<September 2018>

Conference - Frankenstein: Then and Now, 1818–2018

Conference - Frankenstein: Then and Now, 1818–2018
May 11 - 12 , 2018

Friday–Saturday, 8:30 a.m.—5 p.m.

In celebration of the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus, scholars, scientists, writers, and directors discuss the profound issues—ethical, cultural, scientific, and beyond—raised by the novel from its publication in 1818 down to the early 21st century.  (The conference will be preceded on Thursday evening with a keynote lecture by Caltech president emeritus David Baltimore) $25. Register online. Rothenberg Hall


Conference Schedule




8:30 a.m. - Registration & Coffee


9:30 a.m. - Welcome: Steve Hindle (The Huntington)


Romantics 200 Welcome: Neil Fraistat (Keats-Shelley Association of America)

Andrew Stauffer (Byron Society of America)


Co-Chairs Welcome: Jerrold E. Hogle (University of Arizona)

Anne K. Mellor (University of California, Los Angeles)


Session 1: The Genesis of Mary Shelley’s Novel

Moderator: Stuart Curran (University of Pennsylvania)


Susan Wolfson (Princeton University)

“The First Frankenstein: From Conception to Publication to Revision”


Gillen D’Arcy Wood (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)

Frankenstein: Birth and Re-Birth”


11:45 a.m. - Lunch


1:00 p.m. - Session 2: The Cultural “Climates” of the Original Frankenstein

Moderator: Kevin Gilmartin (California Institute of Technology)


Alan Bewell (University of Toronto)

“Moving Parts: Frankenstein and Mobility”


Maisha Wester (Indiana University, Bloomington)

“What is a Slave?: Race and Revolution in Colonial Britain”


2:45 p.m. - Break


3:00 p.m. - Session 3: Shelley's Frankenstein and the Sciences of Her Day

Moderator: Neil Fraistat (University of Maryland, College Park)


Robert Mitchell (Duke University)

Frankenstein and the Sciences of Self-Regulation”


Alan Richardson (Boston College)

“The Brain of Frankenstein"




8:30 a.m. - Registration & Coffee


9:15 a.m. - Session 4: A Major Recent Adaptation: The 2011 National Theater Frankenstein

Moderator: Ronald Levao (Rutgers University, New Brunswick)


A video showing of the Frankenstein stage production by the National Theater of Great Britain (which debuted in 2011), directed by Danny Boyle and starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller.


11:45 p.m. - Lunch


1:00 p.m. - Session 5: Adaptations of Frankenstein in the 20th and 21st Centuries

Moderator: Jerrold E. Hogle and Anne K. Mellor


Nick Dear (Playwright, 2011 National Theater Frankenstein)

“Adapting the Unthinkable”


David J. Skal (Film historian and analyst)

“Snap, Crackle, Scream: Frankenstein from Stage to Screen”


2:45 p.m. - Break


3:15 p.m. - Session 6: The Frankenstein Legacy: The Current Scientific and Ethical Debates

Moderator: Andrew Stauffer (University of Virginia)


Jennifer Doudna (University of California, Berkeley)

“Gene Editing and the Future of Frankenstein


Henry T. Greeley (Stanford University)

“Genetics, Neuroscience, and Artificial Intelligence in the 21st Century: Which Frankenstein Will We Learn From?”


Concluding Remarks: Jerrold E. Hogle and Anne K. Mellor


About The Huntington

The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens is a collections-based research and educational institution established in 1919 by Henry E. and Arabella Huntington. Henry Huntington, a key figure in the...

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