In 1818, Mary Shelley’s iconic novel “Frankenstein” gave rise to the now-popular genres of horror and science fiction.
Two hundred years later, students at UW-Stout are exploring some of her book’s literary impacts, a mini-testament to the enduring power and mystery of her dark but also enlightening work.
“Frankenstein,” about a scientist who creates a monster then struggles with the reality of what he’s done, is the Literature Committee’s 2018-19 choice for the Reading Across Campus program.
The program includes two upcoming special events that are free and open to the public:
- The first is a screening of the 1931 film followed by a discussion from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6, in Harvey Hall Theatre. The discussion facilitators will be faculty members Joan Navarre and Mitch Ogden, English and philosophy department.
- The second event will be a talk by UW-Eau Claire Professor Joel Pace at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27, in the Cedar and Maple rooms of the Memorial Student Center. The title of the talk is "Reflections on ‘Frankenstein,’ Film and Black Atlantic Autobiography." The host of the event will be Rickie Ann Legleitner, co-chair of the Literature Committee.
Professor Lopa Basu, the other Literature Committee co-chair, said the book is as important today as when it was written.
“It brings up many topics that are interdisciplinary in focus and relevant for our polytechnic university. These issues involve those pertaining to ethical responsibilities of science, the limits of technology, definitions of life and many others,” Basu said.
Close to 300 students are reading the book. Basu’s students in English Composition 2 are studying monsters in literature from “Beowulf” to “Frankenstein” to contemporary popular culture. Navarre and Ogden are using “Frankenstein” in their Fiction into Film classes. Assistant Professor Erik Evensen will have School of Art and Design students create visual adaptations of the central character.
Poet talk scheduled March 18
Also on the Literature Committee calendar is poet Joyce Ash (Ashuntangtang), University of Hartford, a native of Cameroon. She will read and lead a discussion of her work from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 18, in Ballroom B of the Memorial Student Center to celebrate black history month and women’s history month.
The Literature Committee receives support from the offices of the chancellor and provost along with the College of Arts, Communication, Humanities and Social Sciences.
"Frankenstein" is featured on UW-Stout's film event poster.
Professor Lopa Basu works with students.