What can we learn from Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein 200 years after it was published? A lot, insofar as the book’s central conflicts — between science and ethics, society and the other — still resonate today.
Nearly 200 years after the publication of “Frankenstein” in 1818, we still employ Mary Shelley’s dream vision to interpret and explain our world today — but why? Perhaps because the troubling dialectic between Creator and Monster reflects some basic anxiety that has still not been resolved. Henry Schvey writes an essay in advance of the Oct. 13 conference “Frankenstein at 200” in Umrath Hall on the Danforth Campus.
The Assembly Series, Washington University in St. Louis’ signature lecture series, will open its fall program Sept. 7 with an event that kick-starts a universitywide, yearlong initiative to inhabit the rich and complex world of the 200-year-old story of “Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus.”
As it approaches the 200th anniversary of publication, Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” remains a cultural touchstone and a powerful metaphor for the dangers of science unchecked by social responsibility. See what Corinna Treitel, associate professor of history in Arts & Sciences, has to say about “Frankenstein’s” continued power to challenge and inform.
WUSTL’s Summer School in Arts & Sciences will present a film series celebrating Frankenstein movies, “It’s Alive! A Celebration of Frankenstein Films,” this June and July. Each film will be introduced by a WUSTL scholar specializing in the genres of cinematic horror and literary monsters. All screenings are free and open to the public.