Hester Blum is an Associate Professor at the Pennsylvania State University. Her first book The View From the Masthead: Maritime Imagination and Antebellum American Sea Narratives (University of North Carolina Press, 2008) received the John Gardner Maritime Research Award. She is currently in the process of completing her second book The News at the End of the Earth: Oceanic Studies and the Ecomedia of Arctic and Antarctic Exploration, in which she examines polar newspapers and other forms of knowledge that circulate in geophysical and climatic extremity. She recently edited a volume of essays entitled Turns of Event: Nineteenth-Century American Literary Studies in Motion (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016). She is the current President of C19: The Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists and has previously served as the President of the Melville Society.

Anna Brickhouse is a Professor of American Literature at the University of Virginia. She is the author of The Unsettlement of America (Oxford UP, 2014), which won the Modern Language Association’s James Russell Lowell prize, and Transamerican Literary Relations (Cambridge UP, 2005). Her essays have appeared in a number of publications including PMLA and American Literary History.

John Bryant will be reading from his forthcoming biography Herman Melville: A Half Known Life. He is a Professor Emeritus of English at Hofstra University, a former President of the Melville Society, and founding editor of Leviathan. His publications include Melville and Repose (Oxford UP, 1993), The Fluid Text (U Mich P, 2002), Melville Unfolding (U Mich P, 2008) and he has edited the Longman critical edition of Moby-Dick, Typee (Penguin), Virginia’s electronic edition of the Typee Manuscript, and Melville’s Tales, Poems, and Other Writings (Modern Library). He was named Distinguished Editor in 2015 by the Council of Editors of Learned Journals. He is currently also the Director of the Melville Electronic Library and Hofstra’s Digital Research Center.

Paul Gilroy is a Professor of English and American Literature at King’s College London. He is the author of There Ain’t No Black in the Union Jack (1987), The Black Atlantic (1993), Between Camps (2000), After Empire (2004) and Darker than Blue (2011) among others. He joined King’s in September 2012 having previously been the Giddens Professor of Social Theory at the London School of Economics (2005-2012), Charlotte Marian Saden Professor of African American Studies and Sociology at Yale (1999-2005) and Professor of Cultural Studies and Sociology at Goldsmiths College (1995-1999).

Ian McGuire is the co-founder and co-director of the University of Manchester’s Centre for New Writing. He writes criticism and fiction, and his stories have been published in Chicago ReviewThe Paris Review, and elsewhere. His recently published second novel, The North Water, from which he will be reading, deals with a nineteenth-century whaling expedition to the Arctic.