Thematizing “Becoming” in the Work of Herman MelvilleThematizing “Becoming” in the Work of Herman Melville

deadline for submissions: 
February 15, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
The Herman Melville Society
contact email: 

Melville Society Call for Papers American Literature Association, Boston, MA, July7-11  2021


Thematizing “Becoming” in the Work of Herman Melville


This panel seeks out papers that move beyond discussions of identity as such in Melville’s work and look to discuss the way in which Melville’s characters reveal the process of “becoming” a subject. How does Melville thematize subject formation and what does this thematizing reveal about a variety identities? What critiques emerge not just of identity but of the processes by which we assume subject formation occurs? Finally, in thematizing becoming, how does Melville also point out the problem of essentialization and the necessity of radical change even as he remains fearful of the consequences? This panel welcomes work from a broad range of fields including critical race studies, ecocriticism, and gender studies. 


Please submit 200-300 word abstracts to Lenora Warren at by February 15, 2021