Lecturer Wyn Kelley Reflects on Whaleship Voyage

Published on: August 4, 2014

Wyn Kelley with the Chalres W. Morgan

Wyn Kelley with the Whaleship, Charles W. Morgan

Recently, Wyn Kelley, a Melville Scholar, sailed on the 19th century whaleship, the Charles W. Morgan, which was built in the same shipyard as Melville’s ship. In MIT SHASS News, Kathryn O’Neill writes: “Chosen from more than 300 applicants, Kelley, a senior lecturer in MIT Literature, was one of about 80 people who participated in a public-history project associated with the 38th voyage of the Charles W. Morgan, the oldest surviving whaling ship in the country. Recently refitted, the Mystic Seaport vessel made its first voyage in more than 90 years this summer, plying the New England coastline and docking in various ports.” “Reflecting on her years of teaching at MIT, Kelley notes that ‘engineers tend to think of texts, including literature, as a different kind of information from the sort they deal with when thinking about how a cell tower will behave in a storm or how materials achieve equilibrium in a structure.’ But, as MIT students discover, ‘Moby-Dick is full of the very same physical forces that engineers and scientists study and manipulate.'” This Fall, Kelley can use her experience on-board in her Literature Seminar, Mapping Melville. From SHASS News, “Kelley is now considering what the final form of her 38th Voyage project will take, and she is looking forward to sharing her experience of life aboard a 19th-century whaler. ‘If I can bring just a little bit of this back to the classroom, it will be incredibly worthwhile,’ she says.” Excerpt of article by Kathryn O’Neill, MIT SHASS News, Aug 2014 Read the full article from the SHASS News Office.