The Nautilus

A Maritime Journal of Literature, History, and Culture

The Nautilus is an annual peer-reviewed journal publishing scholarship on the literature, history, and culture of the sea. The first issue was published in June 2010. Scholars are invited to submit essays, notes, and documents on any literary or historical period as it relates to humankind’s relationship with the sea through literary fiction or nonfiction; drama or poetry; naval, merchant, or cultural history; or musical or other forms of artistic expression. The goal of the journal is to provide a forum for scholarship in the humanities addressing the literary, historical, and other works prompted by our contact with the maritime world. The journal also publishes book reviews, which are assigned by the book review editor.

Learn of the little nautilus to sail,
Spread the thin oar, and catch the driving gale.

Alexander Pope, Essay on Man

The Nautilus in Battle

Detail of Battle of Tripoli by Michele Felice Comé, showing USS Nautilus. Courtesy of the United States Naval Academy

Journal Subscriptions

Be sure to receive every issue by becoming a subscriber. Subscribe online or by mail.

Purchase Back Issues

Individual back issues are available for purchase. Please see the Subscriptions section for more information.

The 2014 Issue of The Nautilus is now available!

Maritime Conference

Massachusetts Maritime Academy hosted a second maritime conference in the humanities from April 12-14, 2012. See a list of panelists and speakers below.

Submission Guidelines

Contributors are encouraged to submit manuscripts on any aspect of maritime literature, history, or culture, following MLA style, using endnotes and the Works Cited format. Submissions should be sent via email to or sent in duplicate to the Editor (Kathryn Mudgett), Department of Humanities, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, 101 Academy Drive, Buzzards Bay, MA 02532. Each submission will be peer-reviewed by two maritime scholars. Authors whose work is accepted should supply the editor with photocopies of all secondary quotations in the manuscript.

Book Reviews

Book reviews are assigned and edited by the book review editor, Robert D. Madison. If you have any comments or inquiries about reviews, please contact the book review editor via email, , using the subject line “Book Review.”

Subscriptions & Back Issues

Subscription Information

Cover Spring 2014

The subscription rate for individuals, domestic or foreign, is $15, or $25 for two years. Rates for institutions are $35 per year domestic and $40 per year foreign. Please print out the subscription form (pdf) and submit, along with payment via check or money order to the order of Massachusetts Maritime Academy, and mail to the journal’s administrative office listed at the bottom of the subscription form.

View the Table of Contents (pdf) of the current issue,Volume V (Spring 2014)

To pay via credit card you may use this online subscription form. Please note that due to the Maritime Academy's online payment system this is a two-step process. After submitting your personal information on the subscription form, you must proceed to this payment page to enter and submit your credit card payment.

On the payment page, if you are not a student of the Maritime Academy, enter your telephone number in the student ID field. Enter your name in the appropriate fields, enter the amount of your purchase total in the Nautilus Subscription/Conf field, and your credit card information at the bottom.

Purchase Current and Back Issues

Cover 2014

The Nautilus (Current Issue, Volume V 2014)

The fith annual edition of The Nautilus (Spring 2014) contains essays on the chanty genre, the women pirates Anne Bonny and Mary Read, and Melville’s White-Jacket. Gibb Schreffler’s essay on chanties examines the effect of twentieth-century editors of song collections on “perceptions of the origins, cultural affiliations, and content of chanties,” arguing that a critical re-evaluation is necessary to account for possible cultural biases and to reassess the historical reliability of popular source material. LuElla D’Amico’s examination of the pirates Ann Bonny and Mary Read provides a cultural history of the women as both historical figures and as iconic females, from Capt. Charles Johnson’s first narrative of their exploits in A General History of the Pyrates (1724) to contemporary versions of them in literature and film. In Ellie Stedall’s essay on White-Jacket, both the novel and the eponymous protagonist, she explores the literature of impressment through “Melville’s experiment in sailor tailoring.” This edition also includes book reviews on the science of whales; Medieval and Renaissance maritime maps; a maritime cultural history of British Romanticism; transatlantic migration in the early twentieth century; British sea rovers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; an “ecocritical” examination of Shakespeare’s ocean; fish migration on Atlantic rivers; the history of the sailing ship City of Ottawa; an essay collection on Melville as a poet; and a natural history of the cormorant.

View the Table of Contents (pdf) of the Spring 2014 issue.

To purchase by mail, please print this order form (pdf) and send, along with payment, to the address on the form.

To pay via credit card you may use this online individual issue form. Please note that due to the Maritime Academy's online payment system this is a two-step process. After submitting your personal information on the individual issues form, you must proceed to this payment page to enter and submit your credit card payment.

On the payment page, if you are not a student of the Maritime Academy, enter your telephone number in the student ID field. Enter your name in the appropriate fields, enter the amount of your purchase total in the Nautilus Subscription field, and your credit card information at the bottom.

Cover 2013

The Nautilus (Current Issue, Volume IV 2013)

The fourth annual edition of The Nautilus (Spring 2013) is a special conference issue containing essays developed from Sea-Changes: A Maritime Conference in the Humanities, held at MMA in April 2012. Conference participants addressed the transformative power of the sea to make humankind’s collective consciousness “something rich and strange.” Essays in the special conference issue include an analysis of the sea as a provider of maritime wealth in Beowulf; a study of Melville’s poetic response to the ocean’s implacable nature; an examination of the evolution of the sea novel and the brotherhood of the ship in the twenty-first century; and a recounting of George Bernard Shaw’s response to the Titanic “hysteria” he witnessed following the vessel’s unfortunate convergence with an iceberg. This edition also includes book reviews on subjects as various as a memoir of Melville’s biographer Hershel Parker; Gaelic poetry of the sea; Jack London as photographer; the Louisiana bayou country; the Amistad Rebellion; the history of Atlantic fishing in the age of sail; the Battle of Rhode Island in the Revolutionary War; a history of Pitcairn Island; transatlantic steamships; cold-water surfing; and a biography of Capt. Cook’s Polynesian navigator Tupaia.

View the Table of Contents (pdf) of the Spring 2013 issue.

To purchase by mail, please print this order form (pdf) and send, along with payment, to the address on the form.

To pay via credit card you may use this online individual issue form. Please note that due to the Maritime Academy's online payment system this is a two-step process. After submitting your personal information on the individual issues form, you must proceed to this payment page to enter and submit your credit card payment.

On the payment page, if you are not a student of the Maritime Academy, enter your telephone number in the student ID field. Enter your name in the appropriate fields, enter the amount of your purchase total in the Nautilus Subscription field, and your credit card information at the bottom.

Cover 2012

The Nautilus (Volume III 2012)

The third annual edition of The Nautilus (Spring 2012) contains a timely cultural history of the Titanic in the one-hundredth year after the ship’s sinking, assessing the influence the ship and its loss have had on our consciousness and art. The edition also contains the 1815-1816 journal of young Sam Coverly, Jr., as he took his first voyage as a merchant in the China trade from the port of Boston aboard the ship Alert. Also in this edition are reviews of maritime books addressing naval history in times of war, the rise of the surfer girl, the wreck of a British convict ship, service on a clipper ship in the age of sail, navigation in the seventeenth century, a poetic examination of the port of Gloucester, Massachusetts, and the continuing influence of Moby-Dick.

View the Table of Contents (pdf) of the Spring 2012 issue.

To purchase by mail, please print this order form (pdf) and send, along with payment, to the address on the form.

To pay via credit card you may use this online individual issue form. Please note that due to the Maritime Academy's online payment system this is a two-step process. After submitting your personal information on the individual issues form, you must proceed to this payment page to enter and submit your credit card payment.

On the payment page, if you are not a student of the Maritime Academy, enter your telephone number in the student ID field. Enter your name in the appropriate fields, enter the amount of your purchase total in the Nautilus Subscription field, and your credit card information at the bottom.

Cover 2011

The Nautilus (Volume II Spring 2011)

The second annual issue of The Nautilus, published in June 2011, contains four scholarly essays, including an examination of the cenotaphic urge in Moby-Dick; the centrality of the sea in Pablo Neruda’s poetic construction of a pan-Latin cultural identity; the influence of the early American editor, author, and mariner William Leggett on the development of maritime literature; and an introduction to the lobster in literature and the arts through the eyes of writers, artists, and mariners. The issue also contains ten book reviews on varied subjects, including whaling in the 1930s; gunboat operations in the Civil War; U.S. merchant ships in World War I; the battleship Tirpitz in World War II; the culture of piracy; an essay collection on gender, race, ethnicity and power in maritime America; the influence of Robinson Crusoe on antebellum culture; Hawaiian birds of the sea; spoken sources in Melville’s early works; and John Singer Sargent’s paintings of the sea.

View the Table of Contents (pdf) of the Spring 2011 issue.

To purchase by mail, please print this order form (pdf) and send, along with payment, to the address on the form.

To pay via credit card you may use this online individual issue form. Please note that due to the Maritime Academy's online payment system this is a two-step process. After submitting your personal information on the individual issues form, you must proceed to this payment page to enter and submit your credit card payment.

On the payment page, if you are not a student of the Maritime Academy, enter your telephone number in the student ID field. Enter your name in the appropriate fields, enter the amount of your purchase total in the Nautilus Subscription field, and your credit card information at the bottom.

Cover 2010

The Nautilus (Volume I Spring 2010)

The first annual issue of the maritime journal contains some of the fruits of the maritime conference in the humanities hosted by Massachusetts Maritime Academy in October 2009. A modified version of Nat Philbrick’s keynote address, “The Umbilical Water-Cord,” graces the journal as the first essay. Essays by Luis Iglesias, Clinton Corcoran, and Mark Patrick all began as conference papers and grew into the scholarly works in the journal’s pages. The final essay, by Wayne Franklin, is an excerpt from the second volume of his definitive biography of James Fenimore Cooper, forthcoming from Yale University Press. The journal also contains reviews of books that should be of interest to maritime enthusiasts and scholars alike, covering subjects as varied as shipwrecks, Arctic expeditions, naval ghost stories, coastal rescue craft, and Ernest Hemingway’s encounters with the Gulf Stream.

View the Table of Contents (pdf) of the Spring 2010 issue.

To purchase by mail, please print this order form (pdf) and send, along with payment, to the address on the form.

To pay via credit card you may use this online individual issue order form. Please note that due to the Maritime Academy's online payment system this is a two-step process. After submitting your personal information on the individual issues form, you must proceed to this payment page to enter and submit your credit card payment.

On the payment page, if you are not a student of the Maritime Academy, enter your telephone number in the student ID field. Enter your name in the appropriate fields, enter the amount of your purchase total in the Nautilus Subscription field, and your credit card information at the bottom.

Editorial Board

Editor-in-Chief

Kathryn Mudgett

Book Review Editor

Robert D. Madison

Editorial Advisory Board

Wayne Franklin
Professor of English and Dept. Chair
University of Connecticut

Hugh Egan
Professor of English
Ithaca College

Mary K. Bercaw Edwards
Associate Professor of English
University of Connecticut

Robert D. Madison
Professor Emeritus
United States Naval Academy

William Fowler
Professor of History
Northeastern University

William Thiesen
Atlantic Area Historian
USCG

Nelson O’Ceallaigh Ritschel
Professor of Humanities
Massachusetts Maritime Academy

Glenn Gordinier
Robert G. Albion Historian and
Co-Director
Munson Institute
Mystic Seaport

Maritime Conference 2012

Sea-Changes: A Maritime Conference in the Humanities

Massachusetts Maritime Academy hosted a second maritime conference in the humanities at its campus on the Cape Cod Canal in Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts, on April 12-14, 2012. The theme of the conference was “sea-changes.” The OED defines a sea-change as one “wrought by the sea,” an “alteration or metamorphosis, a radical change.” Shakespeare made the term famous in Ariel's song from The Tempest: “Full fathom five thy father lies; / Of his bones are coral made; / Those are pearls that were his eyes: / Nothing of him that doth fade, / But doth suffer a sea-change / Into something rich and strange” (1.2.397-402). Maritime scholars in literature, history, and the arts presented papers on humankind's relationship with the sea through literary prose and poetry; naval and merchant history; and maritime culture, art, and ecology. The keynote speaker was Capt. Linda Greenlaw, New York Times-bestselling author of The Hungry Ocean and other maritime works, and the conference culminated with a talk, “George Bernard Shaw and the Titanic Hysteria,” by Dr. Nelson O'Ceallaigh Ritschel, MMA faculty member and international Shaw scholar. Selected conference papers will appear in a future issue of The Nautilus.

View the list of panelists and speakers (pdf) at the Sea-Changes Conference. This list supersedes any printed program.

April 12-14, 2012

“Reflecting upon a Wreck at ‘Sconset” by Baldwin Coolidge. [17138].
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF THE PEABODY ESSEX MUSEUM
Poster design by Snow Devil Design
Click image for larger view.

Contact

We Welcome Your Comments and Questions.

Please address general correspondence or specific queries about matters not addressed on this Web site via the contact form below, or by mail to the address at right.

Mailing Address

The Nautilus
Kathryn Mudgett, Editor
Dept. of Humanities
Massachusetts Maritime Academy
101 Academy Dr.
Buzzards Bay, MA 02532

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Sea-Changes:

A Maritime Conference on the Humanities

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The Nautilus:

A Maritime Journal of Literature, History, and Culture

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The Nautilus:

A Maritime Journal of Literature, History, and Culture