SF Moby Dick Marathon 2022
 
 
Details
  • Date: October 22nd 2022
  • Start: 12:00 pm
  • End: 12:00 pm
  • Free
  • Venue: San Francisco Maritime Museum
    900 Beach Street
    San Francisco, CA 94109
    View Map
 
Description

The San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, in partnership with SFMNPA and the Department of Culture and Communication, CSU Maritime Academy, will host a 24-hour Moby Dick reading marathon in the Maritime Museum.

One of America’s greatest novels, Moby-Dick speaks to race and racism, sexual identity, fate and destiny, environmental degradation, power and powerlessness, madness and obsession, faith and doubt, love and friendship, and writing and imagination. It reflects and refracts society, culture, and the human condition, and so remains a powerful text full of ways to discover oneself, and one’s place in the world.

Surrounded by aquatic-themed WPA murals, and overlooking the Aquatic Park Pier and Cove, a diverse crew of over 100 will add their own voices to Melville’s musings, orations, and unforgettable characters.

This event is free and open to the public. Click Here for Tickets

See below for available chapters and sign-up form!

Chapter Sign Up

  • Please select what Chapter and time you would like to read.

Guidelines for Readers

  • Due to overwhelming popularity, only one chapter per person.
  • Communication with readers will be through email for updates and changes.
  • Chapters on hold are currently being offered to the artists we are partnering with. If there is a chapter you are interested in reading that is on hold, email gina_bardi@nps.gov.
  • Please read the text directly. We encourage dramatizing but not editorializing- no introductions or dedications.
  • The schedule associated with chapters are approximations. Please show up at least a half hour before your chapter to ensure you’re on time.
  • Feel free to wear a costume or bring a manageable prop (no real harpoons!)
  • Extra copies of the book will be on hand, however printing out your chapter in a larger font is recommended.
  • Practicing your chapters before the event is recommended.
  • Things might be happening around you while you read your chapter: musicians, dancers or artists performing.
  • Alcohol wipes and hand sanitizer will be available at the podium.
  • This event may be recorded or live streamed. You may have your picture taken for promotional purposes.

Guidelines for Audience

  • Masks are required at all times.
  • Attendees can come and go as they please.
  • If you do intend on staying for a while, wear comfortable clothes. Our chairs are not known for being “all nighters”. There will be limited spaces for sleeping bags.
  • Costumes are encouraged!
  • Drugs/alcohol/weapons/vaping are not allowed. Usage will result in being asked to leave.
  • We will have free coffee available. Light snacks are allowed.
  • The museum is an artifact within itself. We ask that you be respectful of the building and leave no trace. 
  • We will have some extra copies of Moby Dick on hand but feel free to bring your own.
  • The event may be recorded or live streamed. Your picture may be taken for promotional purposes.
  • No animals other than service dogs are allowed. If you have a pet whale, kindly park them in the cove.
  • People disrupting the reading will be asked to leave.
  • The event is free and you do not need a ticket, but please register HERE
  • A scheduled reader might not make it on time or has to drop out, if that happens, we accept volunteers from the audience.

Lecture Series

SEPTEMBER 8TH:

Chasing the whale who wasn’t: art, affect, and submerged histories.

Old salts, dead whales on parade, brides, showgirls, and young girls. During this creative talk, interdisciplinary artist Alessia Cecchet will screen The Whale who Wasn’t and will share her process and recent research on whales and women’s bodies.

REGISTER HERE

 

SEPTEMBER 17TH:

Ark of the Anthropocene: Or, The Whale by Jos Sances

Jos Sances will tell the story of making Or, The Whale (2019), tracing its origins from transformative encounters with whales in the waters off Todos Santos in Baja California, where he taught screen printing for several years, to the pivotal experience of rereading Moby-Dick after visiting the Nantucket and New Bedford whaling museums in 2018. Jeffrey Peterson will discuss the mural’s compositional development and cultural-historical sweep, examining the ways the artist’s relationship with Melville’s work changes as Sances moves from illustrating standalone scenes from the novel to taking the whale’s body itself as a massive canvas for documenting the depredations of American capitalism in the wake of Moby-Dick post-1850.

Bios: Co-founder of Mission Gráfica at the Mission Cultural Center and founder of Alliance Graphics in Berkeley, Jos Sances has made a living as a printmaker and muralist in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 40 years. In July 2021, Jeffrey Peterson, who teaches English at The College Preparatory School in Oakland, introduced Jos Sances and Or, The Whale to the members of the Melville Society Cultural Project and a diverse crew of U.S. high school educators who teach Moby-Dick. In June 2022, Sances and Peterson were co-presenters at the 13th Annual International Melville Society Conference in Paris, “Melville’s Energies: Aesthetics, Politics, Ecologies,” on a panel entitled “Another Look at Moby-Dick: Artists at Work.”

REGISTER HERE

 

SEPTEMBER 25TH:

Reading, Writing, Drawing, and Acting on Climate Change with Moby-Dick

In this one-hour interactive program about the lessons on global warming, ocean health, and climate refugees found in Moby-Dick, we examine a few essential scenes for a 21st-century environmentalist reading of the novel. You do not need to have read Moby-Dick beforehand, but if you have a copy of the novel, bring it. Dress for outside. Bring your journal and sketchbooks, because there are optional writing, drawing, and activist letter-writing activities to go alongside our discussion. Are we to all be Ishmaels?

REGISTER HERE

 

OCTOBER 13TH:

Sharad Chari: the Afrofuturism of Moby-Dick

Is Moby-Dick an American book? Is its narrator (“Call me Ishmael”) white? What is the ‘whiteness of the whale’ that is the object of furious pursuit by a captain who has clearly lost his mind? This presentation approaches these questions through a remarkable artist, Ellen Gallagher, who paints in the tradition of the ‘scrimshaw,’ the art of whalers, and who sees Moby-Dick an Afrofuturist work.

REGISTER HERE

 

OCTOBER 18TH:

Margaret Cohen: Whale-Eye Fantasies Across the History of Film

This talk will survey the history of films inspired by Moby-Dick to show how filmmakers produce an enigmatic fantasy of the whales in fragmented parts, epitomized by their inscrutable eyes. This fantasy owes something to the technological difficulties of capturing vast creatures in low light submarine environments and it also is inspired by Melville’s comments on the majestic enigma of the whale. Margaret Cohen will contrast the enigmatic fantasy of the whale with the killer fantasy of sharks from the first silent 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1916), exhibiting their predation. Predatory sharks of course do recall the savagery of Melville’s white whale and also inspire some portrayals of Moby Dick, notably Huston’s Moby-Dick, whose scenes of destruction would then be taken up by Spielberg in Jaws (1975). Yet this portrayal did not gain imaginative traction.

REGISTER HERE

 

OCTOBER 22ND:

San Francisco Maritime Moby Dick Marathon 2022

One of America’s greatest novels, Moby-Dick speaks to race and racism, sexual identity, fate and destiny, environmental degradation, power and powerlessness, madness and obsession, faith and doubt, love and friendship, and writing and imagination. It reflects and refracts society, culture, and the human condition, and so remains a powerful text full of ways to discover oneself, and one’s place in the world.

REGISTER HERE

 

All Events are Free – Donations are Appreciated!

 

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