HUMS 267, Interpretations: Moby-Dick
This seminar engages in the interpretation of a single great book, Moby-Dick by Herman Melville. Some attention is given to its historical and literary context, with readings in Emerson, Hawthorne, Webster, and Douglass, Shakespeare and Montaigne, and Melville’s own earlier and later writings. Mostly we discuss the book itself, for its portrait of the energy and madness of American industry and enterprise, its criticism of American ideals, and its allegory of the romantic will.
This course will count for the “Interpretations” requirement for the Humanities Major.
Professor David Bromwich
Professor David Bromwich is a Sterling Professor of English. He has published widely on Romantic criticism and poetry, and on eighteenth-century politics and moral philosophy. His book Politics by Other Means concerns the role of critical thinking and tradition in higher education, and defends the practice of liberal education against political encroachments from both Left and Right. His essays and reviews have appeared in The New Republic, The New York Review of Books, the London Review of Books, The Times Literary Supplement, and many other U.S. and British journals.
He is a frequent contributor of political blog posts on the Huffington Post. Since 2017, he has served as a trustee of the National Humanities Center in Research Triangle Park, NC.