LMC 3226 Major Authors “You Don’t Know Moby-Dick

Herman Melville’s classic novel is much more than a ripping seafaring yarn; it is also a compendium of nineteenth-century technologies. We used a studio model for humanities education to explore Moby-Dick, alternating between discussions of the text (and some related materials), and working in the studio devising forms of mediation, making models from a range of materials, and fabricating full-scale artifacts–all with an eye toward a fuller understanding of both material practices and concepts about hands-on learning. Students’ focus on various materials and practices determined the overall trajectory of the class, including forging a harpoon by hand, making rope and tying knots, and fabricating on a CNC machine a large scale plywood whale skeleton.

T. Hugh Crawford PhD
Associate Professor
American literature, imaging, literature & medicine