The Tenth International Melville Conference recently took place at Keio University (Mita Campus, Tokyo) from June 25 to June 29. The five-day conference (including a day-trip to cities by the sea in Kanagawa Prefecture, reminiscent of the days of Commodore Perry’s Black Ship) invited participants to consider Melville’s deep interest in globalism, the many contexts in which his work has been and continues to be read, and the range of uses to which his writings have been put.
CSU’s own Kylan Rice (pictured below) presented his research, “Knotted Up in Place: Melville and the American Spatial Subject,” and was asked to do a write-up on the conference for the journal Leviathan (which will likely be published in the fall issue).
CSU Assistant Professor Zach Hutchins (pictured below, second from the left) also presented a piece titled “‘Kith and Kin to Noble Benjamin’: Imitation and the Autobiography of Ishmael,” an extract from one of his current book projects, Melville’s Representative Men. Hutchins also chaired a panel on “Capitalism.”
Hutchins reflected that the most valuable part of his time in Tokyo was the opportunity to meet with likeminded scholars and to make personal connections that will persist beyond the conference.