FYS 101 Moby Dick: From Metaphysics to Whaling

Students in this class will have the opportunity to read Moby Dick, one of the great masterpieces of American literature. Published in 1851, Melville’s novel begins with the famous line, “Call me Ishmael,” and goes on to explore an unparalleled variety of subjects, ranging from all manner of whaling and sea lore to philosophy, metaphysics, anthropology, and geography, to name a few of the disciplines present in this novel. In addition to the particular areas of knowledge found in the novel, the course will also explore what makes something a masterpiece, how readers discern greatness or originality in literature, and what influence a great work might have on society as a whole.