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Call for Papers

Objective: A proposed anthology of papers and essays on Moby-Dick, addressing the meaning and metaphorical significance of the white whale.

Needed: Articles, academic papers or essays (in MLA Style, if citations are used). Non-exclusive rights requested. Reprints are acceptable.

Statement: In Moby-Dick the significance of the white whale to Ahab is discussed, and Chapter 42 ("The Whiteness of the Whale") specifically details its significance to the narrator. This raises the larger question of what the white whale means, or was supposed to mean, to us, the audience. The challenge for contributors to this anthology is to answer that question -- to answer it as clearly as the subject allows, and with whatever arguments seem necessary and sufficient.

Reading Period: November 30, 2008 - November 30, 2010 (deadline was extended due to lack of appropriate submissions from locations outside Nigeria)

Contact: (inquiries only)

     submissions (North America):

Timons Esaias
White Whale Project
6659 Woodwell Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15217-1320

     submissions (elsewhere): email for permission and submission address

     latest update:

Editorial preferences: The idea is to encourage a wide range of styles and approaches, from contributors in a variety of disciplines. Nonetheless, the editor admits to a preference for clarity over unnecessary academic jargon.

     Editor will further acknowledge an absence of love for phony expressions such as "speaks to us of" and "illocutionary force ." If you find yourself using the word "liminal" more than once a year, consider discussing with your therapist, before submitting, whether this is a scholarly device to avoid stating a firm position.

     Finally, not answering the thematic question of the anthology will exclude your submission from consideration.

Guidelines and Details

  • Submissions in hardcopy only, except outside North America. Request permission before sending by email.
  • Manuscripts will not be returned.
  • For reply, include #10 (business) SASE.
  • Essays, papers, and journal articles of all types are welcome. If footnoted, please use MLA style. Length is open.
  • No abstract is required.
  • Regardless of approach, all submissions must primarily address the Project's thematic question: what does the white whale mean? This may focus on what Melville intended, and/or -- if different -- what it means despite the author's intent. (Exception: the editor may also consider including a limited number of essays discussing primarily what the white whale meant to the contributor alone. If you are submitting such a piece, please indicate this in your cover letter, by designating it a Category B entry.)
  • Please include a brief cover letter, with contact information. Bio optional.
  • Editor seeks non-exclusive rights only.
  • Editor hopes, upon acceptance of the projected book by a publisher, to provide an immediate $100 advance against royalties. Contributors will share in any royalties, with details on acceptance.