Moby-Dick (EAS3188)

30 credits

“I have written a wicked book,” Melville remarked to Hawthorne in 1851, “and I feel spotless as the lamb.” His masterpiece, a cosmic (and comic) whaling yarn, Moby-Dick has slowly assumed the status of national epic. Discussions of the Great American Novel are drawn inevitably into the vortex that consumes the reader on its final page, with contemporary interpretations ranging from Toni Morrison’s insistence that Moby-Dick captures the “moment in America when whiteness became ideology” to Marilynne Robinson’s claim that it is a “spectacular exploration of metaphorical acts of consciousness – every time I read it I feel as if my mind is larger.” Across the eleven weeks of this module, we will join the crew of the Pequod on their doomed voyage, charting key contexts, and exploring the critical and social issues that arise from a detailed study of this sublime and wicked book.