2018 marks the two-hundredth anniversary of Mary Shelley’s classic novel Frankenstein – a book about birth, death, fragmentation, monstrosity, and knowledge that continues to haunt contemporary thought and culture. In the two centuries since its publication, readers have variously interpreted Frankenstein as a cautionary tale of scientific hubris, an allegory of motherhood, a political commentary, and a gothic horror. Meanwhile, the loquacious monster at the heart of the novel has left the book to become a figure of inarticulacy and terror in the popular imagination. Recent scholarship on Frankenstein juggles between these polarities, while also considering manuscript evidence of a collaborative writing process shared by Mary Shelley and her poet husband Percy.
In celebration of Frankenstein, we will host a “lightning roundtable” featuring faculty from the Department of English and Comparative Literature. The event is hosted by the Explorations in the Medical Humanities series at the Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities and is co-sponsored by the Nineteenth-Century Colloquium.