Mark Beauregard joins us to discuss his new work.

In Conversation with Steven Olsen-Smith | Melville’s Reading and the Arc of Literary Genius

Date / Time

  • October 10, 2019
    6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Herman Melville acquired some 1,000 books prior to his death, after which his library was dispersed among family members and second-hand book dealers. Less than a third of the collection is known to survive, but copies with his autograph and notes continue to resurface. This program will discuss ongoing efforts to trace the dispersal of Melville’s library and analyze evidence of his reading, including technical recovery of annotations that were erased after his death, and will address the role of Melville’s engagement with books in the formation of his genius and the creation of his art.

Course: Moby-Dick

Date / Time

  • August 20, 2019
    6:00 pm - 7:45 pm
  • September 17, 2019
    6:00 pm - 7:45 pm
  • October 15, 2019
    6:00 pm - 7:45 pm

The course provides an opportunity to read, study, and discuss Herman Melville’s 1851 novel, Moby-Dick; or, The Whale. The story tracks two parallel quests: Captain Ahab’s to kill and thereby take revenge on the white whale; and Ishmael’s to know and understand the white whale.