About


The Nautilus is a peer-reviewed journal publishing scholarship on the literature, history, and culture of the sea. 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. Each submission will be peer-reviewed by two maritime scholars 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”

Current Issue, Volume XI 2020


The spring 2020 issue of The Nautilus is the eleventh annual edition of the journal. Aaron M. Long’s essay “How Jules Verne Reinvented the Royal Navy’s Polar Exploration Vessels” opens the volume with the lessons learned by Verne in examining the successful and failed arctic ventures of the nineteenth century, leading him to ponder ship design and to create the “intelligent” submersible ship the Nautilus. Carla Rahn Phillips’s essay “The Magellan-Elcano Expedition” gives us a lucid account of the 1519-1522 voyage, including details of the command structure and operation of the Spanish fleet, the autocratic command of Magellan, and the subsequent leadership of Elcano. Our third essay turns from explorers to a humble fisherman in Sean Collins’s “Toward a Blue Modernism: Trans-Corporeality in The Old Man and the Sea,” in which Collins examines Hemingway’s work through a blue humanities lens, extending our understanding of the novella’s “biocentric representation” of the sea.  In “Well Worth the Effort: The Return to Maine of Historic Vessels St. Mary and Snow Squall,” Charles H. Lagerbom gives us the story of two ships reclaimed from the sea through the initiative of tenacious people who refused to let this material culture be lost to posterity. In another form of reclamation, William H. Thiesen, in “Naval Operating Base (NOB) ‘Cactus’ and Coast Guard Operations in the Battle for Guadalcanal,” recounts the dangerous and unheralded work of the Coast Guardsmen who fought alongside marines in the Pacific in World War II. Our final essay, “’Heartening the Weaklings’: Questions of Gender, Race, Class, and Power in Jack London’s Use of Sea Music,” by Mary K. Bercaw Edwards, presents the ways in which London used chanteys and other forms of sea music in subtle and subversive ways to address imbalances of power within society. Thirteen books are also reviewed in this volume, including a natural history of Moby-Dick; a maritime history of World War II, focusing on the Atlantic; the history and afterlife of the English warship Mary Rose; the print culture of arctic exploration; an overview of shipwrecks of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly; histories of three coastal Maine towns; two edited versions of the memoir of Midshipman Nathaniel Fanning, who sailed under John Paul Jones; a reissued biography of Lord Nelson; an examination of the loss of the Edmund Fitzgerald on Lake Superior and the ensuing investigation; and a “classic slacker’s” take on Moby-Dick. Volume XI of The Nautilus is available as of June 2020.

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Submission Guidelines


Contributors are encouraged to submit manuscripts on any aspect of maritime literature, history, or culture via e-mail to nautilus@maritime.edu in a Word-compatible format, or by regular mail to the editor (Kathryn Mudgett) in duplicate in MLA style, using endnotes and Works Cited. The journal’s administrative office address is Department of Humanities, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, 101 Academy Drive, Buzzards Bay, MA 02532.

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.”

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EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Kathryn Mudgett

BOOK REVIEW EDITOR

Robert D. Madison

Editorial Board

Wayne Franklin
Professor of English
University of Connecticut

William Fowler
Distinguished Professor of History Emeritus
Northeastern University

Hugh Egan
Professor of English
Ithaca College

William Thiesen
Atlantic Area Historian
USCG

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

Nelson O’Ceallaigh Ritschel
Professor of Humanities
Massachusetts Maritime Academy

Robert D. Madison
Professor Emeritus
United States Naval Academy

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