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Whaling History Symposium

Hosted at the New Bedford Whaling Museum
June 30-July 3, 2014

The New Bedford Whaling Museum, Mystic Seaport, Nantucket Historical Association, and The Melville Society are pleased to announce the program for the 38th Whaling History Symposium, which is being co-hosted by all four institutions. This year the Symposium will be held Monday-Thursday, June 30-July 3, 2014, to coincide with the return of the 1841 whaleship Charles W. Morgan to New Bedford, Massachusetts. The Morgan is making a historic 38th Voyage and will spend nine days in New Bedford.

The Whaling History Symposium, first established in 1975, brings scholars, writers, artists, museum curators, and local historians to New Bedford from all over the country and abroad to share interests in whales, whaling, Herman Melville, Moby-Dick, maritime history, nautical lore, and the many intriguing facets of whaling heritage worldwide. This time around, the Charles W. Morgan is the focus, but the topics covered will be wide-ranging and deeply engaging.

Symposium Schedule

Monday, June 30

Topic: Whaling Ports, Whaling People
Location: State Pier, Building 2
Speakers: Chair — Mary K. Bercaw Edwards (The Melville Society, University of Connecticut, & Mystic Seaport)

  • 9:30-10:15 a.m. Peggi Medeiros (New Bedford Standard-Times)
    Fletcher Christian’s Great Grandson George, Honour Matthews Earle, Assistant Navigator, and Captain James Earle: The Morgan’s Most Fascinating Trio
  • 10:15-11 a.m. Bill Tramposch (Nantucket Historical Association), Jan Ferguson (Butler Point Whaling Museum, Mangonui, NZ), and Caroline Fitzgerald (New Zealand Filmmaker & Historian)
    Butler Point: A “Safe” Harbor in Northland New Zealand
  • 11-11:45 a.m. Betsy Tyler (Nantucket Historical Association)
    Ship of Fools: Wine, Women, and Mutiny on the New Bedford Whaleship William Gifford

Topic: Whales and Natural History
Location: State Pier, Building 2
Speakers: Chair — Wyn Kelley (The Melville Society & MIT)

  • 1-1:45 p.m. Christopher Sten (The Melville Society & George Washington University)
    Melville’s Whale, Autism, and the Question of Animal Intelligence
  • 1:45-2:30 p.m. Dale Peterson (Tufts University)
    Moby-Dick and Animal Minds
  • 2:30-3:15 p.m. Jennifer Baker (The Melville Society & New York University)
    The Aesthetics of Natural Science in Moby-Dick

Tuesday, July 1

Topic: Whaling and Melville
Location: State Pier, Building 2
Speakers: Chair — Jennifer Baker (The Melville Society & New York University)

  • 9:30-10:15 a.m. Mary K. Bercaw Edwards (The Melville Society, University of Connecticut, & Mystic Seaport)
    Herman Melville’s Whaling Years
  • 10:15-11 a.m. Jason Hine (Mystic Seaport)
    Melville, Whaling, and the Galápagos
  • 11-11:45 a.m. Wyn Kelley (The Melville Society & MIT)
    The Poetry of Whaling

Topic: Whaling and Moby-Dick in Film and Popular Culture
Location: State Pier, Building 2
Speakers: Chair — Christopher Sten (The Melville Society & George Washington University)

  • 1-1:45 p.m. Timothy Marr (The Melville Society & University of North Carolina)
    The Continuing Migrations of Moby-Dick through American Popular Culture
  • 1:45-2:30 p.m. Fred Calabretta (Mystic Seaport)
    Whaling in the Movies
  • 2:30-3:15 p.m. Jaime Campomar (Pontificia Universidad Católica Argentina)
    Rendering Whales into Movies: the 1956 Film Adaptation of Moby-Dick 

Tuesday Evening, July 1

Gallery Opening with talks by Curator Robert K. Wallace (The Melville Society & Northern Kentucky University)
Location: Center Street Gallery

The Cape Verdean Cultural Minister will speak on Whaling and the Cape Verde islands following the gallery talk.

Wednesday, July 2

Topic: The Enterprise of Whaling
Location: State Pier, Building 2
Chair: Timothy Marr (The Melville Society and University of North Carolina)

  •  9:30-10:15 a.m.  Steve Purdy (Mystic Seaport)
    A Great American Enterprise: 19th-Century American Whaling and the Industrial Revolution
  • 10:15-11 a.m. Judith Lund
    Saints and Sinners: Whaling Masters Good and Bad
  • 11-11:45 a.m. Robert E. Harding
    Philip Cummings, Dartmouth Martyr, and The House He Built in 1702

Topic: Whaling around the World
Location: State Pier, Building 2
Chair: Robert K. Wallace (The Melville Society and Northern Kentucky University)

  • 1-1:45 p.m. Laurie Robertson-Lorant (New Bedford Historical Society, The Melville Society, and Bridgewater State University)
    Bringing New Bedford’s History Home to Us: The Charles W. Morgan, Maritime New Bedford and the Antislavery Movement
  • 1:45-2:30 p.m. Márcia Dutra (University of the Azores)
    Western Islands – The impact of the American Whaling in the Azores
  • 2:30-3:15 p.m. Hayato Sakurai (Taiji Historical Archives)
    Great Forbidden Fish: Manjiro and Whaling Rights in 19th-Century Japan
  • 3:15-4 p.m. Diane Duprey (Bristol Community College)
    Charles W. Morgan–The Man and His Ship

Thursday, July 3

Topic: Whaling Heritage
Location: State Pier, Building 2
Chair: Christina Connett (New Bedford Whaling Museum)

  •  9:30-10:15 a.m. Bradley Barr (NOAA)
    New Bedford and the Global Whaling Heritage Landscape
  • 10:15-11 a.m. Michael P. Dyer (New Bedford Whaling Museum)
    Illustrated Whaling Journals of the 19th Century
  • 11-11:45 a.m. Anthony Ucci (Bristol Community College)
    Architecture of the Whaling City
  • 1-1:45 p.m. Pamela J. Cole (Bristol Community College)
    Elder Moses How: He Was the Second Chaplain of the Seamen’s Bethel and He Tried Harder
  • 1:45-2:30 p.m. Barbara Bedell (Author of Colonel Edward Howland Robinson Green and the World He Created at Round Hill)
    The Charles W. Morgan at Round Hill
  • 2:30-3:15 p.m. Robert Demanche and Donald F. Tucker (Co-authors, The Last of the Fairhaven Coasters)
    Precious Cargo in Tow: Captain Claude S. Tucker and the Morgan‘s Farewell Trip to Mystic