Areas of Expertise
My teaching and scholarly interests focus on the American novel, Melville, race and ethnicity, transnationalism, visual culture, Modernism, and writing about Washington, DC. Much of my research and writing has centered on Herman Melville, and in recent years, a good deal of my professional life has been devoted to service in the Melville Society and the Society’s Cultural Project and Archive at the New Bedford Whaling Museum in Massachusetts. My current research focuses on Melville’s short fiction and on a study of adaptations, appropriations, and “remixing” of Melville’s texts in various media, including “new media.”
Professor of English
Chris Sten’s current research focuses on Melville’s short fiction, a project to be titled Monsters and Misfits: Figuring Difference in Melville’s Piazza Tales, and a co-edited collection of essays (with Wyn Kelley at MIT) on adaptations of Melville’s writings for film, theater, television, opera, popular culture and in music, the visual arts, and “new media,” with the working title, Melville, Media, New Media.
M.A., 1968 English and American Literature, Indiana University.
B.A., 1966, English Literature, Carleton College.
Editor, Literary Capital: A Washington Reader (University of Georgia Press, 2011).
Co-editor (with Jill Barnum and Wyn Kelley), “Whole Oceans Away”: Melville in the Pacific. Forthcoming 2007, Kent, Ohio: Kent State U Press.
Sounding the Whale: MOBY-DICK as Epic Novel. Kent, Ohio: Kent State U Press, 1996.
The Weaver-God, He Weaves: Melville and the Poetics of the Novel. Kent, Ohio: Kent State U Press, 1996.
Editor, Savage Eye: Melville and the Visual Arts. Kent, Ohio: Kent State U Press, 1992.
“’Infernal Aforethought of Malignity’: Melville’s Whale, Autism, and the Question of Animal Intelligence,” in Secret Sharers: Melville, Conrad and Narratives of the Real, eds. Pawel Jedrzejko and Milton Reigelman (Zabrze, Poland: M Studio, 2011), forthcoming.
“Melville” chapter in American Literary Scholarship 2009, ed. Gary Scharnhorst (Duke University Press, 2011).
“City of Hope and Fear: Douglass and Melville in the Nation’s Capital,” Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies 10.2 (June 2008), 1-14.
“’Facts Picked Up In the Pacific’: Fragmentation, Deformation, and the (Cultural) Uses of Enchantment in Melville’s ‘The Encantadas,” “Whole Oceans Away”: Melville and the Pacific (Kent, Ohio: Kent State U Press, 2007), 213-23.
“On Seeing Blue: Dutch Painting, Depression, and Generativity in Cather’s The Professor’s House, 17 pgs., Willa Cather Pioneer Memorial Newsletter and Review, XLVII, No. 1 (Summer 2003): 3-8.
“Melville’s Cosmopolitanism: A Map for Living in a (Post-) Colonialist World,” Melville ‘Among the Nations’, eds. Athanasios Christodoulou and Sanford Marovitz ( Kent: Kent State U Press, 2001), pp. 38-48.
“Losing it ‘even as he finds it’: The Invisible Man’s Search for Identity,’ in Approaches to Teaching Ellison’s Invisible Man (New York: Modern Language Association, 1989), Eds. Susan R. Parr and Pancho Savery, pp. 86-95.
“Vere’s Use of the ‘Forms’: Means and Ends in Billy Budd” (1975), rpt. in On Melville: The Best from American Literature (Durham: Duke U P, 1988), pp. 188-202.