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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