17-19 Oct 2019 Lille and Paris (France)

Conference Program

October 17th (LILLE - MESHS)


9.00-9.45am Registration


9.45-10am Welcome


10.00-11.00am Plenary address by Cody Marrs: “On Melville and Beauty” [MESHS Room 2]


11.00-11.15am Coffee Break


11.15am-12.45pm Session 1 


Panel 1 Poetic Measures (Chair: Elizabeth Duquette) [MESHS Room 2]

• Samuel Otter: “Moby-Dick, Prose, and Poetry: Regarding the ‘Extracts’”

• Katie McGettigan: “Measuring the Noise of War in Battle-Pieces”

• Mathieu Duplay: “Surviving the Wreck: Herman Melville, Alice Goodman, and the Power of Catastrophe”


12.45-2.00pm Lunch


2.00-3.30pm Session 2


Panel 2 Arithmetics of Pain (Chair: Meredith Farmer) [MESHS Room 2]

• Thomas Constantinesco: “‘I must calculate over again’: Melville’s Measure of Pain”

• David Blake: “‘Keep thy finger on it’: The Prosthetics of Measurement in Moby-Dick

• Ryan Heryford: “The ‘Odd Inches’: Melville’s Measured Incorporeal”


Panel 3 Melville’s Approximations (Chair: Hélène Cottet) [MESHS Room 3]

• Federico Bellini: “‘I did not trouble myself with the odd inches’: Approximating Melville”

• Daniel Jenkin-Smith: “‘An interesting and somewhat singular set of men’: Computing Clerkdom in ‘Bartleby’”

• Béatrix Pernelle: “‘Bartleby’'s Measurings and Figurings: The Writer's Impossible Accounting of the Other”


3.30-4.00pm Coffee Break


4.00-5.30pm Session 3


Panel 4 (Un)disciplined bodies? (Chair: Samuel Otter) [MESHS Room 2]

• Édouard Marsoin: “‘Of men, [fat men] are the good measures’: Melville’s Diets”

• Arturo Corujo: “On the (Im)possibility of Giving a Measure of Oneself: Anatomy, Narration, and Subjectivity in Herman Melville’s White-Jacket

• Pilar Martinez Benedi: “‘Where was White-Jacket then?’: Spatial Confinement and Unbounded Corporeality in Melville’s Man-of-War"


Panel 5 “Mere unintelligible words”: Experiencing Language (Chair: Richard Anker) [MESHS Room 3]

• Christopher Christiansen: “‘Alack the stones!’: Stumbling on Language in Clarel

• K. L. Evans: “Back to Rough Ground: Rethinking the ‘Critique of Language’ with Melville”

• Amy R. Nestor: “Things, Pulsing: The Poetic Measure of Pierre


7.30pm Conference Dinner (Brasserie de la Paix)



October 18th (LILLE - MESHS)


9.00-10.30am Session 4


Panel 6 Rescaling Melville (1): The Measures of Revolutions (Chair: Édouard Marsoin) [MESHS Room 2]

• Duncan Faherty: “‘Melville knew the score’: Remeasuring ‘Benito Cereno’as an Index of the Globality of the Black Atlantic”

• Elizabeth Duquette: “The Fog of Tyranny in ‘Benito Cereno’”

• Jennifer Greiman: “Melville’s Gravity: Force, Mood, Revolution”


10.30-11.00am Coffee Break


11.00am-12.30pm Session 5


Panel 7 Measures of Authority: Deconstructive Approaches (chair: Thomas Dutoit) [MESHS Room 2]

• Richard Anker: “The Measure of Authority. Figuring the Political and Deconstructing the Death Penalty in Billy Budd, Sailor

• Nicholas Spengler: “‘Like the needle to the load-stone’: Emergency Politics and the Foundation of Authority in White-Jacket and Moby-Dick

• Tae Sung: “The Unappropriated Gift: Melville and the Measureless Measure of the Impersonal”


Panel 8 Chartless Voyages (chair: Michel Imbert) [MESHS Room 3]

• Julien Nègre: “The World in a Footnote: Examining Ahab’s Chart in Chapter 44 of Moby-Dick

• Divyajyoti Singh: “Moby-Dick to Modern Science Writing: Quantum Understanding, Cosmic Quests”

• Odile Gannier: “Ephemeris and Celestial Navigation: Melville on Board a 'World-frigate'" 


12.30-1.30pm Lunch


1.30-2.30pm Session 6


Panel 9 Melville’s Frequencies (Chair: Katie McGettigan) [MESHS Room 2]

• Marcy Dinius: “Some bold or indelicate expression: Reading the Asterisks in ‘Benito Cereno’”

• Alex Benson: “The Waveform of ‘The Encantadas’”


Panel 10 Tracing Melville (Chair: Nicholas Spengler) [MESHS Room 3]

• Tony McGowan: “Melville’s Reliquary Reformations”

• Yuji Kato: “Herman Melville in the Measurement of Contemporary Cultures: Transplantations of his Texts in Leos Carax’s POLA X and Kenzaburo Oe’s Death by Water





9.00-9.30am  Coffee/Late Registration


9.30-10.30am Plenary address by Branka Arsić: “Coral Psyches: Melville on Minds and Islands” [Salle des Thèses]


10.30-11am Coffee Break


11.00am-12.30pm Session 7


Panel 11 Rescaling Melville (2): Microscopic and Macroscopic Measures (Chair: Michael Jonik) [Salle des Thèses]

• Maurice S. Lee: “Reckoning Melville”

• Paul Hurh: “Big Print: Melville, Media, Magnitude”

• Ed Sugden: “December 16, 1850”


Panel 12 “If money’s to be the measurer, man…:” Melville’s Economies (Chair: Jonathan Schroeder) [Room 579F]

• Rodrigo Andrés: “Houses as Measures of Alternative Temporalities in Herman Melville’s Short Stories”

• Joe Conway: “Melville’s Monies”

• Douglass Furrh: “The Pecuniary Part of the Business: Delano’s Know Nothingism and the Piracy of Capitalism in ‘Benito Cereno’”


12.30-1.30pm Lunch


1.30-3.00pm Session 8


Panel 13 Wandering in “the World of Mind” (Chair: Thomas Constantinesco) [Room 579F]

• Ross Martin: "Feeling Demonic Limits in Melville”

• Jonathan Schroeder: “The Whiteness of the Will: Race and the Measure of Monomania”

• Ronald Paul: “‘... of the final rib’: A Positivist Dispute in Arsacidean Theology”


Roundtable Melville Studies in Europe (Chair: Agnès Derail) [Salle des Thèses]

Agnès Derail, Rodrigo Andrés, Federico Bellini, Edward Sugden


3.00-3.30pm Coffee Break


3.30-5.30pm Session 9


Panel 14 “The System does not proceed”: Melville’s Subversive Science (Chair: Paul Hurh) [Salle des Thèses]

• Michael Jonik: “Melville’s Subversive Geometry”

• Meredith Farmer: “‘Death trellised life’: Melville and the Model of Early Organic Chemistry”

• Hannah Murray: "The Character of Whiteness: Race Science and Bartleby"

• Michel Imbert: "'Angels, Angles, Triangles in Pierre; or, the Ambiguities"


5.30pm Cocktail

Online user: 1