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Melville Festival is a university and community celebration of the writing of Herman Melville (1819-1891), one of most imaginative and influential of American storytellers. In fiction from Typee to Moby-Dick to Billy Budd, Melville spoke to humanity’s most pressing philosophical, ethical, religious, and social questions.

Melville Festival is organized by Dawn Coleman and Martin Griffin, Associate Professors of English, who can be contacted with any questions.  All events are free and open to the public.

Thursday, April 7

  • 3:30 p.m.-5:00 p.m. — Public Lecture: “Big Data | Close Reading: Melville and the Humanities as Fluid Texts.”
    John Bryant, Tennessee Humanities Center Visiting Scholar and Director of the Hofstra Digital Research Center
    Hodges Library Auditorium
  • 7:00 p.m.- 9:30 p.m. — FILM SCREENING
    Moby Dick (1956)
    Introduced by Chuck Maland, Professor of English and Cinema Studies
    Hodges Library Auditorium

Friday, April 8

  • 10:15 a.m.-11:45 a.m. — “Melville Today” an interdisciplinary faculty panel 
    Panhellenic Building 106

    • Dawn Coleman, Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, English Department


    • Jed Diamond, Associate Professor and Head of Acting, Theatre Department
    • Elizabeth Gentry, Lecturer, English Department
    • Bill Larsen, Distinguished Lecturer, English Department and Cinema Studies Program
    • Tom Burman, Distinguished Professor of the Humanities and Riggsby Director of the Marco Institute
    • Martin Griffin, Associate Professor of English and Interim Director of the American Studies Program
  • 12:00-2:00 p.m. — “Occupy Bartleby!”, a UT community reading of “Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street”
    Door prizes!
    Panhellenic Building 106
  • 7:00 p.m. — Staged reading of Moby-Dick (abridged), with Jed Diamond as Ishmael
    Chowder and bread!
    Relix Variety Theatre
    1208 N. Central St.
    Knoxville, TN

For campus parking information and locations, click here.

sponsored by:

The Mildred Haines and William Elijah Morris Lecture Endowment • Hodges Better English Fund • Department of Modern Foreign Languages and LiteraturesDepartment of Theatre • UT Humanities CenterAmerican Studies Program

The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.