Denison’s Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar and Carl F. Cranor Visiting Scholar Bonnie Honig of Brown University, presents a lecture, “The King’s Three Bodies: Moby-Dick, with Hobbes.”
Honig, who is the Nancy Duke Lewis Professor in Political Science and Modern Culture in Media at Brown University, reads Melville’s Moby-Dick as a critique of Hobbes’ Leviathan, and compares Hobbes’ idea of a sovereign as sea-monster who pacifies an unruly population with Melville’s picture of men at sea working in concert to join forces against such sea monsters: whales.
The focus here is on the importance of imagination and enthusiasm as democratic traits and practices. Alongside that is the perennial politics of race, unforgettably referred to by the white whale named Moby-Dick.
Co-Sponsored by the Titus-Hepp Lecture Series, the Cephus Stephens Fund, the Beck Lecture Series, and the Laura C. Harris Series