Herman Melville’s Short Fiction:
“Bartleby, the Scrivener,” Benito Cereno, and Billy Budd
Andrew Delbanco, Director of American Studies and Julian Clarence Levi Professor in the Humanities, Columbia University
After the explosion of creative energy that produced Moby-Dick (1851) and Pierre, or the Ambiguities (1852), Herman Melville turned to writing stories and novellas for the new antebellum literary magazines Putnam’s Monthly Magazine and Harper’s. Among these works were two astonishing achievements, “Bartleby, the Scrivener,” and Benito Cereno, later collected in The Piazza Tales (1856), which reveal his maturation as an artist even as he was coming to terms with his commercial failure as a novelist.
ELIGIBILITY: The Summer Institutes in Literary Studies are open to scholars who received a Ph.D. within the last ten years and who teach in departments of literature or
other relevant disciplines at colleges or universities in the United States
STIPENDS & EXPENSES: Participation in an institute carries a stipend of $1,500. The National Humanities Center will cover the cost of travel, lodging, meals, and texts.
FORMAT: Each institute will combine extensive seminar discussion with small group work and individual consultation with the seminar leader.
ACCOMMODATIONS: Participants will have individual apartments in a residence hotel within ten minutes of the Center. The Center will provide bus service to and from the hotel.
This program is made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
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