Books and Editions

A New Companion to Herman Melville, co-edited with Wyn Kelley (forthcoming, Wiley-Blackwell, 2022).

A New Companion to Herman Melville delivers an insightful examination of Melville for the twenty-first century. Building on the success of the first Blackwell Companion to Herman Melville, and offering a variety of tools for reading, writing, and teaching Melville and other authors, this New Companion offers 47 new chapters using critical, technological, and aesthetic practices to read Melville in exciting and revelatory ways.

In addition to considering critical theories of race, gender, sexuality, religion, transatlantic and hemispheric studies, digital humanities, book history, neurodiversity, and new biography and reception studies, this book offers:

  • A thorough introduction to the life of Melville, as well as the twentieth- and twenty-first-century revivals of his work
  • Comprehensive explorations of Melville’s works, including Moby-Dick, Pierre, Piazza Tales, and Israel Potter, as well as his poems and poetic masterpiece Clarel
  • Practical discussions of material books, print culture, and digital technologies as applied to Melville
  • In-depth examinations of Melville’s treatment of the natural world
  • Two symposium sections with concise reflections on art and adaptation, and on teaching and public engagement

Publishing Scholarly Editions: Archives, Computing, and Experience (Cambridge University Press, 2021).

(Access the Figures here. Access the Errata here.)

Publishing Scholarly Editions offers new intellectual tools for publishing digital editions that bring readers closer to the experimental practices of literature, editing, and reading. After the Introduction (Section 1), Sections 2 and 3 frame intentionality and data analysis as intersubjective, interrelated, and illustrative of experience-as-experimentation. These ideas are demonstrated in two editorial exhibitions of nineteenth-century works: Herman Melville’s Billy Budd, Sailor, and the anti-slavery anthology The Bow in the Cloud, edited by Mary Anne Rawson. Section 4 uses pragmatism to rethink editorial principles and data modelling, arguing for a broader conception of the edition rooted in data collections and multimedia experience. The Conclusion (Section 5) draws attention to the challenges of publishing digital editions, and why digital editions have failed to be supported by the publishing industry. If publications are conceived as pragmatic inventions based on reliable, open-access data collections, then editing can embrace the critical, aesthetic, and experimental affordances of editions of experience.

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“In Publishing Scholarly Editions, Christopher Ohge cogently argues for approaching editing in pragmatic terms, explicitly invoking the ideas of William James and John Dewey. Such an approach emphasizes the complexities of writerly acts, publishing exigencies, and readerly interpretations and charts the networks of actions and practices that constitute literary experience. Through a lucid contribution to editorial theory and deftly articulated case studies, Ohge shows the opportunities that scholarly editing and especially digital editing provide for displaying these complexities and networks and opening up, rather than closing down, meaning.”

–– Professor Samuel Otter, Slusser Chair in English, University of California, Berkeley, and author of Melville’s Anatomies (1999).

Versions of Billy Budd: A Fluid Text Edition, co-edited with John Bryant and Wyn Kelley (Melville Electronic Library, 2019).

This born-digital edition of Herman Melville’s last, uncompleted novella includes a critical, annotated reading text, as well as links to the page facsimiles and diplomatic transcriptions of the manuscript.