Lecture – “Pitchpoling: Moby Dick, a Speculative History”

“Pitchpoling: Moby Dick, a Speculative History”

Markus Krajewski
Professor of Media History
University of Basel

Since 2006, an interdisciplinary group of German scholars have met annually to work on an ambitious goal: producing a historically grounded, analytical commentary for each one of Moby-Dick’s chapters. This comprehensive, speculative-historical commentary inquires after the colossal importance of Moby-Dick as a work of cultural self-description, while also looking into the ambiguous and conflicted symbol of the novel’s white whale. As one of the initiators of the project, Markus Krajewski will talk about the overall scope of the endeavour as well as his own commentary for Chapter 84, “Pitchpoling.”

Markus Krajewski is Professor of Media History at the University of Basel, Switzerland. He is the author of several monographs and co-edited volumes. His work has appeared in translation as Paper Machines. About Cards & Catalogs, 1548–1929 (MIT, 2011), World Projects. Global Information Before WWI, (Minnesota UP, 2014) and The Server. A Media History from the Present to the Baroque (Yale UP, 2018). He is also the developer and of the bibliography software synapsen – a digital card index (www.synapsen.ch). For more information, see http://markus.krajewski.ch/.