Dynamic Variation:

Discussion with Herman Melville Scholar Dr. Dawn Coleman

May 21, 2019


Dr. Dawn Coleman’s research focuses on nineteenth-century American literature, especially the work of Herman Melville, and issues of religion and secularity. Her book Preaching and the Rise of the American Novel shows how a range of mid-nineteenth century American authors appropriated the voice and figure of the popular preacher to claim moral authority for fiction.

During this discussion, Dr. Coleman will cover Herman Melville’s life, as well as the Billy Budd novella and its complicated textual history. She will also discuss some of the more important arguments in the interpretation of Billy Budd that have unfolded since its recovery almost 100 years ago. The general and artistic director of Central City Opera, Pelham G. Pearce, Jr., and music director, John Baril will discuss the upcoming 2019 Central City Opera Colorado premiere production as it relates or does not relate to these issues.

There will be ample time for audience participation and questions after the moderated portion of the discussion.