CFP: [International] Melville and the Mediterranean, Old City Jerusalem, 17-21 June 2009

full name / name of organization: 
Tim Marr
contact email: 

Melville and the Mediterranean

Jerusalem / 17-21 June 2009

Sponsored by The Melville Society
With participation by ASTENE (Association for the Study of Travel in Egypt
and the Near East) and support from the English and literature departments
of MIT, Stanford, and Yale

THOMAS L. THOMPSON, University of Copenhagen; author of The Mythic Past
(The Bible in History: How Writers Create a Past)

AMY KAPLAN, University of Pennsylvania; author of The Anarchy of Empire in
the Making of U.S. Culture


This conference is devoted to understanding the place of the Mediterranean
and the “Holy Land” in Western consciousness. Using Melville’s epic Clarel:
A Poem and Pilgrimage in the Holy Land as one focus, the conference is
meant to open up discussions related to travel, literature, other
humanities and the sciences, aesthetics, anthropology, archaeology,
ethnography, and religion.

Papers and panels are welcome on a range of international writing about the
region, including but not limited to the following:

Clarel as a major work of travel in the 19th century and today; its
qualities and challenges; relation to political, historical, religious,
mythological, scientific, ethnographic, and philosophical views;
iconography and aesthetics; resurgence and necessity in the canon

Meaning of the Eastern Mediterranean (Levant) region, its position as a
basin of culture, civilization, and mythology; the significance of its
landscape and life to larger existential issues, in works by Melville and
various writers, in different periods

Interest, comparatively, in other parts of the Mediterranean region

Connections between Melville and other writers and artists (e.g., Goethe,
Humboldt, Piranesi, Kinglake, Poe, Hawthorne, Twain); connections to
contemporaneous and later American, British, French, German, Italian,
Persian, or other Eastern influences, and philosophies

Works encouraging study and translation of Melville in the region;
alternative research and outlooks; translation and international context of
Melville's works; Melville's poetry and poetics

1876: U.S. Centennial, publication of Clarel, and other publications and
events in that year

Theorizing on topics such as travel writing, Orientalism, postcolonial
theory,race and ethnicity, applied to Melville or others

The conference organizers welcome various perspectives and session formats.
Appropriately, the activities of this world conference will be centered in
international venues in the Old City of Jerusalem and its vicinity, and
will offer opportunities for touring the region.

Send one-to-two page proposals for papers, roundtable discussions, and
panels by 1 September, 2008 to the email addresses of the conference co-chairs:


See conference flyer at

 From the Literary Calls for Papers Mailing List
             more information at
Received on Fri Jul 25 2008 - 11:36:36 EDT